The Evolution of The Modern Display Suite. How Does Yours Compare?

BRING YOUR IDEAS TO LIFE WITH
THE MODERN INTERACTIVE DISPLAY!

  •  Interactive 3D Building Rotations
  • The perfect exhibition or seminar presentation tool
  • Augmented Reality Experience
  • A mobile application ideal for international sales trips
  • High Definition Projection
  • Ability to shortlist and reserve lots simply and easily
  • Map and nominate your very own points of interest
  • Tabletop and Mounted Touchscreens
  • Showcase your projects lifestyle
  • ..and much, much more!

The modern display suite has rapidly evolved becoming more upwardly mobile and immersive than ever before replacing traditional property marketing mediums.
Experiential marketing is king to the client, touch-see-feel. In order to sell property,
virtual reality representations of your projects are now must-haves.

Whether it is an interactive display suite touchscreen solution to bring your project to life or an interactive app empowering your sales team with tools to sell more property, Brightfox are here to help by developing your next display suite solution.

Contact us now for an obligation free quote on (07) 3177 0505 and
ensure your displays are giving your projects justice.

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Buying property in the USA – the pitfalls and just how easy they are to avoid

The 7.30 report on the ABC recently ran a segment on the pitfalls of purchasing property in the USA. You can view the segment here

What is interesting is that they pointed out all of the pitfalls, but didn’t really tell you how to avoid them. There are of course a couple of very simple ways to avoid paying too much for a property in the USA or even purchasing in a bad suburb or city.

If you go to www.zillow.com you are able to search on the vast majority of properties in the USA, and in most cases get a price estimate and hopefully a price comparison with the market. This immediately gives you some rough idea of market value, and from what Zillow’s own research says, a figure that is pretty accurate. If you go here you can see how the Zestimate is calculated and how accurate it is for each city.

As a rough guide however Zillow say the following on estimate accuracy:

  • within 20% of the actual sales price 74.5 percent of the time
  • within 10% of the actual sales price 52.1 percent of the time
  • within 5% of the actual sales price 30.0 percent of the time
  • for an overall median error rate of 9.4 percent

Here is an example of what Zillow can give you on a specific property for sale – http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3488301.htm

As you can see you get a very good overview on the property, its expected financial returns and comparative listings. A great start to ensuring you are paying at or close to market value.

Of course there is nothing like a local visit, so I would strongly recommend flying to the relevant City and doing a personal inspection and some general market research.

What is in store for the World Economy & Property in 2012?

The World Bank released its report recently on their forecasts for the World economy in 2012. You can see the executive summary here which is definitely worth reading – http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/334934-1322593305595/8287139-1326374900917/ExecutiveSummary_GEPJan2012_Eng.pdf

We need to keep in mind that the World Bank is often wrong of course. Pretty much most economists have been terrible at forecasting since 2007. After all in 2007 all forecasts pretty much were for continue strong growth throughout the economy.

So what does this herald for the Australian property market in 2012? No doubt 2012 is not going top be a great year. Notwithstanding what happens in the real economy, consumer confidence in general is so pessimistic that I can not see a turn around of any great significance happening this year. Consumers are going through a sustained cycle of fiscal consolidation – they are focused on saving and not spending.

I read an interesting article on LCD screens recently. Apparently there is not one single manufacturer of LCD screens that is currently profitable in the World. For me this was an interesting point, as we all know just how hard our retailers have been pushing LCD TV’s etc over the past year or so. So one one hand we have manufacturers not making money and on the other we have retailers also who generally are either not making money or who are operating on increasingly slim margins. So I think we need to ask ourselves what would happen if the World did enter GFC 2? What could these manufacturers and retailers do to try and stiumulate demand from consumers to combat the economic slowdown and the further reduction in consumer confidence that results? Not a lot I would say.

I think in general this is the true underlying risk of a second GFC. Everyone, whether it is developing countries like China, developed countries such as the EU and US, and even at a micro-economic level individual manufacturers and retailers, have less wiggle room. They have less reserves, they have less margin, they have pretty much less of everything that they could use to combat the economic slowdown.

What does this actually mean? It means a high posibility of sustained slowdown with a slow recovery.

Google+ What’s the potential benefit for your business?

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Google+ ImageWill it be just another social networking site . . . ? Or with the backing of the Google brand and some added features and benefits, could this be the dawn of a new age of Enterprise capable social networking?

Having already exceeded its maximum allocation of users within 2 days of its test launch, there is obviously a demand to see what’s new and where Google is going to go with this. After the failure of its first two attempts at social networking – Wave and Buzz – I’m sure Google is giddy with delight at this kind of initial response from users.

But what’s new . . .

Google have introduced five main features to Google+

Circles – Unlike facebook, Google is providing the ability to group your ‘friends’. As an example you will be able to group your work mates separately from your family, friends or high school buddies; allowing you to choose what and how you share with each group.

Huddle – This allows a group chat functionality, instead of having several one on one chats. A particularly useful function for planning events or discussing a central topic with a number of people.

Hangouts – A video chat function, which allows users to see who’s online and chat face to face. Similar in nature to Skype but integrated with your ‘friends’ lists.

Sparks – Similar to an RSS feed, sparks will look for videos or articles it thinks you might like and if they take your fancy, have them ready for you to view anytime .

Instant Uploads – There is nothing particularly new with the concept of uploading photos and videos to social media sites from your mobile devices. But with smart phones running Google’s Android and Google+, you don’ even have to think about uploading because all the hard work is automatically done for you. All you have to do is log in afterwards and publish for your ‘friends’ to be able to view.

What does Google+ mean for the business world . . .

Looking only at the basic functionalities as described above there are numerous possibilities for integration into the business world. With instant uploads you have your very own ‘live feed’ to your social media site keeping your ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ up to date by the minute. With circles you will be able to group users based on preference or practice thus allowing you to send targeted information or marketing materials. Sparks will prove to be useful with up to date media related to your fields of interest, which you may have otherwise missed, sent straight to your account.

Unquestionably Google is targeting the consumer market with this new offering. But many industry commentators believe that there may be more to Google+ than meets the eye. With its collaborative tools and ability to build distinctly separated groups from the aggregate whole, many believe the fundamental building blocks exist for Google + to truly own the Enterprise Web, not just the Social.

Google+ and +1’s. The coming effect on search engine results . . .

What is +1’ing you ask? Google is now providing the users of Google+ with the ability to recommend or refer a website, google ad, video or image. They are calling this action +1’ing. This provides users of Google+ with the ability to make or see virtual recommendations.

The biggest overall affect that this will have is the return of  search and ad results in Google’s search engine which will be annotated with the number of +1’s they have received. This will effectively provided users with the ability to gauge whether something may be of use to them simply by seeing whether their peers have previously rated it as noteworthy.

While still only in a testing phase, the response to Google+ has been strong. But once fully released, will there be this predicted mass influx of users to make this the new Facebook? One thing is for sure, Google+ is definitely something worth keeping an eye on. To visit the Google+ page and read more about its features and stay up to date with its full release, click here.

Population Growth No Longer Qld’s Saviour Says Midwood

Below I have copied in the contents of an email from Alan Midwood promoting his new Midwood Report. It is a great and very indepth analysis of the Qld economy and very valuable reading for any involved in Tourism or Property Sales in Qld. The content of the email alone is well worth a read alone and it is reproduced below.

Population Growth No Longer Queensland’s Saviour

With net interstate migration down to under 10,000 per annum in Queensland (it has been as high as 52,000 per annum historically), and the cut in overseas migration, the state’s population growth rate of 2.5% per annum over 2005-2010 is likely to fall below 2.0% per annum over 2010-15.

Some would say that this is a good thing (Treasurer Andrew Fraser already has) so as to give some breathing space for infrastructure to catch up. If the State Government privately believes that a slowdown in population growth will be good for us, then there needs to be another driver of the state economy in the major cities, which do not benefit from mining.

Employment in Queensland remains our weakness and what we need is incentives, not disincentives, to employ people. Payroll tax is an obvious target and should be abolished. It is an old chestnut that Labor has never addressed. All stamp duty on residential housing transactions should also be abolished. Construction is one of the largest employment sectors in Queensland, mines included, and has huge multiplier effects throughout the economy.

A tourism marketing levy should also be introduced (taxed on the users, not facilitators) to fund more promotion and marketing of our state. Fiscal policy can be used to stimulate certain sectors of the economy but it is virtually non-existent in Queensland these days. It should be a key policy target for Campbell Newman’s “Can do Queensland”.

For a full list of permanent resident growth figures in selected Queensland localities, and independent commentary, see the latest edition of the Midwood Report here.

Queensland New Apartment Sales Stagnant but Brisbane Shows Confidence

The latest Midwood Report confirms that unconditional sales of new apartments in Queensland remain stagnant. For the three month period ending 31 May 2011, total unconditional sales for new apartments in the state’s major growth regions totalled 405, compared to 464 in the same period a year ago. Sales of new high-rise apartments were particularly sluggish with Gold Coast recording 51 unconditional sales and Brisbane, 189 sales.

The majority of Gold Coast sales, albeit at a low volume, have been for discounted receiver stock, for example in Southport Central III, which recorded 50% of all sales on the Gold Coast during the quarter. The historical long-term average for the Gold Coast is 300 unconditional sales per quarter.

The Midwood Report’s quarterly survey confirmed that Gold Coast apartment stock levels also continue to decline. As at 31 May, just 695 new apartments remained for sale, representing approximately two years supply at current take-up rates. New apartment supply on the Gold Coast has tightened because virtually no new stock has been released to the market since early 2009.

The Brisbane market, however, is confidently producing new stock with a net gain of 578 new apartments added to the report’s survey in the May quarter. The Brisbane market has been characterised by a sustained level of sales over the past two years, averaging 200 sales per quarter and this has brought overall unsold high-rise stock levels to 1,683 apartments as at 31 May, equivalent to 2.5 years supply at average take-up rates.

According to the Midwood Report, 95% of new, unconditional high-rise apartment sales in Queensland were recorded either in Brisbane or the Gold Coast in the May quarter. In regional cities such as Cairns and Townsville, just 45 sales were recorded together in low or medium-rise projects in the May 2011 quarter.

The general low level of sales volumes for high-rise, medium and low-rise apartments is not likely to improve until interest rates fall to a level which results in attractive returns to investors.

The comprehensive Midwood Report New Apartment Sales survey (Gold Coast to Cairns) is available only by subscription via www.midwoodaustralia.com.

Dwelling Approvals Hit Lows

Dwelling approvals across Queensland’s major growth regions have generally fallen to 2000-01 levels which coincided with the introduction of the GST.

Gold Coast house approvals are the lowest since 1993 and have been declining over the past three half-year periods and unit approvals are particularly low in this region compared to past years.

Brisbane house approvals are not so low compared to the Gold Coast, and unit approvals have held their past levels.

Townsville, Cairns and the Whitsundays have had declining approvals over the last 18 months, however Mackay and Toowoomba have held up well, much better than what was recorded for these regions in 2000-01.

Queensland Hotel Performance Trends

Queensland hotel occupancies and room rates improved in calendar 2010 after a challenging 2009, but these are still down on average levels recorded over the last decade. Total visitation into Queensland increased by 5% in 2010 and this has helped the state return to levels seen in 2008.

The average hotel occupancy in Queensland was 64.8% in 2010 (for establishments with more than 15 rooms), on par with 64.2% recorded in 2009 but down on 2007 and 2008 figures (69.3% and 67.9% respectively).

Brisbane hotels recorded an average occupancy of 77.6%, Gold Coast hotels 71.6% and Cairns hotels 57.9%. Most regional centres within the state managed to return to 2008 levels.

Movements in gross average annual income per room also corrected in the year, up 7% to $54,949 in Brisbane, up 7% to $30,430 in Cairns and up 2% to $41,504 in Gold Coast.

Average nightly room rates performed well across the board despite the rising Australian dollar. Brisbane returned to $194.00 per night (+4% over 2009) and Gold Coast remained steady at $158.81 (+1.7% over 2009), but Cairns continued to fall resulting in $143.93 per night (-1.0%).

Room nights sold rose according to the 2% increase in total visitor nights spent in Queensland over the year.

Queensland Budget 2011

The centerpiece of the 2011 Queensland Budget was a direct stimulus to new housing construction, in a serious attempt to lift housing starts throughout the state, which are at an all time low (see the dwelling activity pages in each regional section of the May 2011 quarter Midwood Report).

The State Government has done this by introducing a $10,000 rebate for anyone building or buying a new home after 1 August 2011 until 28 February 2012, coincidentally when the next State Election is due. The rebate is available to any person or corporation building or buying a new home under the value of $600,000.

But buyers of used houses will not only miss out on the $10,000 rebate, they will pay additional stamp duty because the principal place of residence subsidy will be scrapped. For a $500,000 house, stamp duty will therefore increase from $8,750 to $15,525.

The focus on new home subsidies should improve the state’s unemployment in the housing industry, as well as other multipliers such as landscaping, fencing, pools, furniture suppliers etc.

At a macro level, the 2011 State Budget increases the annual deficit to $2bn and to $4bn in the next financial year, with a surplus not predicted until 2015-16. Total State debt is $50bn with an annual interest bill of $4bn, twice the deficit.

Tourism, the hardest hit industry by the high dollar, receives a miserly $83m over four years to help fund major events such as the Gold Coast and Townsville motor events. Tourism was one of the key industries identified for financial support under the GST legislation, but it receives a pittance out of the $3bn GST money from the Commonwealth each year.

For more independent commentary on hot topics that affect investment decisions in Queensland, see the latest edition of the Midwood Report here.

ABS Data shows worrying trend for developers

Brisbane Business News has just published an article showing a worrying trend for apartment developers with commencement of new product down almost 13 per cent in the last 12 months.

“. . . While the January floods have increased new housing construction in Queensland in the March quarter, demand for unit and townhouse sales decreased 15 per cent.”

Visit Brisbane Business News to read more . . .
http://www.brisbanebusinessnews.com.au/article1961/APARTMENT%20STARTS%20AND%20SALES%20TUMBLE.html