There will be a Capital Gains Withholding Provisions change on Saturday, 1st July 2017, in respect of both the sale price threshold and the withholding percentage.
For the sale of all properties where:
  • The sales contract is entered into on or after 1st July 2017; and
  • The contract price is $750,000 or more (currently $2,000,000);
the Buyer must withhold 12.5% (currently 10%) of the purchase price and pay such monies to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on or before settlement, unless the Seller has obtained a Clearance Certificate from the ATO (Taxation Administration Act 1953 (CTH) – Subdivision 14-D).
The existing threshold and rate will apply for any contracts that are entered into before 1st July 2017, even if they are not due to settle until after 1st July 2017.

Building format plan maintenance

A building format plan is a form of subdivision which usually applies to multi-story unit complexes, and in some cases, other developments like townhouses.

A building format plan defines land using the structural elements of a building, including floors, walls and ceilings.

Defining lots and common property

The Land Title Act 1994 (PDF) defines a building format plan (BFP), previously known as a building unit plan (BUP). Where 1 lot is separated from another lot or common property by a floor, wall or ceiling, the boundary of the lot is the centre of the floor, wall or ceiling.

On a building format plan, the boundaries of a lot are represented by hard black lines. The diagram of level A shows the common property surrounding the building and parts of the 4 lots (units) on level A.

Plans can also show visitor parking spaces, carports or other features such as swimming pools. This common property and the lots together make up the scheme land.

The diagram of level B shows the rest of the 4 lots and a common property balcony running along the eastern (right) side of the building.

The thin line around this balcony shows that it is outside the boundaries of the lots, so the balcony is on common property.

Compare this to the hard black lines around the smaller balconies on the western (left side) of lots 2 and 3. This shows that these balconies are within the boundaries of lots 2 and 3.

Where a balcony is included in a lot (as in lots 2 and 3 in the diagram of level B) the boundary of the lot is the face of the balcony.

Body corporate maintenance

The body corporate must maintain common property, as well as some things that are not on common property.

The body corporate is usually responsible for maintaining:

  • the outside of the building
  • the foundations and roof of the building
  • roofing membranes that are not on common property but give protection for lots or common property
  • essential structural elements of the building (like foundation structures, roofing structures that provide protection and load-bearing walls) even if they are not on common property
  • roads, gardens and lawns on common property
  • facilities on common property (like swimming pools and barbeques)
  • railings or balustrades on, or near to, the boundary between a lot and common property, including the balustrade on a private balcony
  • any doors or windows, and their fittings in a boundary wall between a lot and the common property (including in balconies, and including garage doors and their fittings)
  • utility infrastructure (like equipment, pipes and wiring) that is on common property, or in a boundary structure, or services more than 1 lot.

Lot owner maintenance

The lot owner is generally responsible for:

  • the inside of the lot, including all fixtures and fittings inside the lot
  • doors and windows leading onto a balcony that forms part of the lot
  • a shower tray used by the lot, even if it is not within the boundaries of the lot
  • utility infrastructure (like equipment, pipes and wiring) that is within the boundaries of the lot and only services that lot
  • utility infrastructure (including equipment and associated wiring and pipes) that is on common property, if it only services that lot and is a hot water system, washing machine, clothes dryer, air-conditioner or similar equipment
  • any fixtures or fittings, including on common property, that were installed by the occupier of a lot for their benefit
  • exclusive use areas the owner has the benefit of, unless the exclusive use by-law says otherwise.
Treasurer Scott Morrison has forced the sale of another 16 residential properties held by foreign investors worth $14 million because they were in breach of the law.
Buying Pic  The properties were purchased in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and Western Australia with prices ranging from $200,000 to $2 million, and involved individuals from the UK, Malaysia, China and Canada.

“The foreign investors either purchased established residential property without Foreign Investment Review Board approval, or had approval but their circumstances changed, meaning they were breaking the rules,” Mr Morrison said in a statement on Monday.

Since taking office in 2013, the coalition government has forced foreign nationals to divest a total of 46 properties worth almost $93 million.

The government had to ensure foreign investment provided benefits to all Australians in line with law and not contrary to the national interest, the treasurer said.

Since the government introduced a new penalty regime late in 2015, 179 notices have been issued to people who have failed to obtain FIRB approval before buying a property.

Illegal real estate purchases by foreign citizens attract criminal penalties of up to $135,000 or three years’ imprisonment, or both for individuals; and up to $675,000 for companies.

The new rules also allow capital gains made on illegal investments to be forfeited.

In addition to divestments, a number of investors voluntarily sold their properties while the Australian Taxation Office was examining their case.

“There are at least 25 examples of foreign investors self-divesting in this way showing a change in behaviour towards more compliance with the rules and a strengthening of the program overall,” Mr Morrison said.

(Source: Reported by Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent - Monday, September 19, 2016)

Bris Bldg 2 (1000 x 500)Large-scale building and more first-home buyers have kept Brisbane’s rental vacancy rates among the highest in the country for both houses and units, according to Domain Group data.

Buoyed by construction in the outer fringes, house vacancy rates are the second highest in the country at 2.6 per cent in July. Only Perth recorded higher vacancies at 4.1 per cent.

Inner-city development is likely the driver of high apartment vacancy rates, recorded at 3.1 per cent, which is the third highest of the capital cities after Perth and Darwin.

Estimates show an oversupply of 27,000 dwellings next year. 

Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson said July’s seasonal factors meant vacancy rates could be less stable than they appear.

“Typically vacancy rates tighten in July, which was seen with other capital cities – but Brisbane is the exception,” Dr Wilson said.

“This means although the rates appear stable, it’s really an indication they will continue to ease into the future,” he said.

“In terms of market dynamic, Brisbane still favours tenants, and vacancy rates are rising.”

 Brisbane suburbs with the highest vacancy rates for houses – July 2016
July Rent
Morningside $465
North Lakes $430
Springfield Lakes $400
Forest Lake $388
Yarrabilba $380
Griffin $380
Morayfield $350
Kallangur $350
Redbank Plains $340
Caboolture $313


Clusters of suburbs experiencing high building activity topped the lists for the most house and unit vacancies.

Redbank Plains, North Lakes and Griffin have the highest vacancy rates for houses. Brisbane City, New Farm and Hamilton rose above other suburbs to have the highest vacancy rates for units.

Brisbane suburbs with highest vacancy rates for units – July 2016
July Rent
Brisbane City $530
New Farm $400
Hamilton $430
Fortitude Valley $400
South Brisbane $499
Nundah $390
Kelvin Grove $430
West End $458
Chermside $385
Kangaroo Point $450

Dr Wilson said more first-home buyer activity meant fewer tenants in the market.

“There are certainly more incentives for first-home buyers in Queensland, who are buying the new properties and leaving gaps in the rental market,” he said.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland recently released similar vacancy rate figures for Brisbane

Australian House Vacancy Rates – July 2016
Jul-16 Jun-16 Jul-15
Sydney 1.8% 1.9% 1.9%
Melbourne 1.6% 1.7% 1.9%
Brisbane 2.6% 2.6% 2.6%
Adelaide 1.8% 1.8% 1.7%
Perth 4.3% 4.3% 3.1%
Hobart 0.6% 0.6% 1.1%
Canberra 1.0% 1.0% 1.5%
Darwin 2.0% 2.1% 2.4%
National Capital City 2.3% 2.3% 2.2%

REIQ chief executive officer Antonia Mercorella said while a building boom factored into higher vacancies, housing demand would continue to remain strong.

“Brisbane’s inner-city vacancy rate for the June quarter for apartments is 3.7 per cent, and while the REIQ classes this as just outside the healthy range […], it’s important to remember that recent projects coming online have not yet been absorbed by the inner-city population growth,” Ms Mercorella said.

“With major projects, such as Queens Wharf and Howard Smith Wharves, creating thousands of jobs over the next few years in Brisbane’s inner city we are confident demand for housing will continue to grow,” she said.

“We are seeing steady levels of supply and equally steady levels of demand for inner-city apartments and we expect vacancy rates will hover around these levels for some time to come.”

(Source: Domain Jason Quelch 


There are a variety of reasons why you may wish to renovate your strata property. Some of the reasons include improving your re-sale value or simply wanting to modernise your residence. The key point to consider when approaching a renovation project is to know the boundaries of your Lot and the by-laws in place regulating the use common property. Common property in most cases is also defined as structural elements or utility infrastructure such as wiring and pipes located within the lot boundary. Alterations to the common property will usually require Body Corporate approval before commencement, so before you start your renovation project, review your by-laws to check what changes require approval. This will save you time and money in starting a renovation project that may otherwise have to come to a standstill if appropriate approval procedures are not followed. Worse still you may be issued with a contravention notice for not complying with the by-laws in place. To help you through the approval process, we have put together the following tips on what to consider before renovating your strata property:

  • Seek Appropriate Approval – Remember that changing the exterior of your property is likely to require Body Corporate approval, especially if it affects the external appearance of your lot. Also if you are planning to change your flooring you will need to consider noise impacts and install appropriate sound dampening materials. Your by-laws may list any specific requirements in place.
  • Timing of Work – The Body Corporate will need to review your application, cross check details submitted against the by-laws, formulate any specific conditions of approval and vote on a proposed motion to consider approval. It is best practice to consider the timing of the approval process that can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the renovation before planning commencement dates with contractors.
  • Notify your neighbours and any on site management – Making your neighbours aware of your renovation schedule is a common courtesy and can help prevent noise complaints. If your Body Corporate has a Resident Manager, it is always worth keeping them informed of your plans so they can assist in ensuring trades have appropriate access, lifts are protected and if applicable, plan holiday lets around your builder’s schedule.
  • Qualified and Licensed Tradespeople – Ensure your builder has appropriate licences and experience in Strata renovations. They will need to follow the by-laws and any Council regulations on noise pollution, to ensure complaints and potential on the spot fines are not received. Most local Councils provides useful advice on noise pollution and building work on their websites.
  • Body Corporate Insurance – To ensure your property is appropriately insured post renovation, you will need to notify your Body Corporate insurer of the specifications and if required, pay any additional premium to the policy due to the increased sum insured.

This article was contributed by Tim Burns. Archers Body Corporate Managers

HOUSE prices in some of Ipswich’s core suburbs are tipped to potentially lift by 20% within a year and masterplanned communities are also set to be hot property.

The median sale price of Ipswich homes for the September quarter was $320,000, up 1.6% on the previous quarter.

Year on year Ipswich’s median house sale price rose 4.6% and there was no change from five years ago.

Booval and Silkstone recorded some of the highest median sale price increases for the quarter and were predicted to climb further this year.

Booval’s median sale price rose 8.2% to $289,500 and Silkstone was up 7.1% to $287,000.

Ray White Ipswich principal Warren Ramsey said these core suburbs and any areas along the railway line were poised for growth.

“It’s not unlikely we could see a 20% rise in 12 months,” Mr Ramsey said.

Karalee also recorded an 8.7% rise on the last quarter, impacted by sales of acreage properties.

It had one of the highest median sale prices for the region at $540,000.

Mr Ramsey said the price bump was promising for the local market and while people were now paying more for good properties, the gap between Ipswich and Brisbane was still huge.

“If every house in Ipswich put 25% on it, it’s still better value than the western suburbs of Brisbane,” Mr Ramsey said.

REIQ Ipswich zone chair Darren Boettcher said masterplanned communities such as Springfield Lakes, Ripley and Augustine Heights would also be boom areas as they provided the lifestyle factor.

“You’ve only got to look at what Springfield has done catering for all the families – you’ve got water parks, green spaces and shopping centres,” Mr Boettcher said.

Mr Boettcher said people were “trading up” to new land packages in Springfield and others were moving to the area to downsize.

He also said Eastern Heights was a good pick for people wanting to invest in a core Ipswich suburb as it was close to schools and sporting fields.

“It’s such a great area, flood-free and with views from some of the elevated blocks,” he said.

Mr Boettcher said Ipswich properties were still being undervalued by about $50,000 so people could get homes in close proximity to Brisbane at much cheaper prices.

“People are starting to realise that heading west makes good financial sense,” he said.

No slowing down for Ipswich’s strong-performing suburbs

HOUSE and land packages and homes near Springfield are being snapped up as property experts predict Ipswich’s sought-after suburbs will not slow down in 2016.

Sales activity was up 12% for the September quarter and Redbank Plains, Springfield Lakes and Raceview had the highest number of house sales.

PRDnationwide Ipswich principal Craig Mendoza said these areas were booming thanks to an abundance of house and land packages enticing buyers.

Mr Mendoza said “affordability and proximity to Springfield” were key factors for many buyers.

“There is so much infrastructure there and there are a lot of reasons buyers would want to live there,” he said.

“Everything is there now – private schools, hospital, cinemas and rail network. The parklands as well are amazing.”

There were 718 house sales in Ipswich for the September quarter and 58 acreage properties sold.

Mr Mendoza said he had seen a trend of young couples wanting new houses on smaller allotments.

“Their first home is a brand new home and land package, not a second-hand house,” he said.

The city’s affordable prices were also a drawcard, he added.

“You can get a new four-bedroom house with all the bells and whistles in the low $300,000s,” he said.

Mr Mendoza said Ipswich was still an ideal option for investors and offered good rental yields.

“Investors should consider Ipswich as a good place to invest in property for their future,” he said.

“There’s more and more infrastructure and growth coming to the region.”

REIQ Ipswich zone chair Darren Boettcher said there was a lot of confidence in the city’s “buoyant” market and expected the growth to continue.

“In the next three to five years it will be strong, steady growth,” he said.

– Brigid Simeoni



Size: About 5sq km with eight parks.

Predominant age group: 0-14 years.

Households: Primarily couples with children/professionals.

Likely mortgage repayments: $1800-$2400 a month.

Ownership: 53.4% of homes owner occupied.



Size: About 18sq km with four parks.

Predominant age group: 0-14 years.

Households: Primarily couples with children.

Likely mortgage repayments: $1800-$2400 a month.

Ownership: 47.3% of homes owner occupied.



Size: About 2sq km with two parks.

Predominant age group: 0-14 years.

Households: Primarily couples with children.

Likely mortgage repayments: $1400-$1800 a month.

Ownership: 63.6% of homes owner occupied.



Size: About 16sq km with seven parks.

Predominant age group: 0-14 years.

Households: Primarily couples with children/professionals.

Likely mortgage repayments: $1800-$2400 a month.

Ownership: 90.9% of homes owner occupied.



Size: About 2sq km with one park.

Predominant age group: 0-14 years.

Households: Primarily couples with children.

Likely mortgage repayments: $1400-$1800 a month.

Ownership: 48.0% of homes owner occupied.



Predominant age group: 0-14 years.

Households: Primarily couples with children/professionals.

Likely mortgage repayments: $3000-$4000 a month.

Ownership: 67.7% of homes owner occupied.



Size: About 2sq km with one park.

Predominant age group: 0-14 years.

Households: Primarily couples with children.

Likely mortgage repayments: $1800-$2400 a month.

Ownership: 67.5% of homes owner occupied.

* Source: CoreLogic RP Data

Advice for real estate agents from the Australian Taxation Office

New foreign resident capital gains withholding tax rules came into effect on 1 July 2016.

The new rules affect real estate with a market value of $2,000,000 or more.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has created a fact sheet for real estate agents, explaining the new rules and what they mean for sellers or purchasers who appoint you to act on their behalf.

More information is available at the ATO’s website at You can contact the ATO with any enquiries.

The Surfers Paradise skyline could be joined by more towers if a proposed campaign to drawn in southern investors goes ahead. Photo: David Clark

THE Gold Coast will roll out the red carpet to supertower-building Victorian developers furious over tight new Melbourne planning restrictions.

Development industry figures are proposing a major nationwide advertising campaign to attract cashed-up southern state builders disgruntled over new regulations which could halt that city’s high-rise boom.

New regulations were announced yesterday would bar developers from being able to proceed with mega towers unless they agreed to pay for major public benefit infrastructure as social housing or parks.

The move was introduced by the Victorian Government to prevent “overdevelopment” of the city centre but a chill on the southern market could be the Gold Coast’s gain according to development industry figures.

Steve Harrison says the Gold Coast could pick up developers upset about changes to Victorian development policies.

Developer Steve Harrison, who played a key role in securing the light rail’s second stage, is pushing for a campaign to advertise the city’s credentials as an “open for business” location in a bid to attract new investors.

“Word of mouth is one way to do it by getting people like Bernard Salt to talk about what is happening here but the other way would be some sort of advertising campaign.

“This is something the council, the state or tourism could be involved in to get the message out there and partially funded by industry.

“We need everyone to know this is the time and the place to invest.”

The Victorian planning controls which were brought in yesterday replaced interim measures introduced last September which had already sparked concerns from the development industry that it would be hindered by the new order of things.

The Gold Coast Bulletin last week revealed that a new wave of southern investors had turned their attention to the Gold Coast on the back of a $6 billion construction industry boom.

The key drivers attracting them to the city included a positive vibe about jobs growth ahead of the Commonwealth Games and the council removing bureaucratic red tape for planning applications.

Meanwhile, moves to change the rules governing high-rises in central Melbourne was yesterday declared an “assault on confidence” by the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s Victorian branch.

The UDIA’s Gold Coast president Finn Jones said the Glitter Strip would welcome any southern developers hoping to invest in the city.

“The Gold Coast is an attractive place for them given the value of properties on offer here, lifestyle and climate,” he said.

Finn Jones says the Gold Coast is attractive to southern investors. Picture: JERAD WILLIAMS

“When you have all those things lining up I think there is great potential for us to welcome developers from the south here.

“We definitely could benefit from this situation because we have a new planning scheme which tales about go-zones for development, a positive council, growth of the city and a great culture for building.”

Some developers, including major Sydney based player William O’Dwyer of Ralan Group have even tipped the best is yet to come for the city.

Mayor Tom Tate he would work with the development industry to grow it while balancing amenity.

“I am happy with our new City Plan and will continue to work with the industry here on the Gold Coast to get the balance right,” he said.

(Source: April 27, 2016 5:51am Gold Coast Bulletin)

A High street shopping village at Cannon Hill is a step closer to reality as developer Anthony John Group prepares the next stage of its $600 million East Village project.
A development application has now been lodged for a new $75 million retail and residential precinct consisting of three, six-storey buildings.Set for release mid-2016, the stage will include the first 1000sqm of retail space, along with 140 one, two and three-bedroom apartments.The project will be built around five kilometres from Brisbane’s CBD.Anthony_John_group_artist_impressionA development application has been lodged for the next stage of the East Village project.

The latest residential stock will include two and three-bedroom ground-floor terrace apartments, secure underground parking and 1200sqm of landscaped parkland.

Designed in conjunction with Cox Rayner Architects, the buildings are deliberately separated to allow light and breezes to flow freely between the spaces with access for pedestrians linking the park and high street.

Anthony John Group CEO Shane Bulloch says buyer interest in the project is strong.

Anthony_John_group_buildingThe proposal includes 140 one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

The current $42 million residential release, The Quarters, is already sold out and due for completion mid-May.

“The first two releases sold out well in advance of completion and we are encouraged by the continuing strength of public interest,” Bulloch says.

“It demonstrates to us that East Village is meeting the demand for excellent quality lifestyle amenity and new apartment offerings in the area.

“We are also pleased by what we can see happening within the development.

“Renters are becoming buyers, buyers are referring friends and family, so there is a real community forming of people who have become passionate advocates for East Village.”

On completion East Village will include shops, cafes, a cinema, up to 1,000 apartments and a hotel, transforming Cannon Hill into a destination hub.

(Source:  by Paula Shearer 20 MAR 2016)

NOW is a really good time to live in Brisbane.

It’s an even better time to own a house in Brisbane as it has just been dubbed the most stable city in Australia.
Brisbane’s average house prices have climbed again for its 14th quarter in a row.
A new report released by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland said average house prices in December last year reached $632,000, about six per cent higher than 12 months ago.
In the September quarter last year, house prices reached $615,000, about $5000 more than what was recorded in the June quarter.
House prices in Brisbane have now risen 14.2 per cent in five years and family homes with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a lock up garage have become hot property, with some even selling for more than the new average price.
A four-bedroom house in Brisbane sold for more than the median house price. Source: Supplied
A four-bedroom house in Brisbane sold for more than the median house price. Source: SuppliedSource:Supplied
REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella said sellers were experiencing higher returns on what they paid for properties and buyers and homeowners could have confidence in the market because of the steady growth.
“We prefer this consistent, sustainable growth over a period of time rather than a booming market,” she said.
“This allows consumers, both vendors and buyers, to have confidence in what the market is doing so there are no nasty surprises around the corner.”

Ms Mercorella said there was a level of fear when buying and selling in Sydney and Melbourne, fear that was just not there in Brisbane.
For those now worried the rising house prices will push them out of entering the market, Ms Mercorella said there were still plenty of properties on the cusp of Brisbane that sold for an average of $500,000.

Fireworks with copyspace at the top..

Fireworks with copyspace at the top..

“Sydney and Melbourne are no comparison when it comes to affordability — when it comes to that, Brisbane is way out in front,” she said.
“We are always conscious of becoming too expensive and yes some people will feel nervous about the Brisbane median hitting the $632,000 mark but the affordability is still strong outside of the Brisbane local government area.”
Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella says Brisbane is a great place to own a home at the moment. Picture: Romy Bullerjahn
Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella says Brisbane is a great place to own a home at the moment. Picture: Romy BullerjahnSource:News Corp Australia
Brisbane is transforming and thriving and Ms Mercorella said that was making it a more desirable place to live.
“We are seeing lots of new units and apartments coming up in the inner city area and we are embracing a new style of living,” she said.
“We also have a number of exciting developments like the Queen Wharf project, which is going to completely transform the face of Brisbane.”
Ms Mercorella said many run down and derelict properties around Brisbane were also being demolished, making room for newer homes.
It is also developing a laneway culture, which Ms Mercorella said was modernising and maturing the city.

ANZAC memorial Brisbane - long exposure shot at night

ANZAC memorial Brisbane – long exposure shot at night

The median housing price is a new record for Brisbane and Ms Mercorella said there were great investment opportunities in the city at the moment.
“Whether you’re a local or interstate investor, we have some of the strongest rental returns around the country,” she said.
“You could get a 60 per cent rental return depending on where in Brisbane you buy.
“Not only are you able to pick up an asset less than what you’d pay in Melbourne or Sydney, but the rate of return in many instances is greater in Brisbane.” reports Holland Park and Holland Park West have the hottest properties in Brisbane at the moment, making it the best place to sell but the most competitive place to buy.
The median house price in Holland Park is $650,000 and $667,000 in Holland Park West.
Windsor, Coorparoo, Taringa, East Brisbane, Wilston, Gordon Park, Burleigh Heads and Camp Hill are also in the list of the 10 best places to own a home in Queensland.

(Source: MARCH 23, 2016, Olivia Lambert @LivLambert)