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Category Archives For: The Secret Agent Report

The East West Link – One Step Closer to Reality

The East West Link Project moves one step closer to reality. 
Secret Agent has paid careful attention to the upcoming East West link since releasing the East West Link Report. 
The Victoria State Government has today announced its selection of Lend Lease as the company responsible for building the project. This will create many opportunities/ disadvantages in Melbourne over the coming decade. 
Lend Lease today announced that is has entered into an estimated $5.3 billion Public Private Partnership with the Victorian State Government to finance, design and construct stage one of the East West Link in Melbourne. The project remains subject to financial close which is expected to occur during October.
Lend Lease Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Steve McCann, said, “Lend Lease is pleased to be announced as the Victorian Government’s partner to deliver this important infrastructure project. The East West Connect Consortium will leverage it’s international and local expertise to deliver an outstanding outcome for the people of Victoria.”
We encourage you to read the East West report to examine this in further detail. Property owners and aspiring property owners should try and get as much information as possible around this topic to optimise their financial decisions. 


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The East West Link Report – It’s here.

On the 20th of August 1860, Burke and Wills led a 19 man expedition to cross the continent of Australia, beginning the journey from Melbourne. 23 horses, 6 wagons and 26 camels were the unsophisticated transport methods helping the 19 men navigate the Australian landscape that was previously uncharted by European descendants. 15,000 Melburnians gathered at Royal Park to cheer off the great explorers. Now 154 years later, the exact spot that Burke and Wills set off from has become the subject of controversy for many Melburnians.

Directly below the starting point of the expedition will sit the proposed East West Link tunnel. This new infrastructure is set to revolutionise transport in Melbourne. From camels to concrete tunnels, we explore the latest milestone soon to be added to Melbourne’s fabric. In this special report Secret Agent takes a look at the most recent road infrastructure project in Melbourne: The East West Link.

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible” – Frank Zappa

Our cover image this month has been created by freelance illustrator Jasmin Neophytou. Frank would have been proud of Jasmin. Her works deviate from the norm by way of her playful use of colour, shape and proportion. Her cover brings a lightness to the serious topic of the East West Link project.

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The Value of Apartment Views

Some have a ‘stunning view’ on the top of their priority list when searching for a property, and others have more of a subconscious desire. Secret Agent have looked at two prestigious apartment buildings in Inner Melbourne; The Melburnian and The Hallmark, to analyse the monetary value of the different views available.

“… as the fact of our success thrust itself more clearly into my mind, I felt a quiet glow of satisfaction spread through my body — a satisfaction less vociferous but more powerful than I had ever felt on a mountain top before.”
– Sir Edmund Hillary, atop Mount Everest

This month’s cover is inspired by the ultimate view – the view of the Earth from space, and it’s ocean and atmosphere that provides it’s majestic blue hue.

Bringing us back down to Earth (but not quite to sea-level!) is the quote above from Sir Edmund Hillary, the mountaineer from Auckland, who together with Tenzing Norgay became the first humans to reach the world’s highest peak: Mount Everest.

What an incredible view to be the first to experience!

The Secret Agent Report August 2014 - Apartment Views

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The Secret Agent Report – Car Parks

What is a Car Park actually worth in the Melbourne CBD and inner city? A very important question when searching for a property (residential or commercial) is; “Does it have a car space, and if so, how many?”  Value for the individual is decided by considering many variables and lifestyle needs.

The perceived value of a car space is undeniable – even renters without a car still enquire about parking for visitors, or for a possible car purchase in the future. The option to be able to acquire a car and have a place to put it is important to a lot of people. It’s about choice.

This edition of The Secret Agent Report is about using data to connect a monetary figure to the value we already know exists in car spaces. This kind of data is becoming more and more useful as the market becomes more competitive, and space becomes more scarce.

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The Secret Agent Report July 2014 - Car Parks

Gardens – The Secret Agent Report

“The need to create gardens – to fashion from nature places of order and retreat – connects us to the ancient civilizations of Sumer and Egypt, Greece and Rome.” – TERENCE CONRAN

This month, The Secret Agent Report investigates the potential value a landscaped garden can add to property prices in the inner city. Find out which Inner Melbourne suburb showed a 18% premium in sale value for sales including a notable garden. As always, we track how the Inner Melbourne market has been performing over the last 6 months. 

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The Secret Agent Report - Gardens

Downsizing. The Secret Agent Report.

2014 is the year of Downsizing. Jodie’s written a guide on how do it.
We also look at Offshore investment; just how much is the Australian market being influenced by the Chinese factor?Our Residential and Commercial Property wrap up reveals some surprising stats… which inner city location had a 54% increase in its housing market? You’ll have to read to find out.

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This months cover image is a slight tip of the hat to the wonderful film poster for Hitchcock’s Vertigo, created by the masterful Saul Bass.

Rather than using the ‘whirlpool of terror’ imagery, we’ve cleaned it up! Downsizing may seem daunting, but this special report
by our resident Investigator, Jodie Walker helps to clarify and promote new ways of thinking about the task.

Saul Bass (1920-1996) created imagery for many films, for great directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick. His distinct typographic style has enjoyed many ‘revivals’ over the years, and the playfulness of his imagery is still celebrated today.

– Saul Bass

Pools – Take a Dive!

The Secret Agent Report - POOLS

To pool or not to pool? A question that has always been a hotly debated topic among home owners and renovators. This edition of The Secret Agent Report sets out to determine how much more buyers are willing to pay for houses that feature a swimming pool. Many property developers and professionals believe adding a swimming pool to a property will increase its value. However, is it worth the associated construction and maintenance costs? Ten different suburbs located in Melbourne’s inner East and South East were investigated.

Please sign up via the thinking page to receive this months report to your inbox, and don’t forget to browse the archives.

Look out for our mid month special release of The Secret Agent Report, this time looking at Downsizing.

A note on this months Cover artwork…

In this report we pay tribute to one of the kings of pool lifestyle photography; Slim Aarons. On the cover, you can see our interpretation of his iconic image of the American writer C.Z Guest and her son at their Villa Artemis, Palm Beach, Florida (1955).

Pages 3 and 5 reference Aarons’s lesser know photograph Poolside at Laguna Beach (below).


2014 – The Secret Agent Report

The diffusion of information theory, radiant orchid and masculine interior design. In this months report, we change up our thinking yet again to explore trends and how they work within the market. Cosmo has created a mood board on Pinterest to back up his thoughts – please see the pinterest board here.

Paul also discusess key themes that we will see through to the end of the decade.

Please visit our Thinking Page to sign up to receive the report monthly.


Sign up through the Thinking Page to receive The Secret Agent Report to your inbox monthly.

Copenhagen VS Melbourne

This holiday edition we take you away from Melbourne to Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen. Why? It’s the world’s most liveable city, according to leading design and current affairs magazine Monocle. Melbourne was featured as the No.2 city in the world, and while this is great, we cannot rest on our laurels!

The Monocle report ranks cities according to safety/crime, international connectivity, climate/sunshine, quality of architecture, public transport, tolerance, environmental issues, access to nature, urban design, business conditions, proactive policy and medical care. Secret Agent decided to head to Copenhagen this Christmas to see what all the fuss is about! Spearheaded by Paul Osborne and Julian Faelli, the focus of the trip was to document some details of the city, and find in those details some lessons to be learnt. We hope you enjoy this special insight and wish you a super year ahead for 2014.

The Secret Agent Report