PIPA In the News

Thu
15 Nov
2018

Property spruiker hit with record $18 million fine

The Federal Court has imposed a record penalty against a property spruiker and his firm for false or misleading representations about how people could buy a house for $1, among other claims.

The $18 million fine consists of $12 million imposed against We Buy Houses and $6 million against its sole director Rick Otton, and are the highest ever imposed contraventions of Australian Consumer Law by a corporation and individual respectively.

In addition to the fines, the Federal Court also banned Mr Otton from managing a corporation for 10 years in Australia as well as permanently restraining him and We Buy Houses from any further involvement in the supply or promotion of services or advice related to property transactions or investment.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said We Buy Houses and Mr Otton were peddling false hope to people who were just trying to get a foothold in the housing market or into property investment. 

Thu
15 Nov
2018

Property spruiker fined $18m for making false representations

 

A property spruiker and his company have been hit by the full force of the law and have been fined a record $18 million penalty for making false or misleading representations about how people might buy a house for $1, among other claims.

The Federal Court imposed the record penalty against We Buy Houses and its director Rick Otton, with the penalty made up by a $12 million fine to We Buy Houses and a $6 million fine to Mr Otton. These are the highest ever fines imposed for contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law.

In addition to the fines, the Federal Court also banned Mr Otton from managing a corporation for 10 years as well as permanently restrained him and We Buy Houses from any further involvement in the supply or promotion of services or advice related to property transactions or investment.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said that We Buy Houses and Mr Otton were peddling false hope to people who were just trying to get a foothold in the housing market or into property investment.

Thu
15 Nov
2018

Property spruiker we buy houses fined record $18 million

A notorious property spruiker has been hit with $18 million in fines for peddling false and misleading claims through free seminars and paid investment "boot camps". 

On Tuesday the Federal Court imposed a fine of $12 million against property investment company We Buy Houses and $6 million against its sole director Rick Otton for making false or misleading representations about how people could create wealth through buying and selling real estate.

The fines are the highest ever imposed for contraventions of the Australian consumer law by both a corporation and an individual, and come after a long investigation by the consumer watchdog.

The Federal Court also banned Mr Otton from managing corporations for 10 years in Australia and permanently restrained him and We Buy Houses from further involvement in the "supply or promotion of services or advice" concerning real estate and investment. 

Wed
14 Nov
2018

Prime NSW destination sees spike in short-term lettings

The increasingly popular trend of short-term letting is having an impact on some of Sydney's visitor and investor favourites, and local auctioneers are seeing a considered change in market behaviours.

Auctioneer James Pratt of James Pratt Auctions is a long-time resident of Bondi Beach, and with eyes-on-the-ground experience, explained that he has seen Airbnb raise property prices.

"You can imagine the scenario of obviously someone who's got a two-bedroom apartment here and is able to Airbnb it over the summer," Mr Pratt said to Smart Property Investment.

"The profit they're able to generate through two months of summer for an investment point of view only increases the sale price. 

Mon
12 Nov
2018

Major bank finds first-home buyers buck history

New research from a major bank shows first home buyers are populating the investment market in bigger numbers than ever before.

According to Westpac's 2018 Home Ownership report, first-home buyers are becoming more confident with their prospects of home ownership.

There is a notable rise of confidence in property investment opportunities as well, as the report found 29 per cent of first-home buyers are considering both buying an investment property and an owner-occupier home – up 105 per cent from 2017.

For Lauren Fine, head of home ownership at Westpac, the rise of positive sentiment in first-home buyers was to be expected.

"This surge in confidence and positivity among first-home buyers is great to see, and not surprising considering house prices have on average dipped by 2.7 per cent over the past year to date, primarily driven by the Sydney and Melbourne markets," Ms Fine said. 

Mon
12 Nov
2018

Airbnb rebuts latest 'deeply flawed' disruption report

Airbnb Australia has been quick to rebut a new report on how the short-term rental industry is unhinging the Australian housing market, the latest in a long list of them, calling it "deeply" flawed. 

As detailed in the Technological Disruption in Private Housing Markets: The Case of Airbnb by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), inner-city areas that rely on tourism are seeing a decline in rental properties.

In Sydney, these include the suburbs of Darlinghurst and Manly, with Airbnb-listed properties making up between 11.2 per cent and 14.8 per cent of the suburbs' rental stock.

This is also being felt in Melbourne, including central Melbourne, Docklands, Southbank, Fitzroy and St Kilda, which account from between 8.6 per cent and 15.3 per cent of the suburbs' rental stock. 

Mon
05 Nov
2018

Property market update: Melbourne, October 2018

While the Melbourne property market has a long way to go for before making a full recovery, experts believe that it's not all doom and gloom in Victoria's capital city.

Since the end of the property, consumer confidence has been significantly low in the capital city markets, particularly Sydney and Melbourne, as prices drop and the level of supply and demand sees an imbalance.

However, some experts say that while the property cycle is at the softening phase, the business cycle is currently at the boom phase.

Both Sydney and Melbourne continue to be the strongest economies in Australia, boasting continuous growth in population, jobs, investment and infrastructure. Moreover, the household sector proved to be resilient amidst changes in the lending environment, with the vast majority of borrowers in healthy financial condition.

 

Sat
03 Nov
2018

Negative gearing remains divisive election issue

Some say this controversial plan will destroy Australia's housing market.  But others argue negative gearing "fearmongering" is "bollocks".

It's one of Labor's biggest policy proposals and is shaping up to be one of the defining issues of next year's federal election.

But the ALP's plan to reform negative gearing and capital gains tax continues to divide opinions long after it was first announced, as Australians are bombarded with conflicting opinions and reports on the controversial issue. 

Under a new Labor government, negative gearing would be limited to newly built properties, with the Party also wanted to halve the 50 per cent capital gains tax discount in a bid to help Aussies buy homes.

 

Wed
31 Oct
2018

Report claims there's 'no evidence' negative gearing changes will spark 'slump'

IT's one of Labor's biggest policy proposals and is shaping up to be one of the define issues of next year's federal election. 

But the ALP's plan to reform negative gearing and capital gains tax continues to divide opinions long after it was first announced, as Australians are bombarded with conflicting opinions and reports on the controversial issue.

Under a new Labor government, negative gearing would be limited to newly built properties, with the Party also wanting to halve the 50 per cent capital gains tax discount in a bid to help Aussies buy homes.

But while supporters say the plan would end the supposed unfair advantage now enjoyed by investors at the expense of first homebuyers, critics argue it also has the potential to damage the housing market.

According to the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) and the Property Investors Council of Australia (PICA), new modelling has shown the proposed changes "will decimate the property market". 

Tue
30 Oct
2018

What the federal election means for property investors

Policy relating to and impacting property investment in Australia is front and centre to the campaigning of the major parties. We take a look at what this means for you as an investor.

Peter Koulizos, chairman of the Property Investment Professionals of Australia, recommended that investors take a careful look at every party's stance on housing and investment.

Two of the headline considerations for current and prospective property investors are any changes in the works for negative gearing or capital gains tax (CGT).

Mr Koulizos said that the property market has changed since Labor's intention to change negative gearing and CGT, so investors would be wise to double check exactly what they will be voting for. 

 

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