Simon Cohen's guide to buying prestige Sydney real estate
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Simon Cohen’s guide to buying prestige Sydney real estate

The Luxe Listings star on the best way to manage a prestige real estate portfolio in uncertain times

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Tue, May 16, 2023 8:34amGrey Clock 3 min

Since bursting onto our screens with Amazon Prime’s Luxe Listings Sydney, prestige buyer’s agent Simon Cohen has become a household name. The co-founder of agents Cohen Handler and brand ambassador for H&R Block has been selling some of Sydney’s priciest properties for more than a decade now and  is now considered the highest grossing real estate agent in the country.

He spoke to Kanebridge News about the challenges and triumphs of working in the Sydney market.

What in your view is the best real estate market to invest in right now?

Without question, Sydney. It’s the market that increases the most and has the least drop when things go bad.

What is the best way to manage a luxury property portfolio in a market where both prices and interest rates are increasing?

Don’t freak out! Always know that if you’re in the right city, the right suburb and in a blue-chip location, that your property and investment will always be safe. Stay strong, stay believing in your asset and ride the wave.

 

Simon Cohen attends the premiere of Luxe Listings Sydney Season 2 on March 31, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Saverio Marfia/WireImage)

How realistic is Luxe listings? What has surprised you about working on the show?

It’s certainly a reality TV show, so it’s very realistic. All the deals and properties are real. What surprised me the most, is how much love and enjoyment people and viewers have got out of it from all around the world.

Where does an agent with your reputation and experience choose to live?

I currently live in Elizabeth Bay and I’m currently building one suburb away, in Potts Point.

What services can a buyer’s agent provide?

Sourcing every property that exists out in the marketplace, doing the due diligence and valuations and being able to help negotiate the lowest price possible for the purchaser.

Simon Cohen has specialised in selling in Sydney’s eastern suburbs

What’s your advice for people looking to make their first investment in the residential property market?

“First time property investment can be complex and overwhelming, so seeking advice from experts. (Look for) a team that can provide the guidance and work with you every step of the way to advise on what tax deductions to consider (i.e. stamp duty, capital gains, and land tax) when considering your first investment property. Don’t get emotional. Buy where (you are) going to have the best capital growth and the greatest yield. Look for properties in the best blue-chip locations as you can afford and as close to major cities as you can afford, because they are always the ones that are going to have the best return.

How can a buyer’s agent assist overseas buyers interested in the Australian market?

A buyer’s agent is especially useful for overseas buyers because we’re giving them the in-depth understanding of what’s happening in the marketplace in which they are looking to buy in. We’re able to give them access to off-market properties and also point out things that they’re not able to see such as the warts, the problems  the things that the shiny, beautiful photos might not show. Investing in an overseas property can be a lucrative opportunity for many buyers, but it can also come with its own set of challenges and complexities, especially when it comes to navigating the tax implications of such a purchase. This is where partnering with a H&R Block tax experts can be extremely valuable.”



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Thousands of Australian companies on the brink of going into administration as EOFY nears

Along with high inflation and weak consumer spending, there’s another key factor pushing a record number of businesses to the edge

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More than 10,000 companies are expected to have entered external administration by the end of the 2024 financial year, a level not seen for more than a decade. Data just released by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) shows 1,245 companies became insolvent in May, the highest monthly number this financial year. At present, a total of 9,988 businesses have gone bust in FY24 with data from June yet to be finalised.

Deloitte Access Economics Partner David Rumbens said the surge in business insolvencies this year was a “clear sign of economic distress”.

He commented: “[ASIC] predicts that by the end of the financial year, the number of companies entering external administration will likely exceed 10,000 – a level not seen since 2012-13, in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).”

Mr Rumbens said the elements contributing to this year’s surge in insolvencies include high inflation and interest rates, weak consumer spending, and the commencement of more proactive tax debt collection activities by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

“One of the key factors contributing to this surge in insolvencies is the [ATO] pursuing debts that were previously put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Mr Rumbens cited ATO figures showing collectable debt rose 89 percent in the four years to June 2023. This has particularly impacted small businesses, which account for approximately 65 percent of the total debt owed at about $33 billion. “But more strictly enforced debt collection is coming at a time of tough economic conditions. High interest rates and cost-of-living pressures have weakened consumer spending, particularly in more discretionary components of spending.”

The construction sector has seen the highest number of insolvencies by far in FY24, mirroring the trend of FY23. Of the 9,988 insolvencies to date, 2,711 of them are in the building sector, which faces several challenges. These include a substantial lift in the cost of construction materials that is well above inflation and has made many fixed-price contracts signed within the past few years unprofitable. There is also a significant labour shortage that is delaying new home completions and new project starts, and also adding higher costs to projects.

“The construction sector has been hit particularly hard, with construction firms leading industry insolvencies in every quarter since mid-2021,” Mr Rumbens said. “They have accounted for approximately 25 percent of all insolvencies during this period. The residential construction sector is already facing a backlog of projects to complete as a result of skills and material shortages in recent years, and increased insolvencies in the sector may only exacerbate the problem of housing shortages.”

The ASIC data shows the next biggest industry affected is ‘other services’, which includes a broad range of personal care services such as hair, beauty, dietary, and death care services. The sector has seen 939 insolvencies in FY24. Retail trade is next with 687 insolvencies, followed by professional, scientific and technical services with 585 insolvencies.

“The food & accommodation sector has also experienced a wave of insolvencies. High input costs, worker shortages, and weak consumer sentiment have put pressure on businesses. Specifically, in March, cafés, restaurants, and takeaway businesses accounted for 5.5 percent of total business insolvencies, the highest proportion in the last three years.”

Mr Rumbens pointed out that while the number of insolvencies was high, it represents a lower share of the business sector at 0.33 percent than it did in FY13 when it was 0.53 percent. “This reflects the increase of registered companies in Australia, which has risen from just over two million to 3.3 million since 2012-13. Even so, the continued lift in insolvencies since 2021 highlights the difficult conditions many businesses face at present.”

 

 

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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