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Nov 2, 2023


We are thrilled to announce that Caine Real Estate has been honoured as the winner of the Medium Residential Agency of the Year at the Real Estate Institute of Victoria’s (REIV) 2023 Annual Awards for Excellence. The award ceremony took place last night at the Crown Palladium, with a stunning turnout of over 700 attendees from across the industry. An Unforgettable Evening Hosted by the renowned Australian radio announcer and television personality Myf Warhurst, the event was a true celebration of the finest talents and achievements in Victoria’s real estate sector. Jacob Caine, our CEO and the current President of the REIV, had the privilege of giving the opening address and presenting two awards during the evening. Recognition Across the Board Our successes didn't stop there. We are immensely proud that our Operations Manager, Rachel Boggs, was a finalist in the Operational Leadership Award category. Property Manager Ashleigh Sumpter also made waves as a finalist in the Achievement Award category. A Team Effort We want to extend our heartfelt congratulations to every member of our extraordinary team. This recognition is a testament to our collective dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional service to our clients. Looking Forward Winning the Medium Residential Agency of the Year award is an incredible milestone for us, but we're not resting on our laurels. We are committed to continuing our journey towards excellence and innovation in the real estate industry. Thank you to the REIV for this remarkable honour and to all our staff, clients, and partners who make our successes possible. Written by: Toby Campbell Partner & Auctioneer

Sep 25, 2023

Why We Can Expect Slower Rent Growth in 2024

Why We Can Expect Slower Rent Growth in 2024 Rent growth has been on a steady climb for 35 months nationally, reaching an all-time high in July. There has, however, been a noticeable easing in rent increases over the past four months. “Days vacant” and rental enquiry levels have normalised, even decreased in some areas, and application numbers have declined since the July peak. So, what does 2024 hold for the rental market? Three Factors to Watch Interest Rate Changes: Most of the major banks are predicting a decline in the cash rate in 2024. Lower interest rates often stimulate investment in housing, increasing the supply of rental properties and consequently easing rent growth. Slowing Income Growth: Throughout the pandemic, income growth surged due to fiscal stimulus and tight labour market conditions. As income growth slows, renters may reconsider their housing choices, possibly opting for shared accommodations. This could redistribute demand and contribute to slowed rent growth. We are seeing this trend regularly, groups of three, four and five renters applying for properties that have historically rented to couples or colleagues/friends. The same number of renters remain in the market as a segment, however, they’re applying for fewer properties. Rental Affordability: Rent costs have reached an alarming 30.8% of national income as of March 2023. The stretched affordability limits how much further rents can rise before renters make significant changes, like moving to more affordable areas. The Broader Impact Several market indicators point to an impending slowdown in rent growth. Cities like Canberra are already seeing a decline in rents, and other areas like Hobart and Melbourne may soon follow suit. This is further supported by internal migration trends; renters are moving to more affordable areas, thus reducing demand in pricier markets. The Need for Reform While the expected slowdown in rent growth is noteworthy, it's not a cure-all for rental affordability challenges. Ambitious initiatives, like the Federal Government aiming to build 1.2 million homes over the next five years, can go a long way in making rents more manageable. As we’ve discussed in this blog previously - supply is fundamentally the most significant factor in this issue. The Victorian State Government released its “Long-term Housing Plan” this week, which included a raft of initiatives designed to ease the pressures on housing.  We welcome many of these proposals - it is, for the most part, a positive and meaningful policy set.  That is, however, contingent on the delivery of the promised outcomes. This is a policy area that, at both the Federal and State level, governments have disappointed the Australian people in recent decades Let’s hope this time it is different.

Aug 25, 2023

What Does Your Property Manager Do?

What Does Your Property Manager Do? Understanding a Crucial Role in Real Estate Property Managers are the unsung heroes of the real estate world. Often perceived through the lens of a few negative experiences, their reputation may not always reflect the incredible value and complexity they bring to the property management landscape. Let's dive into the key responsibilities that make the role of a residential Property Manager so essential: Rent Management: Ensuring timely rent collection, monitoring and chasing arrears, and managing rent adjustments, Property Managers play a vital role in maintaining a steady income stream for rental providers (rental providers). Routine Inspections: Conducting regular property checks to assess condition and compliance; they ensure the property is maintained according to the lease agreements and identify issues now and those that may be coming. Client Liaison & Care: Serving as the main point of contact between rental providers and renters, Property Managers provide consistent communication, problem-solving, and relationship management. Capital Growth Protection: Through strategic planning and oversight, they contribute to protecting and enhancing the property's value over time - by maximising rental returns, making recommendations for property maintenance and upgrades, and placing high-quality renters that care for the property. Insurance Coordination and Claims: Property Managers handle the coordination of insurance policies, manage claims, and liaise with insurance providers, alleviating the stress of navigating this frustrating landscape from rental providers. VCAT Case Preparation and Representation: Preparing for and representing rental providers in VCAT cases requires expertise and dedication, ensuring rental providers' rights are protected. Monthly & EOFY Financial Reports: Detailed financial reporting helps rental providers keep track of income and expenses, aiding in tax preparation and financial planning. Market Analysis and Rent Reviews: Staying ahead of market trends, Property Managers ensure rents are in line with the current market, conducting regular rent reviews. Maintenance & Repair Project Management: Coordinating maintenance, repairs, and renovations, Property Managers ensure that properties are in top condition, enhancing renter satisfaction and long-term value. The role of a Property Manager goes far beyond mere administration. They are strategic partners, quasi-legal advocates & financial consultants, as well as hands-on managers. Their breadth of responsibilities requires expertise, empathy, and efficiency, all geared toward making the lives of rental providers and renters smoother and more prosperous.

May 12, 2023

A Costly Saving

In today's edition of The Age newspaper, Domain section, an article titled ‘I want an honest sale’: How a Brunswick man is selling his home without an agent, focused on the titular “Brunswick man’s” efforts to sell his home without the assistance of a real estate agent. Putting aside the implicitly slanderous tenor and content of the article, it is worth noting that there is nothing (legally) that prevents a property owner from conducting their own sales campaign. Some may view this as a bold move towards independence and a prudent “cost-saving” strategy in an economic climate in which the price of most things is skyrocketing. It is, however, important to consider the risks associated with selling a property without the expertise of a real estate professional and the related specialists that agents “project manage” in supporting the sale of any property (i.e. legal, photography, builders, etc.). One of the most significant risk factors for selling a property without a professional real estate agent relates to the legal complexities involved in all real estate transactions. Selling a property in Victoria demands extensive documentation and contracts and is highly regulated with strict compliance requirements. If not handled correctly, missteps and errors can lead to costly legal issues and potential fines and penalties. Real estate agents are required to understand the legislative framework and have the knowledge and experience to navigate these complexities and ensure that all legal and compliance requirements are met. Real estate agents employ a wide range of marketing tools and techniques that can effectively market a property to a much wider audience. This develops a larger pool of potential buyers, which ultimately increases the chances of a successful sale, with the best price result. Without these tools and techniques, selling a property can become a daunting, costly and time-consuming undertaking. Determining the true value of a property is another area where a professional real estate agent can be invaluable. Real estate agents have access to a wealth of information on comparable properties, market trends, and other factors that can impact the value of a property. True, nowadays, much of this information is accessible to anyone willing and capable of searching for it or paying a fee to access it. But analysing and interpreting the data isn’t the same as having it. Real estate professionals are immersed in this data constantly, receiving inputs from buyers, sellers, colleagues, and aggregators throughout the day, every day.  Objectivity is critical when determining price. People, all of us, are at the mercy of cognitive biases that influence how we regard and value our own possessions - those things important to us personally. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been told by a property seller that their blue feature wall must add at least $50,000 in additional value, I’d have around six dollars…but I think you get my meaning. Negotiating with potential buyers can be a delicate and complex process that requires skill, finesse, and a thick skin. Real estate agents have the experience and expertise to negotiate on behalf of their clients and achieve the best possible outcome. Price is only one of many elements that may require negotiation: settlement terms, timing, inclusions and exclusions among others. Being able to adroitly manage simultaneous negotiations, leveraging one against the other to maximise the seller’s preferences, requires significant experience. Selling one's home is a deeply personal and emotional experience that can cause offence to the seller if (when) potential buyers provide negative feedback. Real estate agents act as a buffer between the home seller and potential buyers, providing an objective perspective and managing the emotions involved in the transaction. This can help to ensure that the home seller is not offended by negative feedback and can maintain a positive outlook throughout the selling process. Ultimately the market system makes the argument for using an agent - if it was cheaper, easier, and the outcomes were better, everyone would sell their own property, and estate agents would cease to exist. Selling a property without the assistance of a professional real estate agent may seem like a cost-saving measure, however, it is important to consider the risks involved. Legal complexities, marketing expertise, determining the true value of the property, negotiation, and emotional involvement are just a few of the areas a property professional can deliver invaluable assistance. It is important to carefully consider all aspects of the selling process and make an informed decision that will ultimately lead to a successful sale and a positive experience for all parties involved. Written by Jacob Caine

May 5, 2023

The Real Estate Rollercoaster

Greetings and salutations, my dear readers! Today, we are going to talk about a very serious topic: the latest rise in interest rates and its impact on the real estate market. Now, I know what you're thinking: "Wow, this is going to be a super fun and entertaining read!" And you know what? You're absolutely right! Let's start with the basics: the interest rate. It's like that friend who's always changing their mind about where to go for dinner, except instead of sushi or pizza, it's about how much money you have to pay to borrow money. And recently, the interest rate has been rising faster than a helium balloon in a room full of needles. So, what does this mean for the real estate market? Well, for starters, it means that getting a mortgage keeps getting a little bit more expensive. And if you're looking to buy a new house or refinance your current mortgage, you might have to dig a little deeper into your piggy bank to make it happen. But hey, at least you still have a piggy bank, right? But wait, there's more! With immigration levels going up, the demand for housing is also increasing. This means that there's more competition for the available homes, which in turn drives up the prices. And if you're a renter, you're probably feeling the pinch even more. It's like trying to catch a break in a game of musical chairs where there are fewer chairs than players. So, what's the solution? Well, I'm not a financial advisor (I'm just a real estate agent, after all), but I think we can all agree that the best way to avoid the impact of rising interest rates and a competitive housing market is to... wait for it... live in a van down by the river! I mean, think about it: no mortgage, no rent, and you get to be one with nature. Plus, you can tell everyone you're a minimalist and they'll think you're super trendy. All jokes aside, the real estate market can be a tough nut to crack, especially when interest rates are on the rise and there's increased demand for housing. But don't give up hope just yet. With a little bit of patience, creativity, and maybe a few extra coins in your piggy bank, you just might be able to find your dream home after all. Or, you know, a really cool van.

Apr 28, 2023

ChatGPT - Help or Hinderance?

ChatGPT is a wonderful, beast - see below what happens when you are running late on the blog post so you decide to outsource to AI technology - my task to the bot “Can you please write a blog post on the Melbourne real estate market, but make it a little funny”, the below is unedited for your enjoyment. Melbourne Real Estate: Where the Prices are as High as the Trams Melbourne, the cultural hub of Australia, is a city renowned for its lively atmosphere, delicious food, and expensive real estate. Yes, you heard that right, folks. If you're thinking of buying a house in Melbourne, be prepared to fork out a fortune. But don't worry, we're here to help you navigate the crazy world of Melbourne real estate, and maybe even get a laugh or two along the way. First things first, let's talk about the prices. If you're looking to buy a house in one of Melbourne's trendy suburbs, you better be prepared to hand over your first-born child (just kidding, please don't do that). In all seriousness, the median house price in Melbourne is around $900,000. Yep, you read that right. $900,000. And that's just the median. If you want something a little fancier, like a house with a backyard or more than one bathroom, you're looking at closer to $1.5 million. You know what else you can get for that kind of money? A small island in the Bahamas. Just saying. But it's not just the house prices that are high in Melbourne, it's everything else too. Want to grab a coffee? That'll be $5 please. Want to go out for dinner? That'll be $50 per person, minimum. Want to catch a tram? That'll be $4.50 for a two-hour ticket. Yep, even the trams in Melbourne are expensive. But hey, at least they're reliable (most of the time). So, why are the prices so high in Melbourne? Well, there are a few factors at play. Firstly, Melbourne is a desirable place to live. It has a thriving arts scene, great food and coffee, and is generally just a cool place to be. Secondly, there's a limited supply of housing in Melbourne, especially in the inner suburbs. This means that demand is high, and prices are driven up as a result. Finally, there's the good old-fashioned Aussie attitude of "she'll be right". Basically, Aussies are pretty laid-back and don't tend to get too worried about things like rising house prices. It's just part of life in Australia. But don't worry, all hope is not lost. If you're looking to buy a house in Melbourne, there are a few things you can do to make the process a little easier. Firstly, be prepared to compromise. Maybe you won't get the house of your dreams, but you'll still be able to find something that ticks most of your boxes. Secondly, consider buying outside of the inner suburbs. Sure, you might have to commute a little further, but you'll save yourself a lot of money in the long run. Finally, and most importantly, don't take it all too seriously. Remember, it's just a house. As long as you have a roof over your head and some good coffee nearby, you'll be just fine. In conclusion, the Melbourne real estate market is a crazy, expensive, but ultimately lovable beast. If you're thinking of buying a house in Melbourne, be prepared to pay through the nose, but also be prepared to fall in love with this amazing city. And if all else fails, just buy a small island in the Bahamas instead. It's probably cheaper anyway. Written by ChatGPT

Apr 14, 2023

Is Build-To-Rent Housing's Silver Bullet

With rental affordability or the ‘rental crisis’ making headlines on a daily basis the government is under pressure to offer more housing choices and affordable options to Australians. One solution which we seem to be hearing more and more about is the Build-To-Rent (BTR) model. So how does it work, and how will it shape the future of housing in Australia? What is the BTR Model? In the BTR model, developers build large-scale apartment complexes designed explicitly for long-term rental use. These developments are typically managed by a single company, which handles leasing, maintenance, and other property management tasks. One of the main advantages of the model in Australia is that it allows for the creation of large-scale, high-quality rental properties in areas where the demand for housing is high. This can help to alleviate the shortage of affordable rental properties in major cities, particularly in areas close to employment hubs and public transportation. Additionally, the BTR model offers several benefits for investors. Unlike traditional buy-to-rent properties, BTR developments are purpose-built for long-term rental use, which can result in lower maintenance costs and higher rental yields. This can provide a stable and predictable income stream for investors, even in times of economic uncertainty. Australia’s BTR market is new and small compared to other countries. A report prepared by Ernst & Young estimated that the sector has the current size of $16.87 billion with only 11 operating build-to-rent projects, and another 72 projects in the pipeline. That’s just 0.2% of the total value of the residential housing sector. If the sector grew to just 3% of Australia’s residential stock, it could be valued at $290 billion, according to the report’s conservative estimates. The BTR model is becoming an increasingly popular investment strategy in Australia, particularly in major cities where demand for rental properties is high. While the model offers several advantages for investors and renters alike, it also faces several challenges, particularly around land and construction costs and regulatory hurdles. As the demand for rental properties continues to grow, however, it is likely that the model will continue to play an important role in Australia's real estate market. Written by Peter Hannon

Apr 6, 2023

Have a ‘Hoppy Easter”

Easter, a holiday celebrated by millions around the world, is just around the corner. From chocolate eggs to hat parades, this holiday is a time to come together with family and friends to celebrate new beginnings and the arrival of Autumn. However, it seems like local supermarkets start celebrating Easter way too early, with aisles filled with chocolate eggs and bunnies before we even celebrate Valentine's Day. Despite the commercialisation of Easter, the holiday still holds a special place in many people's hearts. It's a time to gather with loved ones, enjoy delicious meals, and participate in fun activities like egg hunts and decorating Easter baskets. One of the most exciting parts of Easter for children is waking up to an egg trail that leads to baskets filled with goodies left by the Easter Bunny. It's a time for parents to play along with the magic of the holiday and watch as their children's or grandchildren’s eyes light up with excitement. The Easter Egg hunt is a classic tradition that never gets old. From the fresh dew on the grass to the Autumn leaves crunching underfoot, searching for hidden eggs is a fun and exciting activity for all ages. And let's not forget about the inevitable sore tummies from indulging in all the sweet treats! At the end of the day, Easter is about more than just chocolate eggs and bunnies, whether you celebrate Easter for religious reasons or to spend time with family and friends, it's a holiday that brings people together and fills our cupboards and fridges with delicious leftovers. So, let's enjoy this Easter season, savour the sweet treats, and take some time to appreciate the joys of Autumn. And who knows, maybe we'll even find that one egg in the backyard that was never found. Written by Jess Wilking