Pass The Bypass
Glad to see the Byron Bypass is finally going to proceed. This project has been on the drawing board for as long as I can remember. Many people still question its worth. I understand if you just build more roads, they just fill up with more cars. But the bypass is part of a number of planning changes that will make the middle of Byron more livable and pedestrian friendly.
The bus interchange is also contentious. It is important that the main bus stop is taken out of Jonson Street and will now be on the western side of the train line. Council is looking for community consultation on this issue of you want to have your say.
Regenning the Big Scrub
So many of my clients who buy land and acreage in the Northern Rivers want to do the right thing. Many want to plant lots of trees and regrow forest with Australian native hardwoods. I know of a number of local regen experts who have vibrant businesses doing this work. If you are planning on planting trees and want some quality info on how to do it, come to this Farm Forestry Field Day. Friday 14th of June in Federal and the cost is $45 lunch and morning tea is included. For more info contact the Brunswick Valley Land Care.
Electric Vehicle Demo
ZEB – Zero Emissions Byron is having a busy month. On June 8th they are presenting an EV Forum. This is a demonstration of all kinds of Electric Vehicles. There will be expert speakers as well as vehicles on display. More info here
They are also raising money for tree planting. Replant Byron hopes to plant 1.8 million trees by 2025 and looking for sponsors and supporters. Please look at this linked document if you want to support this good cause.
$$$ People on the Move
A new report from international property consulting firm Knight Frank shows that Australia is the most popular destination for millionaires wanting to immigrate. They estimate one in four millionaires around the world will be looking to switch locations. The report suggests the reason why Australia is the top option is it ticks the following boxes: clean environment, national stability, no inheritance tax, good schools and health care, and strong business links to Asia.
About 3000 millionaires departed the UK last year. Mainly due to Brexit as this is the first year of a decline in three decades since London has consistently been a haven for HNWIs – that means “High Net Worth Individuals” for all you poor people. 4000 millionaires left Turkey last year and 7000 left Russia.
Banks Misbehaving Again
Remember last year’s Royal Commission into the banks? Remember mortgage broker trail commissions were in the spotlight? The recommendation from the Haynes commission was to scrap trail commissions and have brokers paid directly by the banks. On the surface, this seemed like a good idea, as it’s the bank’s responsibility to pay brokers for their work.
Well, it turns out the evidence supplied to the commission by CBA was prejudicial and selective. The data they supplied falsely represented brokers chasing the highest commissions instead of chasing the best deals for clients. Fortunately, the Finance Brokers Association of Australia was able to view the incorrect submission from CBA and replaced it with the accurate data showing that, generally, independent brokers acted in the best interest of borrowers.
But could it be business as usual for long? The next threat to the big four banks is what is known as ‘Open Banking”. This is where your digital banking history and documentation is easily transferable between banking institutions making it much simple and easy to switch service providers. Hello, healthy competition.
Buyers Agents – Good Bad and Ugly
With the growth of Buyers Agency as an industry, there inevitably comes the growth of shysters and scammers. This comes in two versions. First, are real estate agents who try to brand themselves as buyer’s agents while having listings and trying to snag buyers for their own properties. These are not “independent” buyers agents and are not acting solely for the buyer.
The other variety is buyer agent firms setting up training courses to teach new BAs the skills. These courses seem to be high in costs but low on delivery of info. The REBAA is the BA industry association and is introducing its own training model. If anyone you know is interested in considering a career as a buyers agent they can contact us here at BPS or go direct to REBAA here.
Nicolette Van Missinginaction
Readers often ask me what happened to ex Unique Estates principal Nicolette Van Wijngaarten. The bankrupted luxury real estate agent appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court on 10 charges of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage and five charges of corporation offences. She has been out on bail and living in Melbourne’s salubrious suburb of Elwood. She was scheduled to reappear in Court on March 12 but that did not occur and nothing has been heard of the case since her last appearance in February. As soon as BPS hears of anything we will write it up.
House of the Year
A controversial multi-million-dollar home on the NSW south coast has taken out the top honour at the HIA-CSR Australian Housing Awards on Saturday. Gerringong’s Headland House, a holiday house built by Bellevarde Constructions, was awarded Australian Home of the Year and Australian Custom Built Home.
The 400-square-metre residence was designed by architect Atelier Andy Carson with a minimalist style. With four-bedrooms and four-bathrooms, it has a sharp angular facade clad twice in stone and zinc and cantilevered to create a gravity-defying illusion.
The contemporary structure sits upon Werri Headland with enormous, frameless windows – including 500-kilogram glass panels in a storm-viewing room. It also boasts a central courtyard with pool, lawn, seating and fire pit.
The sand sculpture artist is back in Byron. You can view his work at Main Beach in front of the Byron Lifesaving Club. Below is a sample from when he was here last year.
Beside that is a picture of the winner of this year’s Texas SandFest competition – Liberty Crumbling by Canadian artist Damon Langlois.