How To Finance A Home Renovation

Home renovation loan

6 Ways to funding a house reno

Thinking of renovating your home? Firstly, you should have a plan as most renovation projects take time, energy and cost money. We have listed six ways you can finance your house renovation project.

If the renovation is an extension to your home or a kitchen refit your best bet is have the plans drawn up. Then get at least 4 quotes if you have to engage the services of a professional builder. This will make it much easier for the lender when trying to give you approval.
There are multiple options that can suit your “dream”. We have listed 6 below that may help you with funding your renovation.

Handy Tip
Before you begin bear in mind that if you increase your loan amount the amount of interst you have to repay will increase. Make sure you budget for this.

1. Equity in your home loan

What is Equity? Equity is the difference between the bank’s valuation of your house and the amount you owe on the loan.
When it comes to renovating people will typically dip into the equity that is available in their home loan. The formula lenders use is the current value of your home prior to any renovstions being caqrried out. So the first test you must do is calculate the cost of the renovations. If the reno costs are lower than the equity you have avalable to you then you can talk to your lender. The NAB has a useful Equity Calculator that can estimate the amount you can potentially borrow.

2 Construction loan

A constuction loan is very much like a home equity loan as mentioned in Point 1. The difference is that the lender will value you the property after the renovations are completed. The lender will not loan the total amount upfront, The lender will stagger their lonas as the project moves forward. Paying each bill as it comes in means you don’t pay interest on your building costs until work’s actually been done. This give you better cash flow.

3 Line of credit

This may be the least popular ways of financing your home renovation. It’s basically a credit card type facility with a higher interest rate, and only has interest only repayments. Interest is only paid on the money you use, and as you pay down your balance, you can continually re-borrow the funds without going through the hassle of reapplying.

You can get the same benefit from doing a home equity loan as per Point 1, but on a lower rate. Care must be taken not to get in over your head in terms of serviceability. Make sure you can make repayments on the line of credit that will reduce the principle.

4 Personal loan

If you’re only making minor or cosmetic renovations then a renovation personal loan is all you may require. Personal loans are usually set up to $30,000, but interest rates on personal loans are higher than on home equity loans.
Personal home loan renovations

5 Homeowner mortgage

If you’re planning to completely transform your home and undergo a major makeover, this may be a good option as you can spread the cost over a long period of time. You could even possibly borrow up to 90 per cent of the value of your home and take advantage of mortgage rates, which are often lower than credit card and personal loan rates.

6 Credit cards
If the amount of money you are going to spend on your renovation is minimal then a credit card could be a good option. However interest rates are a lot higher for credit cards compared to standard mortgage rates. The interest on a credit card can be 21.45%.

Why could a credit card be beneficail to paying for your renovation? There are many guides that suggest the credit card is the way to go. But i suggest you exhaust all avenues avaliable to you before deciding. The credit card option is for very small reno projects. As mentioned the interest rates are much higher but if the cost of renovating is small this could be less than the estashblishment fees on other types of loans.

Rental Market News – 1st Edition 2021

Jason Mudford General Manager OBrien Real Estate

2021 starts in holiday mode

Hi Guys, it’s Jason Mudford from OBrien Real Estate with another edition of the Property News for 2021 where real estate information is on the house.

Historically in Metro Melbourne at this time of the year and into early February we have quite a bit of change over in renters, for all sorts of reasons from people relocating for work, moving for schools and universities and normal tenancy expirations, however this year is a little different and not as busy due to covid. However, in regional markets the rental market has a lot of activity again for many reasons, from people wanting to take back possession of that holiday home, sell the property and perhaps cash in on the recent high buyer demand and the from people relocating from the city because they can work from home.

I thought for our first edition of the weekly rental news we should update you on how 2020 finished off. December Rental data was released by from Corelogic earlier in January.and inside the rental market we saw prices remain flat for houses, over the 12 months we have seen a slight increase of 0.7 percent, but the year for units was not so kind with a 7.6% drop in prices which would mainly be attributed to the inner city market within the high rise market. Rental yields overall in Metro Melbourne is 3.1% with only Sydney out of all capital cities fairer worse off with 2.9%. Regional markets in Victoria faired better with a 4.3% yield.


For investors in the marketplace in 2021, here is how median prices ended last year in Metro Melbourne, median prices for combined dwellings rose approximately $10,000 to a little over $682,000 with Melbourne still recovering from it’s extended lockdown over the other states posting an annual decrease of 1.3%. Most forecasters of the property market in 2021 and into 2022 are forecasting strong growth, NAB’s Andy Kerr is forecasting property price growth upwards of 5 per cent in each of the next two years nationally.

Investor news Melbourne 2020 Corelogic


That’s all for this week, I’m Jason Mudford and remember the information provided is of a general nature you should always seek independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice in relation to your unique circumstances.

Property News Update – 1st Edition 2021.

Dean O'Brien Director of OBrien Real Estate

2021 starts in holiday mode

Hi Guys, it’s Dean OBrien with another edition of the Property News for 2021 where real estate information is on the house.

Despite 2020 finishing on a very positive note with strong sales activity and price growth, 2021 for Metro Melbourne has started with listing activity slow to come out the blocks. The contrary though is occurring in regional holiday areas with agencies being run off their feet with both listings and sales.

Once the majority of holiday makers return from their sabbaticals later this month, we expect metro listing activity to increase as home owners start to put their plans in place and progress their property aspirations. And why is property so aspirationational and why does almost 1 in 2 people say property is their first choice when it comes to investment? This graph will help to explain. Although the graph is only showing up to December 2017 you get the idea how interest rates drive real estate prices, you can see since the late 80’s when interest where at 17% and how prices changed according to the interest rate movements.

There is a lot of commentary out there regarding the post covid boom but when you look at this graph it’s simply a low interest rate environment that will quite simply move more and more people to property investment.

House price charts and interest rates



Here’s the December Home Price data released by from Corelogic earlier in January.
Corelogic home price data 2021
In Metro Melbourne we saw combined dwellings price increase overall by 1.0% for the month which is approximately a $10,000 increase in the median house price. In Regional Victoria we again saw exceptional growth with 1.8% for the month finishing the year 5.6% up with a median house price a little over $416,000.

In market news this week. China’s ‘V’-shaped economic recovery is complete with economic growth now at pre-pandemic levels in the December quarter. In fact, GDP is at its strongest pace in two years.

Population numbers released shows Victoria has lost its crown as the fastest growing state which it held for the past 6 years. Queensland is now the fastest growing Aussie State.

Mortgage deferrals fall to a quarter of their peak according to the latest APRA figures. Frozen mortgages are down to below $50 billion, while frozen business loans are down to $7.6 billion, from a peak of $195 billion and $55 billion respectively.

ABS reported, council approvals to build new homes rose by 2.6 per cent to 28-month highs in November. House approvals rose by 5.9 per cent but apartment approvals fell by 3.9 per cent.

Moving onto the OBrien numbers for the week, we had a lighter than usual week in listing numbers with 75 new listings launching, 76 properties going under offer, 75 selling with a top price sale of $2.77 million.
OBrien Real Estate Listings, Sales and Homes Under Offer January 9th – 15th, 2021

Sales listings OBrien Real Estate 2021

That’s all for this week, I’m Dean OBrien and remember the information provided is of a general nature you should always seek independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice in relation to your unique circumstances.

How To Create An Outdoor Room In Your Backyard

Outdoor retractable awnings

Add an extra room to your home

When people are looking for a home or describing their home they might say it has 4 bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, 2 bathrooms and 2 garage spaces. Typically a room is where you can sit by yourself or with others. But have you ever considered adding an extra “room” in your backyard?

Outdoor backyard room

You can simply create an outdoor “room” by building a decking and then using a retractable awning as a cover.

You can build the decking to the side of your home or as an extension to the end of your home. You may want to add plants.

Retractable Awnings

There are many trypes and designs of retractable awnings from folding arm to vertical awnings in different shades and colours. They can be operated manually or electrically. Retractable awning are self supporting and can extend to around 4 metres.

Furnishing your Outdoor Decking
Outdoor decking and awning
This can depend on the size and space of your decking. You can allow for plants, small table and chairs. If your decking is also going to be a BBQ area then you may want to incorporate a bench that is weatherproff and can accommodate a bar fridge, sink and BBQ top.

Fun Summer Activities

Fun summer activities

Create Your Own Bucket List For This Summer

Luckily here in Australia, our Christmas break coincides with summer and end of year celebrations. A lot of people will head down to the beach or go on a holiday and some will prefer to stay at home. Even if you go somewhere on a holiday you may find times when you have nothing to do. Here is a list of activities you might want to engage in this summer.

    • Water Balloon Cricket – Sometimes, combining two summer activities can make for an exciting way to play outside. Just take a foam cricket bat and fill up some water balloons. Now, you can ay cricket with a splash!
    • Make a Kite – There is always something satisfying when you make your own kite and then watch it take flight. Here is a simple video that will show you how to make a simple kite.

Beach Cricket – An Australian favourite past time is playing cricket on the beach. Stand in the water and take those spectacular diving catches. All you need is a bat, ball and a wicket of your own making.

  • New Food – Why not try something that is completely different from your usual menu of food. Visit this website for some great food ideas.
  • Road Trip – Pick a spot on the map, get in your car and just drive. There are very few activities in this world that are as fun-filled and as exhilarating as going on a road trip either solo or with your family and best friends.
  • Backyard Camping – Your kids may be too small to go camping at a campsite or park, but why not start in the backyard? All you need is a small tent, some mattresses and blankets and a portable light.
  • Backyard Stargazing – Put out a few blankets and lie down in your backyard, and gaze upon the stars. Show your kids how to locate Orion’s Belt and many other stars. Or you can track the multitude of satellites and even the ISS space station that drifts across our path on a nightly basis. Simply download any number of satellite tracker Apps that are available.


outdoor camping

  • Bike Rides – A simple activity that you can do around parks with your friends. Get out in the fresh air and exercise and have fun at the same time.
  • Local Playground – Go the local playground or skate park with friends and hang out together and play on the swingsets, merry go rounds, and more.
  • DIY Sponge Balls. This is a fantastic homemade game. Buy some fun looking sponges or use what you got! Drench them in water and soap and get ready to be soaked in the hot summer fun!
  • Local Swimming Pool – Most residents are not far from a swimming pool or aquatic centre. These are generally a safe fun way to spend a day.
  • Make a video – This is up to your imagination. Just about everyone has a video recorder that records audio. Create the family video with your kid’s video and record whatever you want. Make someone the director, assign another role to a recordist and choose your actors. Watching the playback will be a lot of fun.
  • Make Tie-Dye T- Shirts – Do you have any white Tshirts you would like to breathe some life into? Why not make tye-dye T-shirts? Again, this is something that the entire family can get into and enjoy as you all try to outdo each other with your various brands of creativity. This Tie-dye video will show you in 6 steps on creating your T-shirts.
  • Run Through Sprinklers – If it’s hot then the simplest of activities can generate the most fun. All you need is water a sprinkler head attached.
  • Go 24 Hours without the Internet, Radio or Television – Good luck with this one.
  • Go to a Drive-in Movie – If you are looking for a cheap family, friends or date night, how about going to a drive-in movie? They may be more difficult to find these days, but they are a whole lot of fun when you do. Here is a great website that lists all the Drive-In theatres in Australia. A special mention to the open-air cinema at Wilsons Promontory in Victoria. You can sit in comfy bean bags and you might get a surprise when a wombat passes by.


We want to wish everyone a safe, healthy and Happy New Year.

Real Estate Cairns and Beaches

Introducing Daniel Arnott and Monique Cruse.

Husband and wife team take the reins of OBrien Real Estate – Cairns & Beaches.

The new office will service sought-after locations, including Palm Cove, Trinity Beach, Clifton Beach, Trinity Park, Kewarra Beach and the Smithfield area, and target investor, family and luxury-seeking demographics.

Mr Arnott and Ms Cruse originally from Queensland has over 10 plus year experience in the real estate industry with eight of those years working in Melbourne under OBrien Real Estate.  The couple and their 4 children decided to move back to their home state over 12 months, living in Trinity Beach with their family.

Daniel’s secret to success comes from client satisfaction.”I always believe in serving my clients with an unwavering commitment through transparent and open communication along with an outstanding degree of personal care”.

Prior to Real Estate, I worked within the management group at a leading 5-star hotel, meeting and greeting everyone from the locals to A list celebrities, after 12 years in the Hotel Industry the urge to follow my passion for Real Estate overtook, and soon after my very own agency. With a dedicated approach to every property transaction, my clients develop a clear point of difference. utilising traditional real estate methods with refined and innovative technological improvements ensures that I lead from the forefront capturing a broad demographic of buyers.

Daniel and Monique are excited to join OBrien Real Estate to provide the best in service in real estate! The pair noted, “we are thoroughly familiar with the OBrien Real Estate processes and values, and are excited to begin this next chapter”. Daniel won the 2016 Changed Agent Award for OBrien Real Estate and was a regular top performing agent regularly featuring in the Top 10 Agents of the group. OBrien Real Estate is considered Victoria’s fastest growing real estate network and we see this group will provide our clients with a powerful partnership.

Ms Cruse, always believe in serving our clients with an unwavering commitment through transparent and open communication that puts the customer first. “I understand the level of emotional stress that can be involved in property transactions, and I am passionate about guiding our clients through the process.”

Daniel can be contacted on 0487 953 333 or and Monique on 0487 943 333 or  To view current sales listings visit



How To Make A Traditional Christmas Cake

Traditional Chrsitmas pudding

Cooking a classic Christmas Pudding

The Australian summer lends itself to cold dishes and salads. But Christmas is different. Roast dinners and pudding have always been on the menu for a lot of Australians. It’s a tradition that has continued for centuries. It doesn’t mean we can’t also have crayfish, prawns and a fruit salad. But, there is something nice about having a beautiful roast and following it up with a hot dessert. Even curry is a good option. As long as it’s not too hot. I love curry but in summer it’s a little too hot for me.

So, what is the perfect pudding for Christmas? What fruits do we add and do we include alcohol? Personally, I prefer to leave the alcohol out. I don’t really want kids tasting the brandy even though the alcohol is burnt out when cooking. Actually, about 5% of the alcohol still remains after an hour of cooking.
Classic Christmas pudding
For this exercise, we are going to stick to the classic Christmas pudding. The preparation time is about 20 minutes and the cooking and steaming time is 8 hours. Then allow another 1 hour to cook on Christmas day prior to serving. This method should feed 8 people.

Traditional Christmas Pudding Ingredients

  • 50g blanched almonds
  • 2 large Bramley cooking apples
  • 200g box candied peel (in large pieces) or all citron if you can find it
  • 1 whole nutmeg (you’ll use three-quarters of it)
  • 1kg raisins
  • 140g plain flour
  • 100g soft fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 100g light muscovado sugar, crumbled if it looks lumpy
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250g packet butter, taken straight from the fridge

For the ginger butter

  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • grated zest of half an orange
  • 5 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped


  • STEP 1

    Get everything for the pudding prepared. Chop the almonds coarsely. Peel, core and chop the cooking apples. Sharpen your knife and chop the candied peel. (You can chop the almonds and apples in a food processor, but the peel must be done by hand.) Grate three-quarters of the nutmeg (sounds a lot but it’s correct).

  • STEP 2

    Mix the almonds, apples, candied peel, nutmeg, raisins, flour, breadcrumbs, light muscovado sugar, eggs and 2 tbsp brandy or cognac in a large bowl.

  • STEP 3

    Holding the butter in its wrapper, grate a quarter of it into the bowl, then stir everything together. Repeat until all the butter is grated, then stir for 3-4 mins – the mixture is ready when it subsides slightly after each stir. Ask the family to stir too, and get everyone to make a wish.

  • STEP 4

    Generously butter two 1.2 litre bowls and put a circle of baking parchment in the bottom of each. Pack in the pudding mixture. Cover with a double layer of baking parchment, pleating it to allow for expansion, then tie with string (keep the paper in place with a rubber band while tying). Trim off any excess paper.

  • STEP 5

    Now stand each bowl on a large sheet of foil and bring the edges up over the top, then put another sheet of foil over the top and bring it down underneath to make a double package (this makes the puddings watertight). Tie with more string, and make a handle for easy lifting in and out of the pan. Watch our video to see how to tie up a pudding correctly.

  • STEP 6

    Boil or oven steam the puddings for 8 hrs, topping up with water as necessary. Remove from the pans and leave to cool overnight. When cold, discard the messy wrappings and re-wrap in new baking parchment, foil and string. Store in a cool, dry place until Christmas.

  • STEP 7

    To make the brandy butter, cream the butter with the orange zest and icing sugar. Gradually beat in the brandy or cognac and chopped stem ginger. Put in a small bowl, fork the top attractively and put in the fridge to set. The butter will keep for a week in the fridge, or it can be frozen for up to six weeks.

  • STEP 8

    On Christmas Day, boil or oven steam for 1 hr. Unwrap and turn out. To flame, warm 3-4 tbsp brandy in a small pan, pour it over the pudding and set light to it.

Real Estate Property Forecasts Melbourne 2021

Dean O'Brien Director of OBrien Real Estate

Hi Guys, it is Dean OBrien from OBrien Real Estate with our property forecasts for 2021.

It is our view at OBrien Real Estate that in the first half of 2021 we will see much of the same price growth we have seen since the easing of lockdown restrictions over the last 3 months of 2020. Many economists are bullish on the years ahead for property in Melbourne. SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher is now expecting prices to jump by 7 to 11 percent in Sydney and by 2 to 6 percent in Melbourne and NAB’s Andy Kerr is forecasting property price growth upwards of 5 percent in each of the next two years nationally.

The factors that form our opinion evolve around the fundamentals that consumer confidence is at 7 year high. There is cheap liquidity, the continued strong first home buyer activity, renewed investor interest, and tight housing turnover. Although it still remains to be seen what effects on turnover the stamp duty concessions will make. Loan deferments at the peak of the crisis in June accounted for 10.1 percent of loans. That number has dropped to 3.4 percent as reported by Moody’s Investors Service data. Although rising coronavirus cases in the USA and Europe have recently weighed on investor sentiment, we believe the vaccination rollout will restore a bullish optimism.
OBrien Real Estate property forecast 2021
Investors returning to the property market in 2021 will continue to improve as the safe haven of the banks will barely return anything on your money when you apply the rate of inflation. With the economy expanding in 2021 through heavy government stimulus, investors who sat on the sidelines in 2020 will find certainty back into bricks and mortar. Investors in 2020 accounted for less than 25% of total sales which is in fact is the lowest participation level on record.

Investors will no doubt be lured back by the potential of bigger capital gains and the low interest rates. The next major catalyst for market growth will continue to come from the first home buyer with their incentives continued until 30 June 2021. We believe their impact on demand will flow through to most suburbs through detached home sales and not so much apartment sales.

Population growth in Australia in 2020 hit a snag due to the pandemic and we know population growth is a main driver of economic growth in this country. However, with no horizon for overseas holidays we have seen local spending increase through retail and local tourism. In 2018 we encountered our slowest birth rate on record lowering the average to 1.74 babies born per woman, and although the figures are not yet released for 2020, speculation is our birth rate has lowered to around 1.6.

Economic stability in 2021 will continue to improve. China trading will improve and we will see stock market growth continue and perhaps surpass the February 2020 all-time record. The good news is flowing at the moment on new jobs growth through JobMaker and JobTrainer and infrastructure projects. Overall the economy is slowly recovering with business confidence rising and our international trade surplus now at $7.46 billion.

We hope to see an improvement in housing supply in 2021, flowing on from the recent increase in building approvals created through Home Builders Grant and social housing projects from the government which in turn should yes improvement in stock turnover. In terms of predicting suburbs that should do well, our thoughts are – Family suburbs with great access to schools like Berwick, Essendon, Blackburn, Glen Waverley, Bentleigh and Bundoora will continue to be very popular in 2021. Suburbs that will provide well for investors in 2021 are those that are close proximity to CBD’s, transport links and universities like Footscray, Brunswick, Caulfield North and Geelong. The most popular growth corridors for first home buyers in 2021 will be similar to 2019 and 2020. The postcode of 3064 in the city’s outer north will continue to be the most popular followed by 3029 in the city’s outer west, along with Clyde North and Officer in the South East.

New land that has opened up in Sunbury, Plumpton and East Pakenham is proving to be popular as buyers look for new digs. Regionally across Victoria, we see great opportunities for growth in Ballarat and Geelong along with Bendigo, Wangaratta and Warragul.

I’m Dean OBrien and remember the information provided is of a general nature you should always seek independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice in relation to your unique circumstances.

Have a Merry Christmas and a safe New Year.

How To Cook and Decorate a Gingerbread House

Decorating Christmas gingerbread house

Create a Gingerbread Christmas table centrepiece

A beautifully made gingerbread house, covered in candies and lollies is a good addition to the Christmas table. Here is a completely homemade gingerbread house recipe including how to bake, construct, and decorate with candy and lollies. When it comes to decorating gingerbread house its up to your imagination.


  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup dark molasses
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 5 malt stick lollies
  • 51 green M and M’s minis
  • 2 x 380g packets M and M’s
  • 4 mini candy canes
  • 19 red and white starlight mint pinwheels
  • 3 sweet strawberry bricks, thinly sliced
  • 2 yellow jubes, halved horizontally
  • 1 green and white marshmallow twist
  • 30g Flake chocolate bar
  • Icing sugar, for dusting


Step 1
Make Gingerbread Dough: Place flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and butter in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add syrup, egg and milk. Process until dough just comes together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until just smooth. Shape dough into 3 discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Step 2
Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Roll out 1 dough disc between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Place ‘Front and Back’ template on the dough. Cut around the template to form the front of the house. Place on 1 prepared tray. Cut out rectangular door shape from the front of the house. Place on tray. Using the template as a guide and a 3cm round cutter, cut out around from the front of the house to form a window. Re-roll trimmings. Place ‘Front and Back’ template on the dough. Cut around the template to form back of the house. Place on remaining prepared tray. Using the template as a guide and a 3cm round cutter, cut out around from the back of the house to form a window. Refrigerate dough on trays for 10 minutes or until dough is firm. Bake dough for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and just firm to the touch. Stand gingerbread on trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 3
Repeat step 2 with second dough disc and ‘Wall’ template. You will need to cut 2 wall pieces from the dough. Using a 4.5cm heart-shaped cutter, cut 1 heart from the centre of each wall to form a window.

Step 4
Repeat step 2 using remaining dough disc and ‘Roof’ template. You will need to cut 2 roof pieces from the dough.

Step 5
Make Royal Icing: Whisk egg whites in a small bowl until foamy. Add icing sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until smooth and combined. Stir in lemon juice.

Step 6
To assemble the house, spoon Royal Icing into a snap-lock bag. Snip off 1 corner. Pipe icing along base and side edges of 1 wall. Stand upright on cake board, using a small glass for support. Pipe icing along the base and sides of the front of the house. Stand upright on cake board and attach to the wall, using another glass for support. Repeat with remaining wall and back of the house to form the house. Stand for 1 hour or until the icing has set. Remove glasses.

Step 7
Pipe icing along top edges of walls. Place 1 roof panel on the house so bottom slightly overlaps. Use a glass to support under the eave. Hold to secure. Pipe icing along the top edge of the roof panel. Place remaining roof panel on the house. Use a glass to support under the eave. Hold to secure. Stand for 2 hours or until set (see notes).

Step 8
Using a picture as a guide and a little icing, attach malt sticks and 1 M and M’s mini to the front door. Set aside (do not attach to the house). Using a picture as a guide and a little icing, attach M and M’s to the roof. Pipe icing along top of the roof and attach 1 red candy pole. Hold until secure. Using a little icing and 4 of the remaining red candy poles, attach poles to corners of the house, trimming to fit. Hold until secure. Using a little icing and remaining red candy poles, attach poles to the base of the house, trimming to fit. Using a picture as a guide and a little icing, attach 2 candy canes around each heartshaped window. Hold until secure. Using a picture as a guide and a little icing, attach 10 starlight mint pinwheels to the house. Hold until secure. Using the picture as a guide and a little icing, attach strawberry brick pieces to front and back of the house for windows (2 at the front and 3 at the back). Using a picture as a guide and a little icing, attach jubes to front and back of the house. Hold until secure. Using a picture as a guide and a little icing, attach remaining green M and M’s minis to the house. Pipe a little icing around the frame of the door. Using a picture as a guide and a little icing, attach the door to the front of the house. Using a picture as a guide and a little icing, attach green marshmallow to the roof as a chimney. Hold until secure. Pipe remaining icing along edges of roof for icicles. Using a picture as a guide, arrange remaining starlight mint pinwheels in front of the house for a path. Cut the Flake into pieces to resemble logs. Arrange logs in front of the house in a stack. Dust house with icing sugar for snow. Serve.

Weekly Property News Dec 4 – Dec 11

Dean O'Brien Director of OBrien Real Estate

“The world we know is moving so fast”

Hi Guys, it’s Dean OBrien from OBrien Real Estate with another edition of the Property News for 2020 where real estate information is on the house.

Although there is still much of 2020 left and particularly in real estate, I still thought it pertinent to reflect on the year in real estate. One thing that I’ve learnt the most during the 2020 pandemic is that change will move faster now than it ever has. People will now want to get on with it more than ever. The second thing I have learnt the most is about “predictions”. I learnt that most people got them wrong. Not because of the fundamentals but because they feared the worst of covid-19. But marketplaces are hard to pick, which is why it is always better to work on time in the market rather than timing it. And the third thing I learnt is Australia is still the luckiest country in the world. We have excelled again, and the world has long envied our country and taken notice. The day that immigration recommences Australia will again be the place to be.

Financial institutions and economists are now making predictions for 2021 and some for the next 2 to 3 years. Their predictions are now being based on fundamentals and not fear and the fundamentals without Covid-19 are very strong. The first fundamental is confidence and with the UK starting vaccinations this week you’ll see the confidence grow past the current 7-year highs once the results come in and other countries begin their process. The next fundamental is the Reserve Bank stating rates will not rise for at least 3 years. The third fundamental is the economic stimulus in creating spending, investment and jobs that will support families in their growth for a better future which is what we are all striving for.

Indicators that stimulus is working is coming through many sectors across the board showing strong activity. New car sales are up 12.4 per cent on November – the first annual increase in 2½ years. The trade surplus rose by $1.6 billion, Australia has now posted 34 successive monthly surpluses. Retail spending is up 5.1% in Victoria in the month of November. There’s an 80% increase in loans for residential new builds. First home buyer loan commitments are up 48.6 per cent on the year to an 11 year high. At the peak of the crisis in June, 10.1 per cent of loans, including mortgages, were on payment deferral holidays but this has dropped to 3.4 per cent by the end of October.

Now let’s take a quick look at the numbers for the week. Private sales reported across Victoria were again strong with 1686 sales. Auctions sales continued to be strong with yet again another 80% clearance rate as reported by The numbers at OBrien Real Estate were also strong with 105 new listings hitting the market, 112 coming under contract and 88 confirmed sales and a top price recorded at $1.477 Million.
OBrien real estate property news December 4 2020

2020 wasn’t a trendsetting year so to speak but there will be some new living trends that will come out of 2020 in how people prioritise their life, where they choose to live and how they work, how they travel, their goals aspirations and thought processes on life. I believe people who have strongly practised delayed gratification will make decisions based on their life and not the market or timing of it as a lockdown can certainly magnify an unhappy existence in the home.

That’s all for this year and my market updates, I’ll return in the new year with more insights that I hope assists you in your quest for a better future. I’m Dean OBrien and remember the information provided is of a general nature you should always seek independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice in relation to your unique circumstances.