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Catherine's Chat

Wholistic Financial Solutions provides information and updates regarding the property investment industry. Learn more from Catherine's chat here.

Four Queensland Areas to Outperform Rest of General Property Market

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


QUEENSLAND has four of the top ten areas in Australia tipped to outperform the rest of the general property market.

The latest Top 10 Best Buys report by property analyst Terry Ryder of, tips Emerald/Galilee Basin, Ipswich, the Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba as the markets to watch.

He said all four were considered to have the drivers which would achieve capital growth above the norm in the near future.

Mr Ryder said the Sunshine Coast market, which had struggled in recent years, was set to achieve some growth for the first time in five years.

"Having previously been hampered by a struggling tourism economy, an oversupply of dwellings and poor affordability, the coast is heading into a new growth phase,'' he said.

"We are actually seeing a number of markets which are tourism based such as Cairns, Hervey Bay, the Whitsundays and Sunshine Coast, are now starting to come back,'' he said.

The Sunshine Coast was being helped by multiple factors, the tourism industry was stronger, the market was more balanced in terms of supply and demand, and recent price drops had made it more affordable.

Fly in, fly out, workers were settling on the Sunshine Coast and most importantly there is major infrastructure being built there.

"Nothing generates property price growth like major new infrastructure, which generates jobs, economic activity and improved amenity for residents,'' he said.

"We believe the best part of the Sunshine Coast for investors to consider is the southern precinct from Kawana south to Caloundra.

"This is where most of the key new infrastructure is being built.''

Mr Ryder had highlighted the Sunshine Coat five years ago as a "no go zone'' an area not to invest in, but he said the fundamentals had now turned around.

Although the property market in Emerald and the Galilee Basin area were currently in temporary decline, Mr Ryder believed the amount of future infrastructure spending for the area as a result of the mining industry would soon turn that around.

"There is anything up to eight or nine big coal mining projects (for the area) proposed, you only need one or two of those to happen for Emerald to have a big lift,'' he said.

"There is going to be good buying opportunities now if you believe in the future of Emerald as we do.''

Ipswich was selected as it is considered one of the growth corridors of southeast Queensland and has experienced strong population growth, with about 5000 new residents added every year.

"Prices rose strongly in the five years to 2009 (before tapering of) giving the suburbs of Ipswich City the strongest capital growth averages in the Greater Brisbane region,'' he said.

"Big infrastructure developments include the $2.8 billion upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway and the $1.5 billion rail link to the Springfield master planned community,'' he said.

He said many suburbs were still very affordable in Ipswich with East Ipswich, including suburbs such as Booval, Eastern Heights and Silkstone, one of the most "under rated precincts'' in the area.

Toowoomba was identified in the report because it was one of Australia's strongest regional centres and it benefited from a diverse local economy and closeness to the Surat Basin resources province.

"We particularly like places like Toowoomba that get some benefit from the resources sector but don't depend on it,'' he said.

"Toowoomba has plenty of affordable investment options, a recent survey ranked the city the most affordable place in Queensland, relative to total incomes.''

National top ten best buys 2013-2014



Emerald/Galilee Basin


Kwinana precinct

Midland precinct



Sunshine Coast



By Michelle Hele

Property has Historically Low Volatility

Friday, August 02, 2013


Housing prices are fundamentally less volatile than the share market.  This has been clearly demonstrated by the performance of the share market over the few years prior to 2010.  Many investors in the share market and investors in superannuation (who invests it in the share market) saw their investments and retirement funds drop by as much as 40 -50% over a mere few months. 

House prices can go up and down (as the graph below indicates) however they have never fallen by 40- 50% in a few months.  In fact the long term average of Australian property is around 10-11%.




The share market on the other hand has had a long term average (before the GFC) of around 9-10%.  It will be interesting to see whether this measure is still correct in a few years time when the long term effect of the GFC can be measured.

Suffice to say, and as demonstrated by the graph below, the property market is simply less volatile than the share market. A major reason for this is that property in Tangible, real ‘bricks and mortar’ and it fulfils the fundamental human need of a ‘roof over your head’ (see next chapter).



Help us, Help Them

Monday, July 29, 2013

Wholistic Financial Solutions supports 100% HOPE – a charity helping children in Uganda. They desperately need our help in order to raise the funds to build necessities for these children. WFS currently has 3 sponsored children and intend to keep sponsoring children to help provide them with a brighter, better future.

The building of Hope Village is underway, beginning with a nursery (preschool). This preschool will accommodate 240 orphaned, abandoned and underprivileged children. 100% Hope needs $80,000 to completely build Hope Village’s nursery.  It’s not hard folks.  If only 80 people give $1000 they will be able to raise the funds to provide these children with an education from an early age to ensure a brighter future.

WFS have given $5,000 and we have our name carved in a brick for the building. Are any of you willing and able to help us help them?


Please take the time to watch this short clip from Trishelle Grady - the Founder/Treasurer of 100% HOPE We urge you to take the time to listen and join with us to continue giving these beautiful children in Uganda a future and a hope.


Exports Hit 3 Year High at Hay Point Coal Terminal

Friday, July 26, 2013

By Dominic Geiger


HAY Point Coal Terminal has recorded its highest export figure in more than three years as companies go into overdrive in an attempt to offset falling commodity prices.

More than 4.1 million tonnes of coal was pushed through the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance-owned terminal in June, a figure Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said was testing the facility's capabilities.

"In the June quarter in Gladstone, Abbot Point, Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay ... all exports were up strongly on this time last year," Mr Roche said.

During the same period last year, Hay Point Coal Terminal exported just over 2.6 million tonnes of coal.

At full capacity it can churn through 6000 tonnes an hour.

Mr Roche said increased export volume showed companies were moving in the right direction to maintain profitability.

"Companies know the way to make money at the moment is through volume because they're not going to make money through fat prices," he said.

"So that's got to be good for confidence of the industry and good for the workforce."

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, the commodity price index fell 10.5% during the past year, due mainly to declines in the prices of coking coal, iron ore, thermal coal and gold.

Mr Roche said the high export volume was evidence BMA had "got on top of its cost structure".

But he said not all companies were in the same situation.

"We have ... some mines that have got on top of their cost structures and ... established a profit margin," he said.

"There are other mines that are yet to establish that margin of profit ... and there are mines and parts of mines that may well not get into profitability in this current environment."

Hay Point Coal Terminal is owned by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, while Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, also at Hay Point, is leased from the State Government by DBCT Management Pty Ltd.

ATO Scams

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

If you receive an email along the lines of the email below do not open it.

In fact, do not ever open an email supposedly from the ATO.  The ATO do not communicate via random emails.


Private Health Insurance Rebate Entitlements

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hi all,

It has come to our attention with the start of the new tax season that many people were not aware that the private health insurance rebate is now means tested.* Generally from 2013 if your income is greater the $168,000.00 for a couple with no dependents ($84,000.00 for a single) then your only entitlement to a rebate from the government may be reduced, unlike in previous years were it was 30% across the board.  Additionally, the percentage of rebate you are entitled to reduces as income moves between the various tiers - please see table below:


Entitlement by income threshold 2012-2013.

(Australian Taxation Office)


The difference between the rebate you claimed and the rebate you received is calculated as either refundable or payable on lodgement of your return, dependant on if you over or under claimed. Please update your information with your private health insurer if you know you are claiming more rebate then you are entitled to.


The ATO have developed a helpful calculator to help you work out the rebate you are entitled to for the 2014 financial year.  Please click here to access it. The table for 2014 follows:

Entitlement by income threshold 2013-2014.


(Australian Taxation Office)


*Please note that is general information only to highlight this issue to our readers and clients. This does not constitute advice or take into account your individual circumstance.


Works Cited

Australian Taxation Office. (n.d.). Individuals: Medicare Levy. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from


The Importance of Capital Growth

Monday, July 15, 2013

"Population growth and housing demand are the strong fundamentals that create capital growth"

Capital growth = the difference between the value of the property and the original cost price

Capital growth is the main reason so many investors choose to invest in real estate over any other investment option.

Put simply, the supply of land is finite, as they say ‘they’ve stopped making it’, whereas the population is ever-increasing and the demand for property is growing at a faster rate than the supply.

These facts alone provide a very stable support mechanism for continued capital growth in Australia.

When I say Capital Growth is the ‘main’ reason investors choose real estate I am cognisant of the fact that some investor focus on cash flow rather than capital gain.  This strategy is viable in certain circumstances which I will explain in later chapters.  However, capital growth IS, without a doubt, the best way to maximise your wealth creation.  Take a look at the graph below.

The above graph illustrates that the property is making an $85 a week loss (also known as negative gearing which I will explain in later chapters).    $85 a week equates to a $4420 pa loss (before tax breaks considered).  However, the property has gone up by 10% (which is within Australia’s long term average of houses doubling every 7 – 10 years). 

So this Investor has lost $4,420 to make $35,000, or a Net Profit of $30,580* 

*(35,000 – 4,420)

I believe this is a far superior strategy than to invest in positive cash flow properties which may put $50 a week in your pocket but not grow in value.  However, there are horses for courses and I will explain in later chapters when, how and why – positive cash flow property can work for some investors.

To maximize your capital gains in a property, it would be best to buy at a time when the market is close to the bottom of the demand cycle.   However, the ‘bottom’ of the cycle can’t always be picked so it’s better to be in the market anyway, rather than hold back waiting for the next ‘bottom’.  This is known as ‘time IN’ the market rather than ‘timing’ the market.
Investors who are interested in making the best capital gain possible should focus on areas where house prices are likely to rise by more than the national average. Later chapters in this book will give you an idea as to what to look for to identify these areas.

Factors such as

1)      Has the property got good capital growth potential, i.e. is the current price likely to increase as demand increases in the area?

2)      Is there a ripple effect?

3)       Is the land size desirable?

4)      What is the prospect of splitting the block? 

A good strategy can be to create instant capital growth by buying a property at less than market value.  Just because a property might be listed at market value, it doesn't mean the seller won't take less for it. Sometimes an urgent sale is required for reasons such as ill health, divorce or the vendor needing to settle on another property. Decide on what you think it is worth and what you're willing to pay in order to get the best capital growth possible.
Shop around. To invest in real estate and create wealth through capital growth you must buy smart with careful consideration not to over capitalize on the investment.  The later chapters of this book will help you learn to buy smart.


Do you want to know more? Click here to watch five free webinars on - ‘Proven, Must Know, Property Investment Advice’

Catherine is in Queensland, Again!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Catherine is spending her weekend in Rockhampton researching the investment property market. She is using her time in Rockhampton to get a general feel for the area and also to meet with real estate agents looking at different properties to see whether or not they would be suitable investment properties. Catherine has been kind enough to send us some photos whilst on her property hunt.

Also, please take the time to have a look at an Economic Report by Michael Matusik on Rockhampton.




What to Bring to Your Tax Appointment

Monday, July 08, 2013

Hi all and welcome to the first tax related post for the new financial year.

This time of year we have a lot of people asking us what to bring along to appointments for their tax returns (or email through depending on preference).

Please find below a list of information that we believe should cover most bases when trying to get your documents together.
Please remember though, when in doubt just include it.

Also in this listing are links to our individual schedules and rental property worksheets.

To efficiently provide you with the best service it is beneficial for you to bring the following to your appointment:
o Bank account details (for payment of refunds)

o Previous year’s tax return (if a new WFS client)

o Previous years invoices relating to cost of managing tax affairs (if a new WFS Client)

o Details of interest received.

o Details of dividends received

o All Payment Summaries/Group certificates for the year

o Receipts for (or preferably a summary of) all work related expenses (i.e. union fees)

o Any work related car expenses

o Any work related travel

o Any work related uniform or clothing expenses

o Any work related self-education expenses

o Summary of donations

o    Sale price and Cost base of assets (if disposed of in 2013)

o    Spouse income (if not a WFS client)

o    Summary of child support paid

o Private health fund statement

o Details of medical expenses, if net out of pocket costs exceed $2,120.00
If you intend to claim  please bring:

                o Private health  insurance  summary (of claims, not certificate of cover)

                o Summary of other out of pocket medical expense or receipts for any other medical expenses (not claimed through medicare or private health insurance)

o Any other items that you feel are relevant.


For rental properties:
o Please click here to download our rental property worksheet (1 sheet per property, per year)
              The worksheet is optional, but does entitle you to a 15% discount  if completed correctly.

o Details of all rent received – (rental property management annual summary preferred)

o Details of all expenses including interest

o  Property address and date first earned rental income (if first year with rental property)

o Depreciation report (or list of all capital  expenses)

o Any other items that you feel are relevant.


If you wish to email through your information, please use our individual schedule. You can download it here.

Real Estate Market at Start of a New Growth Cycle

Friday, July 05, 2013

Estate agent John McGrath says Sydney’s recovery is well underway, with increasing buyer demand and strong prices being achieved across all property types under $2 million.

He has noted weekend clearance rates have been consistently above 70% for several months and that home loan applications are rising.

"Official interest rates are at a record low, with fantastic deals such as a three-year fixed home loans now on offer at 4.83%," he told his Switzer blog readers.

"We’re on track to achieve 5-10% growth in prices this year, with more buyers coming off the sidelines as they see more and more evidence of stronger sales in their neighbourhoods," he said.

McGrath reckons investors are very prominent in the market.

"Many are choosing to purchase through their self-managed super funds, which continues to be one of the most significant changes in the Australian residential marketplace today."

"We are at the start of a new growth cycle which will play out over the next three to five years."


By Jonathan Chancellor
Thursday, 04 July 2013

Discover How to Build A Property Portfolio The Right Way Right From The Start

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