Pain for vendors as more properties sell at a loss
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Pain for vendors as more properties sell at a loss

The real estate reckoning continues as homeowners and investors reassess their assets

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Wed, Jun 28, 2023 10:13amGrey Clock 2 min

The number of properties selling at a loss is on the rise in Australia, new research released today reveals.

CoreLogic’s Pain and Gain report for June shows that Sydney had the highest levels of homes selling at a loss across the capital cities, reaching 10.7 percent over the March quarter. It’s the highest level since the August quarter of 2009. Melbourne, Darwin and Perth also saw increases in the numbers of properties selling at a loss.

The report noted that there has also been a rise in the share of sales of properties held for less than two years, with an increase of 8.4 percent over the March quarter, up from 6.6 percent over the same period last year.

Report author and CoreLogic head of research Eliza Owen said such behaviour was historically a little unusual.

“Such short selling times that involve sellers incurring a loss may be considered unusual, because hold periods typically increase during housing value downturns, as sellers try to avoid making a loss,” Ms Owen said.
“The implication may be that some sellers are choosing to incur a loss from resale in order to avoid particularly high mortgage repayments in the current rate-hiking environment.”

The pain has been felt more in the unit market, which has experienced a faster deterioration in profitability than the housing market over the past year. The report speculated that the performance of the unit market may be an indication that investors are struggling to service their mortgages. In this environment, it may also be an indication that sellers are willing to offload their property for less rather than face higher mortgage payments.

Ms Owen said residential resale gains remained significant in overall terms. While the largest capitals had experienced the greatest losses, there were capital cities still experiencing gains. In Hobart, 99 percent of resales made a nominal gain, while 98.1 percent of resales in Canberra recorded a profit. Brisbane also saw an increase over the quarter, with 95.7 percent of resales experiencing a gain.



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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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