by Stephen McGee

October’s Auction clearance rate was again on the upwards move recording an annual high of 39% to that date. Equal levels of activity in Brisbane throughout November have further cemented the experts opinion that the market has turned the corner & is certainly on the move in Brisbane.

Unfortunately though along with a fast paced market also comes a “Caveat Emptor” – (Buyer Beware). National Property Buyers have been witness first hand to properties selling for more than the asking price over the last two to three months.

Stephen McGee comments: “When we find a good property with all the fundamentals in place, we know it is going to be snapped up fast. We try to get it off the market as soon as we can for the best price that we can because we know that ultimately this property will be involved in a competition for buyers.”

This creates an environment that will be conducive to multi offers being received on the property. This more often than not will mean a higher price than the seller is expecting. This is like a “closed auction”. Every buyer is silently bidding against another buyer but has no idea of the competitors offer. A selling agents dream!

Not since the highs of 2010 have we been witnessing this scenario to the level that it is in now & we are definitely encountering this scenario more & more recently.

Of course we do not engage in this type of “bidding” as more often than not the property is bought by an overly eager owner occupier who has fallen in love with the property or the location. However please do not let this deter you from entering the property market or even expanding your portfolio, as it is still a good time to buy.

The major piece of advice that I can proffer to any prospective buyer is “research, research and more research.” If you go into the property market prepared then you are less likely to make a mistake.

Of course, a time poor property buyer can always engage the services and experience of NPB Brisbane to secure the property for them.

Brisbane Auction Clearance Rates

Auction Clearance Rates in Brisbane have been steadily on the rise since June this year.

Brisbane Real Estate Clearance Rates

Housing affordability improving

Date November 27, 2012

Would-be homebuyers should take heart from the latest survey showing a steady increase in housing affordability in all states. The Housing Industry Association/Commonwealth Bank housing affordability index released on Tuesday, showed a rise of 5.3 per cent in the September quarter, for a reading of 65.8.

Read more here.

Confidence in Australia’s housing markets is gathering pace

By Tim Lawless on November 22, 2012 in Consumer confidence

National Time to buy a dwelling index for Australia

Queensland Time To Buy Index

One of the subsets of the Consumer Sentiment Index is the ‘Time to Buy a Dwelling Index’, which has shown a significant improvement nationally and across each of the States. The national index is now showing the highest reading since September 2009 and most of the state level indices are approaching their 2009 highs as well. The indicators are further affirmation that the Australian housing market has moved out of the down phase of the cycle and there is mounting evidence that conditions will continue to improve. Average selling time has shown an improvement, so has the level of vendor discounting and auction clearance rates are holding firm above 50%. Additionally we have seen values on an improving trend since the beginning of June. Despite the October fall in the RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index, it is looking like the November reading will be another positive month for the capital city housing market, with values up 0.3% over the first 21 days of November.

Read more here.

Fastest Growing Suburbs in Brisbane – Units

Rank # Suburb Median Price $$ Trend + %
1 Bellara $223,000 +97%
2 Lawnton $355,000 +22%
3 Sherwood $422,000 +22%
4 Everton Park $453,000 +17%
5 Taringa $443,000 +17%

Fastest Growing Suburbs in Brisbane – Houses

Rank # Suburb Median $$ Trend + %
1 Brookwater $490,000 +45%
2 Wilston $780,000 +21%
3 Brookfield $1,078,000 +19%
4 Elimba $499,000 +12%
5 17` mile Rocks $602,000 +11%

How we put our properties that we buy for our clients under the microscope

DIFFERENT WAYS Sellers try to camouflage serious defects in the properties they are trying to sell

National Property Buyers will always insert a building Inspection clause in any property that we purchase on behalf of our clients, however after many years of purchasing properties, both for clients and personally, I have evidenced many different tricks that some sellers will use when preparing their property for sale.

When NPB are assessing any property for their client a strict modus operandi is followed. We have a “how to” list that I stick to diligently, we enforce a strict guideline and checklist for any property that we purchase.

I will share a few of the uncovered tricks here with you and some of the methods that we use to detect any flaws in a property that you may not ordinarily see.

Cracks in Walls & Ceilings

The first thing that I look for when searching for defects is cracks in wall joins and splits in cornices and joins.

A great indicator of any movement in a property is cracking to walls and ceiling joints.

Potentially expensive repairs to this occurrence can be avoided by looking for any evidence of repair works or re-plastering to walls & ceilings.

  • Check for new paint work that is slightly out of colour with existing paint.
  • Always look inside any built in robes or cupboards to check for signs of cracking. These are areas that sellers will not expect you to look.

Plumbing & Wet Areas

It is not uncommon for sellers to avoid using a particular bathroom in a property for fear of any misdemeanor’s with plumbing issues being detected. The sellers will then give the bathroom a fresh paint job & a quick re-grouting of the tiles.

You should check for this and always wherever possible look underneath the source. Check for wet timber and sub standard plumbing. During a building inspection always run all the taps simultaneously for at least a minute and check for any loss in pressure.

Also a quick look around the drainage areas and a detection of any wet soil could point to an issue with cracked drainpipes etc.


One of the most important factors of assessing any property is really what you cannot see with your eyes but feel with your feet and other senses.

Sometimes when I walk into a property I can feel a loss of balance straight away. So unless I am at that time a little down with the flu, I know there is an issue.

If you can not tell if the floors are level by look alone then check the caps between window frames & walls and also between the floor boards and skirting.

For timber floors a few light jumps in intervals around the house can detect any rot or sponginess in floorboards. Again a quick look under the house can reveal a lot. Check for replaced stumps or newly installed screens to the subfloor to prevent access.


Replacement of roofs can be costly but can be prevented by performing a few checks first.

Look for signs that the eaves are damaged or buckled. This could be an indication of guttering defective guttering or roofing.

Check for loose tiles & that corrugated sheets are in place, in good condition and firmly fixed to roof. Again a quick check to the source; the roof space, should uncover or confirm any defects to roof and framing. Sometimes sellers will install supports into the roof space to hold up any broken or termite damaged timber framing.

So there you have a quick “how to” guide to prevent a few costly mistakes. One lesson that I learned though in my early days or property buying is “always get help from a professional”.

Get a building inspector that you can trust, not one that was recommended to you from the selling agent.

Most importantly decide if any of the defects that you find are sufficient to exit from the purchase of the property or a tool for a new negotiated price.