Couple charged for alleged $1.5 million “Ponzi” property development fraud

Posted on November 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments
An article by JENNIFER DUKE Carrum Downs couple Maureen Gael Johnson, 58, and Douglas Gordon Johnston, 71, have been charged with more than 70 offences relating to an alleged $1.5 million property development fraud, following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC investigated two companies: Investman Nominees (USA) Pty Ltd and Small Business Management Pty Ltd, of which Maureen Johnston was a former director and current director respectively. Douglas Johnston was the...

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Victorian politicians’ $136 million of property: What hope is there of housing policy reform?

Posted on November 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments
An article by LINDSAY DAVID , PAUL EGAN & PHILIP SOOS Following our analysis of Commonwealth Parliamentarians’ real estate holdings, our attention now turns to Victoria’s parliament, which is set for an election in November 2014 under its fixed four-year term. Victorians are entitled to ask: what sort of policies and forward direction will politicians and their parties promise with respect to housing? Australia, including Victoria, is in the midst of a chronic housing affordability crisis....

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Are real estate agents overpaid?

Posted on November 11, 2014 by | 2 Comments
An article by Edwin Almeida Over the weekend I saw many social media posts of the number of homes auctioneers auctioned off on the day. Some numbers came in between seven to 11 properties sold by a single auctioneer. Then there were the articles and reports of properties being on the market for as little as 13 days on average across Sydney. I began to once again ponder on the costs involved in selling a...

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Australia’s white collar criminals are doing the crime, but not the time

Posted on November 1, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Recently, the head of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Greg Medcraft, called Australia a “paradise” for white-collar criminals. Soon after he recanted, claiming he didn’t want the country to become a haven for financial fraudsters. This rephrasing likely followed when Finance Minister Mathias Cormann leaned on Medcraft. The mass media has done an admirable job bringing the CBA financial planner scandal to light, forcing ASIC to finally investigate, the Senate to inquire and the...

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Secret agents’ price ploy exposed as underquoting ‘rife’ in suburbs

Posted on November 1, 2014 by | 0 Comments
REAL estate agents in popular Melbourne and Sydney suburbs routinely underquote by up to 30 per cent, new research lifting the lid on one of the industry’s dirtiest secrets has found. Data from property pricing app realAs shows that underquoting of properties going to auction ­remains rife. A study identifies Melbourne’s outer east — where a flurry of ­Chinese buying has sent prices soaring — as Australia’s epicentre of the practice. On ­average, properties in Blackburn...

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The other factor behind our skyrocketing prices

Posted on October 14, 2014 by | 2 Comments
Apart from loose monetary policies, such as negative gearing, real estate by self-managed super fund (SMSF) and foreign investment, excessive increases in house prices is also caused by the unreliable estimates of fair market value price. To explain in more detail, real estate sales data has its flaws due to settlement prices not being triggered from actual pre-sale valuations – which remain unchecked throughout the sale process. Furthermore, some results can be triggered from listing prices...

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Malvern East buyer dobbed in to FIRB was Australian citizen

Posted on September 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments
The crusading Melbourne buyer’s agent David Morrell has been told his suspicions regarding the $2.75 million sale of a Malvern East home were misplaced. Following the 20 September auction, Morrell lodged a complaint with the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) asking it to investigate what he believed had been a breach of FIRB rules. But John Bongiorno, director of Marshall White, has advised the buyer was an Australian citizen. He said Morrell was being divisive. “Just because...

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Mr Fluffy fallout to hit the courts, with homeowner to sue for $2.46 million

Posted on September 23, 2014 by | 0 Comments
A Canberra family who say they unwittingly bought a Mr Fluffy home is suing the government for $2.46million in what could become a landmark case in the ACT. The lawsuit, understood to be the first of its kind, is a clear signal the Mr Fluffy crisis could spill over into the ACT court system. The family purchased the Forrest home for $1.87 million in November 2008 and spent a further $590,000 on renovations. But they...

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Bank of Queensland to pay $17m to Storm Financial customers

Posted on September 23, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Bank agrees to compensation payout as part of legal action by Asic and borrowers who were caught up in 2009 scandal. The Bank of Queensland will pay $17m in compensation to customers caught up in the Storm Financial scandal. The bank agreed to the payout as part of a settlement of legal action brought by the corporate watchdog and borrowers who were advised by Storm before its collapse in 2009. The gross payment by the...

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Mortgage customers falling into interest-only repayments trap

Posted on September 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments
MANY mortgage customers are opting for interest-only repayments on their own homes and failing to pay off any mortgage debt despite rates hitting their lowest ever levels. A large portion of borrowers are failing to make any headway into their borrowings by choosing interest-only repayments in what experts say is a dangerous move that could lead them to financial trouble when rates do rise. ING Direct figures show about one quarter of owner occupiers taking...

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