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Insights

Property Development Bulletin

RK Property Insights March 2016

The latest insights from our Property Development team

In this edition:

News

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PCA: Strong growth in housing finance for owner occupiers

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New data on housing finance shows owner-occupiers are taking up the slack in the housing market but also underline the risk of potential changes to negative gearing.  ABS Housing Finance data shows the value of housing finance commitments increased nationally by 13.2 percent over the 12 months to December 2015 (12 February 2016)

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For more information contact Wai-Hwoon Low, Rosemary Southgate or Mark McKinley.

CEFC releases Energy Efficient Community Housing report

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A new report from the CEFC identifies an immediate opportunity to improve energy efficiency, reduce tenant costs and lift the sustainability of Australia’s cities through low cost community housing (09 February 2016)

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For more information contact Michael Dowling.

CBD program looks set to be extended to smaller offices

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An independent review of the Commercial Building Disclosure program has recommended reducing the size threshold at which offices are obliged to participate, from 2000 square metres down to 1000 sq m. The report found no evidence to support extending the CBD program to other types of buildings, such as shopping centres, hotels, schools and hospitals (08 February 2016)

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For more information contact Rosemary Southgate or Emma Dunlevie.

WELL building standard set to storm the property world

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The WELL Building Standard looks set to shake up the top end of the property industry as much as Green Star did when it burst onto the scene in 2002 (04 February 2016)

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For more information contact John Corcoran AM or Mark McKinley.

Apartments in style as housing starts drive economy

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The ABS Building Activity data revealed that housing commencements recorded 55,532 starts, almost 11 per cent higher over the year with 215,329 commencements. Multi-units completions, including apartments, are being completed in greater volume and will see plenty of new units and apartments available over the coming 6 months (20 January 2016)

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For more information contact Wai-Hwoon Low, Rosemary Southgate or Mark McKinley.

Property industry welcomes Tax Review to assess property taxes against housing affordability

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Australia’s largest industry has welcomed the commitment of the Government to assess any changes to Australia’s property taxes against their impact on housing supply and demand. Modelling undertaken by Deloitte has found that stamp duty is holding back growth, holding back jobs and making our cities less efficient (19 January 2016)

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For more information contact John Corcoran AM.

Real estate agent jailed for trust account fraud

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A suspended real estate agent was sentenced to a maximum term of 40 months behind bars with a non-parole period of 20 months over a $2 million fraud case. The agent siphoned money from the trust account of his agency (10 February 2016)

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For more information contact Mark McKinley.

Residential Zones State of Play Reports Released

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“State of Play” reports have been released for suburban subregions and regional cities, part of the Andrews Labor Government’s review of residential zone changes, introduced under the previous government (06 February 2016)

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For more information contact John Corcoran AM.

Councils intending to apply for a higher rate cap

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The Essential Services Commission today published a list of councils that have notified the Commission of their intention to apply for a rate increase higher than the cap of 2.5 per cent set by the Minister for Local Government under the Fair Go Rates System (02 February 2016)

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For more information contact Andrew Sherman, Michael Dowling or Kate Bartlett.

Residential State of Play reports review

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The Residential State of Play Reports have been released to support the Managing Residential Development Advisory Committee.  The reports discuss the application of the new residential zones and trends in housing development. The closing date for submissions to the advisory committee has been extended to 14 March 2016.

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For more information contact Wai-Hwoon Low, Rosemary Southgate or Mark McKinley.

State Revenue Office: Absentee owner surcharge

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From 1 January 2016, a 0.5 per cent absentee owner surcharge on land tax will apply to Victorian land owned by an absentee owner. If you are an absentee owner as at 31 December in any given year, you must notify the Commissioner of State Revenue of your absentee owner status in writing before 15 January (in the following year) or you may have to pay a penalty.

For more information contact John Corcoran AM or Mark McKinley.

Frontlink Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue [2016] VSC 25

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TAXATION – Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution – GAIC – GAIC levy – Excluded subdivisions of land – Sequential subdivisions – Purpose of subdivision – Planning and Environment Act 1987, Pt 9B, s 201RF – Commissioner of State Revenue v Challenger Property Nominees Pty Ltd [2006] VSC 203; (2006) 63 ATR 65 – R & R Fazzolari Pty Ltd v Parramatta City Council [2009] HCA 12; (2009) 237 CLR 603

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For more information contact John Corcoran, Kathryn Elleman, Wai-Hwoon Low, or Mark McKinley.

Colosseum Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue (Review and Regulation) [2016] VCAT 130

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Review and Regulation List – Land Tax – Primary Production exemption – land in an Urban Zone in Greater Melbourne – whether land substantially used in the business of Primary Production – the business of the applicant – whether a beneficiary of the applicant is engaged substantially fulltime in the capacity of the business of Primary Production carried on on the land – Discretionary Trust – Beneficiaries other than natural persons – Land Tax Act 2005 – s.67 (both prior to and subsequent to 2011 Amendment).

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For more information contact John Corcoran AM.