They may be separated by distance, but North Booval in Queensland, Mittaggong in New South Wales, St Kilda West in Victoria and seven other areas in Australia have one thing in common: all have experienced a significant drop in the price of houses.

Recently released figures for the Top 10 median price drops in percentage terms for 2011 reveal that from Australia’s flood regions to luxury suburbs, house prices have in some cases been slashed by almost 50 per cent, signaling big news for construction companies, property developers, realtors, and home sellers. Figures from RP Data released in March show that even homes priced over a million dollars have been discounted up to 37 per cent in locations like Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. Hardest hit has been the suburb of North Booval near Brisbane, which has witnessed houses plummet in value by 46.3 per cent to $154,000. Figures from RP Data also indicate only 373,000 sales were recorded nationally last year.

The reasons, say experts, range from buyers being wary of flood-prone areas, and the nation still smarting from the fallout of 2008’s Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Instead of choosing upscale lifestyles, many investors are opting to stay put and rebuild their finances. For others with monetary means and patience, lower property prices means a buyer’s market in some areas. According to the Real Estate Institute of Australia, housing purchase prices now account for 32.9 per cent of peoples’ incomes, a considerable drop from 37.2 per cent in 2007, the year before the GFC. Some advisors are suggesting home buyers try to negotiate the best price, and be as specific as possible about individual streets on which they wish to purchase homes.

Along with North Booval, Mittaggong and St Kilda West, other areas experiencing a huge decline in house price, according to RP Data, include Jolimont (WA), Carey Bay (NSW), Port Augusta (SA), Golden Beach (VIC) and Queensland’s Rainbow Beach, Acacia Ridge, and Eagle Farm.

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

January 18, 2021, 10:27 PM AEDT