Australia: Property & Real Estate - What's News – 22 March 2016

In the media – National

REIA: Median house price falls for the first time in three years
After thirteen consecutive quarters of growth, the weighted average median house price for the eight Australian capital cities decreased in the last quarter of 2015 (10 March 2016).  More...

Australia's Top Developments Announced
Australian urban development projects that excel in innovation, sustainability and affordability, received prestigious Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) awards last night (10 March 2016).  More...

Peak Development Body Cautions Against Federal Political Uncertainty
A new State of the Land report by The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA), has for the first time in its eight-year history, found that uncertainty at the federal level is at greater risk of hurting the property development industry, than state level policies (08 March 2016).  More...

Property profits leap ahead
Property Council of Australia's chief of policy and housing Glenn Byres said property was the nation's largest industry and it was crucial to economic growth. But he warned new housing approval data could give some cause for concern (05 March 2016).  More...

PCA: Local Government Act Review
The Council Boundary Review is underway with the proposed number of regional councils proposed to be reduced from 109 to 87 and the number of councils in Greater Sydney to reduce from 43 to 25.  Amalgamation provides the opportunity to bring financial advantages and improve the capacity of councils to provide services and facilities (02 March 2016).  More...

Faster medium density housing approvals
With Sydney in need of more than 600,000 new dwellings in the next 15 years, Planning Minister Rob Stokes has released a discussion paper on fast-tracking delivery of medium density housing under the state's complying development assessment process (02 March 2016).  More...

New green building partnership to push best practice boundaries
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), the Living Future Institute of Australia (LFIA) and the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) have signed a memorandum of understanding, which outlines a commitment to work towards common goals in the high performance buildings realm in Australia (02 March 2016).  More...

In the media – New South Wales

Sydney Metro Northwest's skytrain underway
The first section of Sydney Metro Northwest's skytrain is complete, meeting another important milestone for Australia's biggest public transport project (09 March 2016).  More...

In the media – Queensland

First sod turned on new $75 million retail development for North Lakes
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning welcomed the start of works by developers Primewest, which will transform the 11,350 square metre location into high quality, large format retail space to attract a number of high profile brands (07 March 2016).  More...

Property Council submission:  independent property law review (QUT)
In responding to the latest discussion paper on procedural issues under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997, the Property Council recommended the adoption of a 75 per cent majority threshold  for the termination of strata title schemes in Queensland, similar to the recent reforms adopted in NSW (02 March 2016).   More...

Annual land valuations for 2016 released
Valuer-General Neil Bray said approximately 1.15 million landowners in 24 of Queensland's 62 rateable local governments were issued with new land valuations in accordance with the Land Valuation Act 2010. The land valuations will take effect on 30 June 2016 (03 March 2016).  More...  More...

In practice and courts – National

Foreign-owned agricultural land holdings to be registered by 29 February
New rules introduced came into effect from 1 July 2015 meant all existing foreign-owned agricultural land holdings—regardless of their value—must be registered with the ATO by 29 February 2016, and any new interests registered within 30 days of purchase.   More...

Cases – Victoria

Bisognin & Anor v Hera Project Pty Ltd [2016] VSC 75
CONTRACT – Sale of Land – Sale of lot on an unregistered plan of subdivision - Construction of terms – Contract contained a special condition specifying date when contract could be terminated if plan of subdivision not registered – Whether the contract could be terminated unilaterally or whether mutual agreement is required – Whether the special condition is ambiguous – Reference to text, context and purpose to aid construction – Alternatively, whether the special condition should be rectified.  CONTRACT – Sale of Land – Sale of lot on an unregistered plan of subdivision – Planning permit required that agreements with relevant authorities for the provision of services to each lot be entered into before the plan of subdivision could be registered – Contract obliged the purchaser to use its best endeavours and do all things reasonably required to expedite and procure the registration of the plan of subdivision – Contract obliged the vendors to use their best endeavours to co-operate with the purchaser and do all acts and things necessary to give effect to the approval of the plan of subdivision – Whether vendors or purchaser were required to enter into agreements and pay fees and bonds for the establishment or provision of services.  CONTRACT – Sale of Land – Best endeavours clause – Whether the vendors were in breach of their obligation to use best endeavours – Plan of subdivision was not registered by date specified in contract – Effect of delay – Whether vendors are disentitled from terminating the contract.  More...

Said v Commissioner of State Revenue (Review and Regulation) [2016] VCAT 355
Review and Regulation List – First Home Owner Grant – Failed to occupy premises as Principal Place of Residence for 6 months within the first 12 months – First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 s.12.  More...

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