Interview: Gavin Rubinstein, The Rubinstein Group
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Interview: Gavin Rubinstein, The Rubinstein Group

A breakout reality TV star and one of the country’s best-known (and arguably most divisive) real estate agents – we chat to Rubinstein ahead of his second outing on Luxe Listings Sydney.

By Terry Christodoulou
Fri, Apr 1, 2022 4:53pmGrey Clock 4 min

Gavin Rubinstein has built a reputation as one of the busiest men in Australian real estate – a man with an insatiable appetite for success.

From selling the country’s finest luxury residences via his agency, The Rubinstein Group, to starring in Amazon Prime’s surprise TV hit Luxe Listings Sydney, Rubinstein has developed a broad following and confident reputation.

Still, the recently installed H&R Block Property Ambassador works hard for his dollars and is acutely focused on his career – happily wolfing down lunch in his car to make various client meetings.

We caught up with the 34-year-old ahead of today’s second season launch – to talk swagger, suits, selling and more.

 

What’s a day in the life of Gavin Rubinstein like?

It’s very structured — I’m a man of routine. Alarm goes at 5am every day of the week, I’m in the gym by 6am and then some time to myself before the whirlwind of work really kicks in.

Between the hours of 6am-10pm my phone is consistently buzzing whilst I jet between meetings and some of the most luxurious properties in Sydney.

I suit up too, no matter the occasion, because I truly believe if you look good, you feel good, you do good. However, the supposed glamour of real estate isn’t all that, you’ll find me eating lunch at my desk or in the car when I can find a spare minute.

 

What makes a good agent?

Persistence and work ethic is key — very few people realise how demanding this industry can be before they get their foot in the door. You have to be willing to throw away a lot of leisure time to be one of the industry’s best.

Secondly, always, always deliver on your promises and do what you say you will – because building genuine client relationships is only going to project you forward.

Lastly, a solid level of service and communication is key. Go above and beyond to provide that wow factor because buying and investing in property is no small feat.

 

You operate predominantly in Sydney’s east, what makes it such a coveted – and expensive – area?

The harbourside lifestyle is definitely appealing, so too is its convenience – you’re never more than a 5-10 minute drive to some of Australia’s best beaches. Similarly, it’s a relatively short commute to the CBD for work commitments whether travelling by car, bus, train or ferry. Above all, I think it’s the stunning views – you can’t get much more iconic than the Sydney Harbour Bridge or Opera House.

 

Why do you believe Luxe Listings holds such a strong allure for viewers?

For Sydney viewers it is obviously located in their backyard, so people are intrigued and excited by the stardom of locations that are known to them. The way in which they showcase our city is on another level, the types of property on display are very aspirational and that has a lasting effect. Call me biased,  but I think the cast of the show definitely complement each other in wicked ways, providing some good entertainment and drama. From a production point of view, the cinematography is epic, really putting on a show of property and views.

 

Where do you think the ANZ prestige market is heading in the next 12 months?

Given the continued demand for prestige homes and minimal buying opportunities, I believe we’re only going to see this sector grow from strength to strength. We’re seeing a huge ‘return-to-home’ phenomenon from expats, many of whom are returning with large amounts of wealth which they have accumulated over many years working in places like London, Hong Kong, New York and Singapore. This is only fuelling the demand for hot property nationwide.

 

What advice would you give to people looking to buy in Sydney?

As always, for anyone looking to enter the market irrespective of your experience with property, I highly recommend you seek advice from a tax professional in the know. As Australia’s leading property taxation experts, H&R Block are on top of every single tax concession related to home ownership and property investment.

 

Obviously, you’re something of a divisive character, what would you say to someone who wants professional success but also wants to please everyone?

Be true to yourself, remain authentic, and never put on a show. Intelligent people see straight through any fake facade and that will only inhibit your opportunities in the industry. In regard to a ‘people pleasing’ mentality — you also have to learn to value your time and know when certain activities might not be a productive use of your precious working hours.

 

Of your ‘competition’ on the show and in market – namely agents D’leanne Lewis and Monika Tu — how do they influence your work? Do you think you’d be as driven without their presence?

Competition is a good thing and I love to compete. I’ve always possessed this natural drive and tend to run my own race no matter the task at hand, but every agent has, or will, build their own style and value proposition. I know what I bring to the table and it’s not going to be for everyone — I’m cool with that. Some people will connect better with my competitors and that’s always going to be the case.

 

What’s next for Gavin Rubinstein?

Plenty! We’re in the midst of opening a new office in Rose Bay, very much expanding the TRG team and family. In addition, I’ve partnered with H&R Block to help educate and upskill property investors and prospective owners about the changing deductions and tax implications… I’m a stickler for progression; next year has to be better than last and today better than yesterday. Stay tuned people.

Luxe Listings Sydney season two streams on Amazon Prime from April 1; therubinsteingroup.com



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New research suggests spending 40 percent of household income on loan repayments is the new normal

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Requiring more than 30 percent of household income to service a home loan has long been considered the benchmark for ‘housing stress’. Yet research shows it is becoming the new normal. The 2024 ANZ CoreLogic Housing Affordability Report reveals home loans on only 17 percent of homes are ‘serviceable’ if serviceability is limited to 30 percent of the median national household income.

Based on 40 percent of household income, just 37 percent of properties would be serviceable on a mortgage covering 80 percent of the purchase price. ANZ CoreLogic suggest 40 may be the new 30 when it comes to home loan serviceability. “Looking ahead, there is little prospect for the mortgage serviceability indicator to move back into the 30 percent range any time soon,” says the report.

“This is because the cash rate is not expected to be cut until late 2024, and home values have continued to rise, even amid relatively high interest rate settings.” ANZ CoreLogic estimate that home loan rates would have to fall to about 4.7 percent to bring serviceability under 40 percent.

CoreLogic has broken down the actual household income required to service a home loan on a 6.27 percent interest rate for an 80 percent loan based on current median house and unit values in each capital city. As expected, affordability is worst in the most expensive property market, Sydney.

Sydney

Sydney’s median house price is $1,414,229 and the median unit price is $839,344.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $211,456 to afford a home loan for a house and $125,499 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $120,554.

Melbourne

Melbourne’s median house price is $935,049 and the median apartment price is $612,906.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $139,809 to afford a home loan for a house and $91,642 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $110,324.

Brisbane

Brisbane’s median house price is $909,988 and the median unit price is $587,793.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $136,062 to afford a home loan for a house and $87,887 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $107,243.

Adelaide

Adelaide’s median house price is $785,971 and the median apartment price is $504,799.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $117,519 to afford a home loan for a house and $75,478 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $89,806.

Perth

Perth’s median house price is $735,276 and the median unit price is $495,360.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $109,939 to afford a home loan for a house and $74,066 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $108,057.

Hobart

Hobart’s median house price is $692,951 and the median apartment price is $522,258.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $103,610 to afford a home loan for a house and $78,088 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $89,515.

Darwin

Darwin’s median house price is $573,498 and the median unit price is $367,716.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $85,750 to afford a home loan for a house and $54,981 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $126,193.

Canberra

Canberra’s median house price is $964,136 and the median apartment price is $585,057.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $144,158 to afford a home loan for a house and $87,478 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $137,760.

 

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