Australia set for a bumper spring selling season
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Australia set for a bumper spring selling season

It’s an unusually busy end to the traditionally quiet winter season as some grapple with ‘fixed rate cliff’ concerns

By Shannon Molloy
Fri, Aug 18, 2023 9:12amGrey Clock 2 min

Property markets across the country are heating up ahead of the traditionally busy spring real estate season as seller uncertainty begins to thaw, with the trend expected to continue.

The latest PropTrack Listings Report shows the number of homes being brought to market surged by 9.2 per cent year-on-year in Sydney and 9.1 per cent in Melbourne.

While other capital cities were flat, the total volume of properties for sale edged upwards by 0.4 per cent in July.

“While part of the reason for that growth is that last July was a slower month, it is not the whole story,” PropTrack economist and report author Angus Moore said.

“There were more new listings in both Sydney and Melbourne in July than has been typical on average for this time of year over the past decade.”

Activity is likely to continue increasing over coming months after what was a particularly quiet start to the year, he said.

Seller activity would typically be low during the colder months. According to CoreLogic data, new listings historically drop by about five per cent between autumn and winter.

“In contrast, through the winter season to-date, new listings have risen by 13.2% this year, driven mostly by a 17.9% rise across the capital cities compared with a 4.6% rise in the flow of new listings across the combined regional areas of the country,” CoreLogic executive research director Tim Lawless said.

That apparent surge in vendor confidence can be attributed to recent rising home prices in almost all capital cities, Mr Lawless said.

July marked the seventh consecutive month that home prices nationally increased – now up 2.8 per cent across the year, according to PropTrack data.

But for some vendors, Mr Lawless said listing now could be a matter of necessity.

“Anecdotally, we may also be seeing more homeowners needing to sell amid a peak in the ‘fixed rate cliff’, elevated interest rates and high cost of living pressures.

“Data on mortgage arrears continues to show a historically small portion of borrowers are behind on their mortgage repayments, however we are likely to see mortgage stress becoming more evident through the second half of the year.”

The trend in rising listings will be a critical factor to monitor in coming months, he said.

“The spring season is shaping up to be a busy one, making up for the relatively sedate spring and early summer selling season last year.

“Through the recent recovery phase to-date, low available supply levels have been the key factor supporting value growth.

“A rise in stock levels could signal a further easing in the pace of capital gains across Australian housing markets as buyers benefit from a broader selection of available housing.”


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Wild cities and concrete corridors: How AI is reimagining the landscape

A new AI-driven account by leading landscape architect Jon Hazelwood pushes the boundaries on the role of ‘complex nature’ in the future of our cities

By Robyn Willis
Wed, Dec 6, 2023 2 min

Drifts of ground cover plants and wildflowers along the steps of the Sydney Opera House, traffic obscured by meadow-like planting and kangaroos pausing on city streets.

This is the way our cities could be, as imagined by landscape architect Jon Hazelwood, principal at multi-disciplinary architectural firm Hassell. He has been exploring the possibilities of rewilding urban spaces using AI for his Instagram account, Naturopolis_ai with visually arresting outcomes.

“It took me a few weeks to get interesting results,” he said. “I really like the ephemeral nature of the images — you will never see it again and none of those plants are real. 

“The AI engine makes an approximation of a grevillea.”

Hazelwood chose some of the most iconic locations in Australia, including the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, as well as international cities such as Paris and London, to demonstrate the impact of untamed green spaces on streetscapes, plazas and public space.

He said he hopes to provoke a conversation about the artificial separation between our cities and the broader environment, exploring ways to break down the barriers and promote biodiversity.

“A lot of the planning (for public spaces) is very limited,” Hazelwood said. “There are 110,000 species of plants in Australia and we probably use about 12 in our (public) planting schemes. 

“Often it’s for practical reasons because they’re tough and drought tolerant — but it’s not the whole story.”

Hazelwood pointed to the work of UK landscape architect Prof Nigel Dunnett, who has championed wild garden design in urban spaces. He has drawn interest in recent years for his work transforming the brutalist apartment block at the Barbican in London into a meadow-like environment with diverse plantings of grasses and perennials.

Hazelwood said it is this kind of ‘complex nature’ that is required for cities to thrive into the future, but it can be hard to convince planners and developers of the benefits.

“We have been doing a lot of work on how we get complex nature because complexity of species drives biodiversity,” he said. 

“But when we try to propose the space the questions are: how are we going to maintain it? Where is the lawn?

“A lot of our work is demonstrating you can get those things and still provide a complex environment.” 

At the moment, Hassell together with the University of Melbourne is trialling options at the Hills Showground Metro Station in Sydney, where the remaining ground level planting has been replaced with more than 100 different species of plants and flowers to encourage diversity without the need for regular maintenance. But more needs to be done, Hazelwood said.

“It needs bottom-up change,” he said. ““There is work being done at government level around nature positive cities, but equally there needs to be changes in the range of plants that nurseries grow, and in the way our city landscapes are maintained and managed.”

And there’s no AI option for that. 


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