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National News Australia

Identifying trends among Australia’s underperforming suburban property markets

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Identifying trends among Australia’s underperforming suburban property markets

Sydney and Melbourne have been the first capital city housing markets to record negative monthly growth rates this year, joined most recently by Hobart in April, its first fall after 22 consecutive months of growth.

But within each of those areas as well as Australia’s other capital cities, micro-market trends are emerging, coinciding with higher interest rates, rising stock levels, lower confidence, and a limit to how much buyers are willing or able to spend.

The suburbs which recorded the lowest quarterly change in value growth for the three months to April, listed here, highlights predominantly inner city and upper quartile suburbs found in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

In cities still recording an upswing in values such as Brisbane, underperforming suburbs are more skewed towards high-density areas weighed down by a high proportion of units. In Adelaide and Perth, suburbs that may be classified as unaffordable dominated the list.

CoreLogic Research Director Tim Lawless said most of the areas identified registered upper quartile housing values, with a median well in excess of the broader region.

“We are seeing this trend more broadly, where the upper quartile of the market has softened out more visibly than the middle to lower end of the market,” he said.

“These softer conditions come after a stronger performance across the premium end of the market through the growth phase. Historically more expensive housing markets tend to lead the upswing, but also lead the downturn, which is what we seem to be seeing at the moment.”

Exceptions to the upper quartile trend can be found among Brisbane suburbs. The city as a whole remains in an upswing phase, with values up 29.8% in the year to April. However, among the growth are sectors of the market which haven’t performed as well, such as higher density inner ring suburbs including South Brisbane and West End where slight falls in values were recorded in the last three months.

In Darwin, a handful of the city’s more affordable suburbs are ranked lowest for growth rates possibly due to less constraints on housing affordability. Mr Lawless said the dwelling value to income ratio in Australia’s top end is far lower, at 3.9, relative to other capital cities, which could be underpinning demand among buyers upgrading.

Ahead of CoreLogic’s monthly Home Value Index release on June 1, Head of Research Eliza Owen said in a downturn, expensive, and more leveraged suburbs, were sensitive to changes in credit conditions.

She said while the characteristics had long been observed in the real estate sector, the RBA also published similar research insights in 2020.

“Higher income households tend to hold more housing debt to income, so do property investors,” Ms Owen said.

“That’s why the high end of the market can often be more sensitive to changes in interest rates or credit conditions, but this can also affect some other popular investment markets like inner city areas.”

The biggest common factor across Sydney and Melbourne, and house markets in these cities more broadly, is the potential for higher volatility among more expensive pockets.

“These are also areas that have experienced some of the most extraordinary gains through the cycle, and have been a bellwether for other parts of the market historically,” Ms Owen said.

“If we take Beaconsfield in Sydney’s inner city for example, it may look like the area has not had much growth, but that’s because it had a much earlier cyclical peak, at annual growth of 33.7% back in the 12 months to October 2021.

“Sharp deterioration in demand across the suburb has now dragged down the annual growth rate to just 2%. The same can be said for houses in Surry Hills in Sydney’s inner east, where annual growth peaked at 28.9% in the same month, and nearby Darlinghurst at 26.9%. These higher-end house markets generally have higher peaks in growth during boom times and sharper declines in the downswing phase.”

Considering dwelling values – the combination of houses and units – Ms Owen identifies clear trends particularly among new buyers, who are not able to pay vendor prices due to limited borrowing power and the affordability ceiling, which will impact some of the more expensive parts of each market.

“There tends to be micro-markets where dynamics such as stretched affordability can manifest in a single suburb pushing buyers into the next most affordable suburb,” she said.

“One good example of this is Newtown, a dynamic and popular suburb in Sydney’s inner west. It’s also relatively expensive with a median dwelling value of almost $1.5 million yet it recorded a quarterly decline of -5.5%, which suggests buyers may be at their limit and are being forced to find alternative options within their budgets.”

An analysis of the lower, middle and upper quartile markets highlights the volatility of higher value areas, which is currently leading the downturn.

 

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Fit for the Long Haul: NHVR Urges Truck Drivers to Prioritise Well-Being This Men’s Health Week

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Fit for the Long Haul: NHVR Urges Truck Drivers to Prioritise Well-Being This Men’s Health Week

 

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is urging truck drivers to prioritise their mental and physical health during Men’s Health Week.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto OAM highlighted the unique challenges truck drivers face, such as long hours on the road and extended periods away from family and friends. “Men’s Health Week is a crucial time for truck drivers to reflect on their well-being and make it a top priority,” Mr. Petroccitto said.

Truck drivers are vital to Australia’s logistics network, but the demands of the industry can take a toll on their health. Long periods of sitting and the isolating nature of the job contribute to higher rates of mental and physical health issues among heavy vehicle drivers.

“It’s imperative for all truck drivers to remember that their mental and physical health comes first,” Mr. Petroccitto emphasised. He advised drivers to manage their health by exercising, eating healthy foods, and getting enough rest and sleep.

The NHVR is calling on industry partners to support a culture that values the mental health of truck drivers and reduces the stigma associated with seeking help. Through the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative program, the NHVR is enhancing mental health resources for truck drivers, including funding projects like OzHelp Foundation’s Health in Gear program.

OzHelp CEO Caroline Walsh noted the high risk of suicide among truck drivers, the second-highest industry group at risk in Australia. The Health in Gear program offers on-road presence, online support, information, and counselling services for transport and logistics workers.

“Truck drivers need to know that while the road may be long, they are never alone,” Ms. Walsh said. OzHelp provides free counselling and 24/7 phone support for transport and logistics workers and their families at 1800 464 327.

For more information on the NHVR’s initiatives and resources available for truck drivers, visit the NHVR website.

 

For more New South Whales news, click here.

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KEEP UP THE MOMENTUM FOR ACTION ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

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KEEP UP THE MOMENTUM FOR ACTION ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

By Janelle Saffin MP, Member for Lismore

I have fought for action on domestic violence for more than 40 years.

Recent horrific cases of domestic violence murders have led to a public outcry and media campaigns for action. I welcome the Minns Government announcement of a $230 million emergency package for DV prevention and support.

BUT we must keep up this momentum and not go quiet on this issue.  I want to share with you this excerpt of what I said in the last session of Parliament. (Edited for length)

DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE

Ms JANELLE SAFFIN (Lismore) (20:16): Domestic violence must stop. We all know it. We all say it. Molly should not have died, and her death cannot be in vain. There is a willingness and mobilisation on behalf of the whole community that I have not seen in the more than 40 years I have been involved in advocacy around domestic violence. I thought when I came back to this place that I could do some other things—but I cannot. I absolutely have to re-engage with everyone on trying to stop domestic violence.

Domestic violence is more than the physical act of violence; it is a spectrum of behaviour. In sociological terms, the spectrum extends from circumlocution—the derogatory comments, the bad words, the put‑downs—to extermination, which is murder. Women experience domestic violence right across that whole spectrum. It is not just being a little bit scared; it is living with terror. That absolute terror dominates those women’s lives at the hands of someone who is supposed to be a loving partner—someone they love. It is “What do I wear? What do I think? What do I do? Who do I talk to? Who do I text, because my phone will be monitored?”. Family and friends are moved away, but the perpetrator makes it look like the woman is doing that. Every act is under subjugation.

For women in that situation, it is like living with a sometimes benevolent dictator. Everything they do is circumscribed. It is hard to imagine raising children in that environment. These things have happened for a long time. I set up the Far North Coast Domestic Violence Liaison Committee. I worked in a refuge for years. Earlier, I have been at the forefront of changes, including changes to the laws. There was a Crimes Act, but women were not seen as worthy of protection under that law.

I was looking at the headlines and I thought, I hope they do not disappear quickly like they often do on this issue. I will read some of those headlines: “We’re sick of living in terror”, “This has to stop”, “How many more women have to die?”, “It was murder waiting to happen”, ,,”Time to tackle this crisis in our community”, “‘You get ostracised in a small town if you speak out'”—if you are the domestic violence victim. We know that it can happen anywhere, but it happens to a greater degree in some of those smaller country towns. “Why country women are sitting ducks”, “Misogyny driving violence” “It’s time for men to get uncomfortable”, and “Bush in plea for more DV support”.

The headlines go on and on. (..) I note that in the package the Government has introduced we are looking at perpetrator behaviour. We have to do that. I wish I had 50 minutes, not 5 minutes, to talk about this.

Dr Hugh McDermott: Five hours.

Ms JANELLE SAFFIN: Yes, five hours. We need to open up. On International Women’s Day I said, “We’re so sedate. It’s so polite. We’re having these wonderful lunches. Aren’t we lovely?” I said, “We need to be on the street screaming.” That is what I am doing here.

Link to full speech here.

 

For more National Australia News, visit here.

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US giant Hard Rock flatly denies a takeover for The Star

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US giant Hard Rock flatly denies a takeover for The Star

 

Hard Rock International has unequivocally denied any involvement in a takeover bid for The Star Entertainment Group (ASX: SGR). The US-based casino and hospitality giant released an official statement overnight refuting claims that it is part of a consortium aiming to acquire the Australian casino operator.

The denial came in response to a statement from The Star, which suggested that Hard Rock was part of a group exploring a “potential transaction” with the company.
“Hard Rock International wants to clarify that it is not engaged in, nor has it authorized, any discussions, activities, or negotiations related to a proposed bid for The Star,” the company stated. “Furthermore, Hard Rock International has not permitted the use of its brand in any proposed bid for The Star by any third party.”

This rebuttal has created confusion, as The Star’s previous statement identified Hard Rock Hotels & Resorts (Pacific) as part of the consortium, implying a connection to Hard Rock.

The US company strongly disputed this claim, even suggesting potential misuse of its brand. “Our brand is built on a legacy of integrity, excellence, and a commitment to our guests, partners, and team members worldwide,” Hard Rock stated. “Any unauthorized use of the Hard Rock name in business dealings is taken very seriously. We are currently investigating this matter and will take all necessary legal actions to protect our brand and reputation.”

Hard Rock urged stakeholders and the public to rely solely on official communications from Hard Rock International for accurate information regarding its business activities and partnerships.

The Star responded briefly to Hard Rock’s statement but did not provide further clarification. The company reiterated that it had not received any proposal directly from Hard Rock International.

“The Star confirms that it has not engaged in substantive discussions with the consortium regarding its proposal,” The Star stated. The company acknowledged Hard Rock International’s statement, which clarified its non-involvement in any discussions or negotiations related to a proposal for The Star.

The Star’s initial statement followed media speculation about a potential takeover or recapitalisation plan amid a second Bell inquiry into the company’s suitability to hold a casino license in NSW. The news of a possible transaction led to a 20% increase in The Star’s share price, closing at 54 cents.

 

For more business news, click here.

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