Real Estate Newsletter – Summer 2023/24

South Australia: A Privileged Place

It is almost the end of another exciting year, December 2023. What an amazing year! What good fortune to live and work in Australia… and even more fortunate to be domiciled in South Australia.

Of course, there are many things which we may have done better… but this state enjoyed peace and prosperity… and fun… return of motorsports, and other cultural events.

As a child born before the end of the Great War (before the “Boomers”), I recall parents and grandparents singing, “Count your blessings, name them one by one”.

Times were tough and sad… but for those who searched… there was much to be happy about.
It may be that not everyone sees life through my eyes of gratitude for the year almost passed: but to those who are not sure that they enjoyed life as much as I… I urge you to list the really good things which impacted you and your loved-ones. Celebrate a little, and tell others.

A friend (of mine) with relatives in the Ukraine was fearful for their safety when Russia moved against her beautiful country. Now much later… her relatives are still alive and well… and she was recently able to visit them. Blessings counted!

The Middle East, with its perpetual unrest and recent destruction of life and property, has such a long history of violence, cruelty and death… but in our country, we have learned it is OK to have opposing views and still demonstrate respect.

Foreword by L M (Lin) Andrews

Residential Sales & Management

Nathan Gherghetta is the Manager of our Residential Sales and Management Division. His report is below:

So much has happened since our last report. We hope the brief commentary below is of interest and is helpful as you plan your real estate investments.

1. Residential Sales

Residential Sales are still in very high demand, and prices are as keen as ever. Stock is still in short supply as every property listed for sale is sold almost immediately as it hits the market.

Supply and demand factors are keeping prices high and those who have resisted the urge to sell are enjoying the rewards of not being in a rush to market their properties.

It is important to note that a lot of people have deferred listing their properties for sale until the Christmas Season is over and the property may be presented correctly and achieve a better price than today.

Effectively, homes are being listed for sale TODAY but will not come onto the market until January… even early February. If you are thinking of selling, then get started now.

2. Residential Rents

Residential rents are at peak demand, but the product is taking on a more organised form.

Recently, there were five properties that became available to lease. They took twelve days to let and involved one hundred and seven applicants (an average of 21 applicants per property), but the outcome for each property was orderly and the tenants were of excellent quality.

Sadly, of course, this still leaves 20 applicants per property without a home.

Rents have continued to rise.

Landlords appear to have slowed in their desire to sell and take a capital gain. Indeed, for the first time in many months the decline in the number of properties managed has ceased. For every landlord taking his property out of the rental portfolio, another investor has res rectified that diminution.

Long term investors have it really good.

Residential property is still growing in value, creating long-term capital gains and there is an increase in the revenue stream. And, the choice of quality tenants is quite remarkable.

3. Regional Relocation

There appears to be a movement toward people relocating to Regional areas and leasing their homes in Adelaide.

Rental prices in the regions are cheaper, resulting in a sea change without selling the family home.

4. Buyer’s Advocate Services

The demand for services as a Buyers Advocate has increased. More people are prepared to pay for the assistance of a professional to negotiate the purchase of a property on their behalf.

Recently, there have been several great success stories where purchasers were extremely pleased at the price achieved and other benefits successfully negotiated.

Any of these points may be discussed with Nathan.

Nathan Gherghetta
Head of Residential Sales & Property Management
0498 881 119

Multilingual Property Specialists

Fifty years ago we strategically employed migrants from Europe, who possessed great communication skills for the benefit of our international clients at that time.

Today’s landscape is a little different, and I have featured three members of staff who represent India, the Phillipines and China.

These members of staff are multilingual and are available to ensure correct communication with our diverse clients.

Tariq (Rick) Birader
Sales & Leasing Executive
0439 188 065

Don Datu
Chief Financial Officer
0451 151 509

Jessie Hu
Internal Accountant & QA Mngr.
08 8234 1212

Commercial Sales, Leasing & Management

The photograph above shows a site of thirty-nine office-warehouses which together make up a Light Industrial Park (dubbed a Tradie’s Park) situated at West Avenue, Edinburgh.

Lou Whitelock, with some assistance from Michael Kourbelis and Kirsty Williams, almost single-handedly sold or leased all thirty-nine office-workshops over a period, slightly in excess of 15 months.

This was an outstanding performance by Lou, who sold several of these and then rented them for the new Investor Owners. A double sale/leasing to achieve the correct outcome.

Lou has previously sold or leased another twenty-two similar units for the same developer and is an expert in the field.

He is looking for more developers who may have property like these to sell or lease and would be very happy if developers were prepared to sell their land, which may be surplus to their requirements.

We also acknowledge the role of Kirsty Williams who as an expert Commercial Property Manager was able to ‘bed-down’ these new units, and their tenants, attending to those pesky-details which may be overlooked by developers and salespeople.

Thank you Lou for a brilliant sales and leasing program.

Thank you Kirsty for your patient and excellent role in making the hand-over of these units much more smooth and professional.

You are a great Commercial Manager!

Lou Whitelock
Sales & Leasing Executive
0411 214 685

Kirsty Williams
Executive Property Manager
0400 032 891

Commercial Commentary

Claire Britton is the head of our Commercial Property Management Department, and Salisbury Branch Manager. Her summary report is below:

  • There is no discernible sales impact from the latest round of interest rate hikes.
  • There is a lot of money available to buy quality leased Commercial Real Estate.
  • Lease breaks are becoming more prevalent, but vacancies are quickly absorbed.
  • Rents have had huge annual increases reflecting inflation and lease clauses but there is a gentle softening of lease prices.
  • More property is now being sold “conditional” upon bank loans. Not long-ago cash contracts were more prevalent than they are currently.

Claire Britton
Head of Commercial Property Management & Salisbury Branch Manager
0417 833 242

Good Story – Mortgagee with a “Happier” Outcome

Michael Kourblis has been with this company for circa 18 months… a fine operator who is freely finding his feet. Recently Michael had to take a mortgagee sale to Auction and of course the mortgagee simply wanted its money back and IF there was anything left-over it would be returned to the owner, net of costs.

An owner ALWAYS has a sinking feeling in such circumstances.

The law is clear that no matter what happens prior to auction, the property should go to auction as this is legally a fair determination as to the worth of the property.

Michael did all of this and for various reasons the property was NOT sold under the hammer, but Michael had to continue to work AFTER the Auction.
We were all thrilled to note the amount eventually achieved by Michael was excellent. The owner will receive a cash surplus after the mortgage and costs have been recovered.

The story is told because morally, we believe in maximising the results from every sale assignment. Mortgagees deserve our very best efforts. Sometimes it may take a little longer, but the difference may be personal embarrassment (bankruptcy) or cash-in-hand to “live another day”.

Congratulations Michael… We are proud of you… And we hope this story may attract more listings for you to benefit other clients.

Michael Kourbelis
Commercial Property Consultant
0452 239 633

In Conclusion

This has been an outstanding year of achievement for clients and staff.

We have promoted several younger executives who have brought energy and new life into this 50+ year-old company… but our culture and corporate values are unchanged.

There is an outstanding new vitality, and many clients are expressing their delight at the level of service provided by those who want to succeed.

Please keep investing in property for the future of yourselves and those who will come after you.

We thank you for your support, and on behalf of my family and staff… we wish you abundant, joyful, and safe celebrations during the Christmas and New Year Season ahead.


Karen Andrews
CEO – Director

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