Monthly Archives: June 2014

Harcourts Luxury Property Selection Lists Vacation Property of the Late Princess Diana

upglxsd8bdgj6o72bctjLuxury Property Selection, the elite property brand owned and operated by Harcourts International real estate, has just listed an estate frequented by the late Princess Diana, worth R120 million (over $11.2 million USD) in the area of Upper Constantia in South Africa.

The property known as Tarrystone was owned by Charles Spencer, the 9th Earl Spencer, brother of Princess Diana. It was at the entrance to the estate that he addressed the world media the morning after the tragedy, and issued his controversial condemnation of the role which he believed the press had played in her untimely death.

Set on over two acres, the estate consists of a grand double-storey thatched mansion with three separate guest cottages. The interior of the main house has been redesigned and modernised by the present owner, an internationally accredited decorator.

The living rooms feature double-volume ceilings, French chandeliers, marble floors and four bedroom suites, all with their own dressing rooms and bathrooms.

The three guest cottages boast five bedroom suites between them and each cottage has its own kitchen as well as living and dining area. The suite Princess Diana is said to have favoured on her visits to Tarrystone has been preserved in the style that it was when she stayed.

The property is currently being marketed on an exclusive mandate by Harcourts sales consultant John Phillips. “An incomparable estate of such high quality has never been seen outside of Europe,” Mr Phillips said.

Aimee Williams, International Brand Manager for Harcourts International, said the seller’s confidence in the Luxury Property Selection brand speaks volumes. “To be able to list a property of this caliber with our brand, shows the extent of trust that the vendors have in our team’s abilities to reach a global audience of high-net worth buyers,” said Ms Williams.

“Our team of luxury property specialists are experts in providing a boutique marketing experience whilst utilizing the power of our worldwide network across multiple marketing channels,” Ms Williams continued.

The Luxury Property Selection brand, launched in 2012 is growing rapidly and currently consists of over 5,000 agents operating from more than 800 real estate offices across eight countries.

The brand has also marketed at overseas property showcases, most recently attending the Luxury Properties Showcase in Shanghai with over $175 million of elite properties represented.

“These events ensure that connect with qualified buyers all over the world, and they allow us to grow our database of overseas clients who are interested in locating their perfect premium property,” Ms Williams said.

The Luxury Property Selection website can be viewed here…

The property can be viewed here…

Preparing Your Property for the Colder Months

Here are some tips to help you prepare for the long, cold wet winter and reduce the risk of damage some storms can make:

• Head to your local curtain store and purchase some heavier curtains for the winter season to prevent losing up to 40 per cent of the household heat through uncovered windows.
• Keep your electricity bill at bay while staying warm by not heating rooms above 22 degrees.
• If you are only heating one room, ensure you close the doors to other rooms not in use.
• Embrace natures free heating – open your curtains on a sunny day to warm up the room.
• If you have any broken window latches, replace them to stop your windows blowing open on a cold and windy night.
• Winter is the storm season so it’s a smart idea to keep spare batteries, torches, matches and candles handy.

• If you haven’t already got ceiling insulation, now might be a good time to consider it. An insulated home can use nearly 50 per cent less energy than a house with old thinning insulation or none at all.
• If you have any gaps or cracks around the home, ensure you fill them with gap filler and place a bean filled ‘snake’ across any doors. This will ensure you do not lose up to 25 per cent of the heat in your home.

If you’re thinking of changing the way you heat your property this winter you might want to consider the following.

Fuel. Do you have access to natural gas in your neighbourhood? Or perhaps a free supply of firewood if you reside in a rural area? Select a heater based on the materials readily available to you.

Size of the area. If you want to heat a small area for a short period of time, you can get away with buying a cheap heater even if the running cost is higher. If you want to heat the whole house, it’s worth investing in a more expensive heater that is efficient with low running costs; it will pay for itself in the long term.

Climate. Do you need to heat your house all day or just in the evening? If it’s hot in summer and cold all day in winter, a reverse-cycle air conditioner may be a good option.

Research. Compare and contrast various products. If you are building from scratch, you could include central heating in the design. Or consider insulation, ventilation, curtains and the size of the windows in your property; these all impact on how well the heat stays in your home.

Cost. You need to consider the initial purchase price, any installation costs
and the running costs; work out what suits your budget and needs.

Australia’s Market Trends – June 2014

  • Cairns recorded the strongest results in Queensland with the median house price increasing by 5.6 per cent over the last quarter.
  • Prices in the Gold Coast rose by 4.2 per cent over the last quarter, the fourth consecutive monthly increase.
  • Growth in Sydney has continued, with house price growth of 8.15 per cent in the last quarter.
  • The New South Wales suburb of Beaumont Hills recorded the country’s strongest quarterly growth at 13.13 per cent.
  • The number of residential vacancies nationally jumped 0.3 percentage points to 2.3 per cent, representing 66,120 vacancies.
  • Dwelling commencements in Western Australia have surged by 38 per cent over the past 12 months to reach 25,600.
  • The median house price in Melbourne is $604,110 while the median unit price is $419,702.
  • The Australian Capital Territory posted a 17.8 per cent improvement in affordability levels, while Melbourne became 16.9 per cent more affordable and Adelaide became 10.9 per cent more affordable.
  • The Real Estate Institute of Tasmania’s quarterly report showed a median house price of $305,000 across the state.

Tips for Selling Your Property in Winter

Take advantage of the winter chill and make your property stand out as extra
warm and cosy! Here are some great tips to make your home look appealing
during the winter season:



Curb appeal
Freshen up your property by putting out potted flowers to brighten up the garden area. Rake up leaves, prune bushes with dead leaves and mow your lawn. This will help your property look more vibrant and fresh.

Use winter staging tricks
A warm fire can be a great asset in the winter; if you have a fireplace, ensure it is lit during an inspection. Blankets can be used on couches and in the bedroom to create a cosy vibe, making buyers feel at home in your property.

Clean the windows
Most winter days tend to be overcast, clean windows will allow any sunlight that appears to
beam freely into the place.

Use lighting to your advantage
On dim winter days, you may not have as much natural lighting as you would like. Turn on all of your lamps and lighting fixtures to banish dark corners from rooms and give the place a cosy glow.

Keep the heating on
It’s nice to enter a warm place when it’s cold outside, and in addition it will help erase any
doubts about whether or not the heating system works. However, don’t have it up too high – you don’t want people to feel like they’re walking into a sauna.

Make minor repairs
No matter what time of year you plan on selling your property in, you’ll want to prepare for
the sale by having a property that’s in proper working order.

Protect the interior
Don’t encourage muddy footprints on the carpet. Provide an umbrella stand and welcome
mat outside the door to minimise mud from shoes. Consider leaving a sign asking buyers
to remove their shoes before entering the home. This shows buyers that you care about
protecting your property, which can be a bonus to those who rank cleanliness high on their list.

Northern Region MarketWatch (June 2014)

banner-june1There were 529 residential sales in the Northern Region in May, which is down by 6.7% on the same time in 2013, but an increase of 13.2% compared to April’s sales. The average residential property price is $696,047, an increase of 12% on the previous year’s average of $619,136. The average price for the past quarter has consistently sat between $695,000 and $697,000. The data suggests residential properties are selling well and prices have not dropped. Auctions account for 40% of all listings, with sales achieved at auction remaining constant. At current levels of sale the Northern Region has enough property on hand to last for 3.5 months. This statistic highlights how limited the pool of housing is, with well-priced properties sold quickly. Harcourts CEO Hayden Duncan says Harcourts will continue to champion the fast-tracked construction of quality houses needed to keep up with our growing population. “We also remain on the side of first home buyers, who need more choice and the removal of LVR restrictions to help them achieve the Kiwi dream of home ownership.” Mr Duncan says Harcourts’ data for the Northern Region continues to show LVR restrictions have not dampened prices or sale numbers.