Thank God for Christmas!

18.12.08 Of course we all know the reality that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birth, but its commercialisation has had some other spinoffs in recent times, and this year we really should “thank God for Christmas”. With the whole economy resting on a knife edge of indecision, the experts around the world seem to be fairly unanimous in their belief that the best way out of these economic doldrums is for us to spend, thereby creating (or at least saving) more jobs and for those employees to in turn be better placed to spend themselves, creating more jobs, etc., etc. And what better time of year to be encouraging spending than at Christmas time?! Of course there’s all of the usual gift giving that goes with Christmas, but the economic stimuli are far broader reaching than that. Christmas is a time of year when families get together, so there’s money spent on travel, accommodation and food - my brother and his wife are flying in from Kenya for a few weeks and the way he eats should put a smile on the face of local producers! It’s also a time when we traditionally holiday, and whether that be in a luxury apartment or a tent, our spending will all help give the economy a bit more of a kick along to end the year on a positive note. So, combined with constantly falling interest rates and record government spending levels, I think we’ll see a positive impact from Christmas on the Australian economy, and hopefully that momentum will continue through into a successful 2009. And let’s not forget the positive impact too of having a well earned rest after a long year. We’ll be taking it in turns to spend time with our respective families and to recharge our batteries, so that we can provide uninterrupted, quality service through this busy time of the year. Remembering the true “reason for the season”, all of us at CENTURY 21 Westside would like to thank you for your support this year, wish you a safe, Merry Christmas and all the very best for a prosperous New Year. Until next year…

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

11.12.08 ………and isn’t it just a fabulous time of the year! Christmas decorations everywhere, Houses lit up with beautiful Christmas lights, Christmas parties with colleagues and friends, holidays getting closer and children waking up every morning counting down the sleeps to Santa Clause’s visit. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!! On the flip side of this exciting time approximately one in five households in Australia is a victim of household crime. This means that a large number of homes are continually making themselves easy targets for thieves. It is important for both home owners and renters to ensure their homes are secure, in order to prevent post-holiday heartache. • Having beautiful foliage around your home goes a long way in presentation, but unfortunately provides a safe haven for thieves, a good idea to combat this problem is the installation of sensor lights which are activated by motion and usually scare away most would-be robbers. • If you are going on holidays take some time before you leave to create a ‘lived-in’ effect for your home whilst you are away. There are many products on the market that operate on timers, activating interior lights as well as other appliances, helping to create the desired effect. • Naturally alarms are an effective deterrent which can also stop thieves in their tracks. Work together with neighbours, always advise them when you are going away, give them a contact number and ask them if they would collect your mail or any papers that may be delivered while you are absent. This will keep your home looking lived-in. • If you’re going on holiday, remember to cancel deliveries, do not leave spare keys outside, and give them to a neighbour. Make sure that your garbage bins are put away and not left out. Be sure to lock all windows and doors. • Identify all valuable items by writing a list with the description and serial numbers of each item. Maybe use a ultra-violet pen and write your driver’s license number on TV’s, VCR’s and Stereos. Wishing you and your family a happy and safe Christmas. Until next week…Jocelyn Frost

What a relief!

4.12.08 The Reserve Bank’s decision this week to cut the interest rate for the fourth consecutive month will continue to provide relief to those invested in the property market. The cut of one percent comes as no real surprise to many and is most definitely a clear indication that there is an ongoing commitment to supporting the market place, including that for property, to stabilise. There is also a market confidence abound that this latest in the series of aggressive rate cuts will be a call to action for those buyers watching the property market to jump in and buy and will be a welcome move for those who have already taken the plunge. There is no doubt in my mind that dropping rates are definitely going to bring many of us relief. Those with mortgages will be looking forward to substantial savings especially when you consider that someone with a $400,000 mortgage will be around $200 per week better off than they were in four months ago. In light of the government’s recent initiatives to bolster even more activity , one of the biggest groups of winners in the housing market is still the first time home buyers. With falling interest rates and the increased grants available, first time buyers are sure to provide a much needed boost to the market. Activity on both sides of the transaction is starting to improve with supply easing and buyers coming back into the market ready to buy. What remains to be seen is what will the lenders do? Let’s hope that they see the benefits in working with the market and we see this latest rate reduction passed on to the fullest extent possible. Still, my advice to anyone about to buy is tie up your finance now so that when you come across the house you want you can act with certainty and confidence. Until Next Week ... Phill Broom