The latest happenings in the Melbourne property market. For our Essays and The Secret Agent Report, see our Research page.

Category Archives For: Innovation

Improving the energy efficiency of our homes

The REIV has posted an article on improving the energy efficiency of our homes. A worth while read for everybody.

Interesting to note is the possibly of a section 32 for a property ‘for sale’  containing environmental ratings down the track. What a terrific idea moving forward.

‘Web 2.0′ Agents

Late last week I had a fascinating conversation over the phone with an agent from Vancouver Canada.

This guy is literally changing the way Real Estate is done with a very focused 'Web 2.0' business model.

Ian sells real estate using no print media whatsoever, 100% online.

The vancouver market is incredibly tight at the moment. Many vendors are looking for alternative ways of marketing, with a campaign targeted 100% for the web, Ian is doing very well and finding a strong niche in the market place.

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The twilight auction

For those still searching for a home prior to Christmas, you might see a number of Twilight auctions about.

These auctions are typically done on a Wednesday or Thursday night, mostly in the couple of weeks prior to Christmas.

It’s well worth a look if you’ve never experienced one; they certainly have a different feel about them. Twilight auctions can also have the benefits of some highly motivated vendors eager to reach a deal with a prospective purchaser.

Often those who have missed the advertising deadlines and want to sell this side of Christmas adopt a ‘twilight auction’.

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Property and climate change

seariseRecently I’ve had the opportunity to deal with Dr Peter Fisher who is a leading climate change adaptation specialist.

Peter has co-ordinated a climate change risk assessment for the Port Phillip city council, this is one of the first reports done in Australia.

Climate change is now an accepted reality by the public, films such as Al Gore’s ‘An inconvenient truth’ have helped break this issue into the wider public.

Something Dr Fisher has been following for some time is the affect rising sea levels are having on our coastal towns and communities.

According to the United Nations Climate Panel, an 80% rise in sea levels could be expected by 2100 unless carbon dioxide levels are reined in.  Peter expects it could even be more severe.

In Victoria, VCAT recently overturned a plan of approval from the South Gippsland shire for the construction of six dwellings on the Toora coast due to risks involved with climate change.

Dr Fisher points to the fact that while many homes will be above an expected rise over the coming decades, this does not stop the elevated storm surge that has potential to reap havoc on coastal properties.

One of the major consequences in the infancy of these coastal changes could be the crippling insurance premium payable to live by the coast.

Any property purchase close to the coast and bay should be carefully considered for such risk.

More to come on this issue I’m sure…

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A new model for future housing?

shipping4Can you guess what this home is constructed out of?

The answer is Shipping containers.

With an expected housing deficiency of 1 million homes expected in 5 years, many are looking for alternatives to help deliver affordable and speedy housing in outer communities.

Australia doesn’t have many homes, however it does have plenty of shipping containers to be utilized!


It actually makes sense, however I could never imagine the government initiating something like this. The media would have a field day and it probably wouldn’t be a great political strategy!

They have many advantages however:

  • They are in abundance
  • Cost effective
  • Construction is almost complete from the get go
  • Environmentally friendly
  • The potential to be actually funky and stylish

Please note: I’m not supporting this, just throwing it out there!

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Web portals

The real estate portal is just so important to the property buyer.

Want to check out how other comparable countries search for property over the web? Then check out some of these sites:

Globrix, Zillow, Trulia

What would be great is if some of the portals let the user ‘pan’ property listings with more ease.  Why should the user have to troll through 3 pages of listings, why not have smaller intros to the property and have listing run not only down but also across the screen in an uncluttered format?


Google street maps

Maybe one of the biggest innovations ever to occur in the way we search for real estate happened over the past view days. (Thanks Athan)

Okay, maybe not as big as the web itself but Google Street views is going to change forever the way a buyer interacts with a prospective property.

Google Street Maps allows the user to look at a property like your right out the front of it! Scroll 360 degrees around the location: Brilliant. has already incorporated the maps into its property listings. Other websites will follow soon.  

Check it out here

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The green factor

Very shortly you’ll be able to do a ‘green search’ on some of the nations leading Real Estate internet portals as more and more people seek environmentally friendly housing.

A great idea…
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Sell your house on eBay?

logoEbay_x45The REIV has rightly picked up the rise of online auctions being conducted for property and the fact how very little legislation covers these type of purchasers.

As more and more online auctions begin to emerge, the online environment must offer protection to all parties involved as we are really heading into unknown territory.

Already if you click here you can see a number of houses for sale around Australia on eBay and it’s only a matter of time before new platforms emerge with more advanced online property actions.

In Sweden a new type of online property service has emerged that involves the use of complex mapping systems that allow each individual to place a bid on any house in the country, that’s right any house in the country!

Each property owner can check out to see how many ‘red buttons’ they’ve had on their property which signifies interest and offers placed on the property. This would be placed by buyers who have located their preferred location and then driven past a number of homes they feel would suit and then place a bid ‘subject to inspecting’

It’s a pure web based setup and anyone in the country can access for free, think Google maps as to how the whole system looks.

A purchaser potentially finds his/her dream home while a vendor finds his/her dream price, interesting stuff!

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New real estate portal

Australia’s largest Real Estate web site ( ) has launched a new website:

With I don’t always find the portal user friendly, the great feature with the new real estate portal is how it gives the user the opportunity to view a birds eye view of their chosen suburb and what’s for sale in that location.

As property buyers generally these days have more flexibility to the type of accommodation they buy in the inner city, they have become more passionate about the position of the property and whether it’s near transport, shops, café’s, bars etc. means you can start conducting lifestyle searches and first pick the position before the property, great stuff!

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