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News

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


The Secret Agent Report – Digital Cities

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report.

The predominance of technology in our everyday life has rapidly increased over the past decade. From smartphones to smart homes, spearheaded by products like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) are beginning to look like an unavoidable part of modern life.

The predominance of ICT is not solely confined to the personal sphere. Governments and companies are also responsible for an ever-expanding digital infrastructure, particularly in cities. This “digital skin” is made up of millions of sensors which create vast amounts of data on everything from consumer habits to traffic patterns.

In this report, Secret Agent offers an outline of the digitisation of cities, and what the implications of this might be for the future. We primarily draw on a 2014 paper by Chirag Rabari and Michael Storper, but also bring in research from elsewhere.

Access the Digital Cities report now!


The Secret Agent Report – A Turning Point Year: Reflections on 2018

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report.

2018 was quite a turbulent year for real estate, both in Melbourne and many other parts of Australia. Stagnation and negative growth have been touted as being the beginning of a property crash.

This month, Secret Agent will analyse indicators and metrics which affected the Melbourne property market in 2018, including Australian bond yields, auction clearance rates, housing prices, household debt and negative gearing changes. We’ll also discuss how they are likely to affect prices further into 2019.

Access the Reflections on 2018 report now!


The Secret Agent Report – Philip Lowe’s Perspective on Banking Crises

Happy New Year! We have just released our latest Secret Agent report.

Moments in history like now, it’s important to take stock and get into the head of Australia’s most important financial person. Head of RBA: Philip Lowe. 

The Royal Commission’s upcoming report into banking is likely to be a huge deal for banks and future lending practices. Risks remain for banks to be heavily wounded from these findings. 

In this report, Secret Agent wanted to look into Mr Philip Lowe’s views on banking crises. 

Access the Philip Lowe’s Perspective on Banking Crises report now!


The Secret Agent Report – The Zoning Effect

Detroit is largely composed, today, of seemingly endless square miles of low-density failure.” – Jane Jacobs

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

variety of forces affect the real estate market, one of which is zoning controls: local government policies that control the supply of housing in some way. Although they may provide benefits, these controls also push up the price of housing.

In this report, Secret Agent will break down the findings of a recent RBA paper by Ross Kendall and Peter Tulip on the zoning effect.

Access The Zoning Effect report now!


The Secret Agent Report – Car Free City

Traffic congestion is caused by vehicles, not by people in themselves.” – Jane Jacobs

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

In this report, Secret Agent will discuss the benefits of car free cities. We will look at other cities that have gone car free and the requirements to make it work successfully.

As more people choose to live and work in our city centres, cities need to be optimised for people rather than cars. There are various ways of doing this as will be discussed in examples throughout the report.

Access the Car Free City report now!


The Secret Agent Report – Ceiling Height

The sun never knew how great it was until it hit the side of a building.” – Louis Kahn

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

Low ceilings tend to create a more cosy and intimate feeling whereas tall ceilings promote grandeur and luxury. However, if not designed well, low ceilings can leave a room feeling cramped and tall ceilings can make a room feel cold. Both have their place and often we don’t have a choice in terms of the height of the ceiling in our homes and offices.

In this report, Secret Agent discusses some of the indirect implications ceiling heights have on our daily lives.

Access the Ceiling Height report now!


The Secret Agent Report – House Sizes and Efficiency

Small rooms or dwellings discipline the mind; large ones weaken it.” – Leonardo da Vinci

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

House size is an important consideration to many when choosing to buy a home. Historically, bigger has been seen as better. More space meant we could have more things and room to expand. There is also that sense of prestige when living in a large home.

This month, Secret Agent will look at some of the problems with large stand alone dwellings from a sustainability perspective. We will then discuss why smaller is the way of the future in the housing world.

Access the House Sizes and Efficiency report now!


The Secret Agent Report – To Connect or Disconnect?

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

I’ll tell you what hermits realise. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.” – Alan Watts

This month, Secret Agent will discuss the implications of connectedness in designing spaces. Is there such thing as being too connected? We believe that limiting connection is just as important in both the home and the workplace.

Access the To Connect or Disconnect report now!


The Secret Agent Report: State of Apartments

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

“There is now around one occupied apartment for every five occupied separate houses in Australia – compared with one to every seven, back in 1991.” (ABS, 2017)

Apartments are increasingly popular living options for owner occupiers and tenants alike. They are located in some of the best positions, close to schools, transport, work and lifestyle precincts. They are well suited to a variety of audiences, from young professionals entering the property market to retirees looking to downsize, to office workers who want to cut down on transport time, to students who want to reside close to university.

In this report, Secret Agent will take a look at the state of the apartment market in Melbourne and Australia in general.

Access the State of Apartments report now!


The Secret Agent Report: Generation Z

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

They are the latest generation to enter our property market. Generation Z, or those born between 1995 and 2010, are coming of age and many of them will begin their property experience as renters, investors and home owners over the next few years.

For this report Secret Agent decided to take a look at this particular generation in order to get a better idea of their preferences and what this may mean for other buyers and sellers alike.

Access the Generation Z report now!