Welcome Twenty-Twenty One

International borders might not open until 2022


The Australian government has expressed the intention of reopening Australia's international borders as soon as possible, reviewing medical advice and rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines on a "week by week" schedule.


Despite these efforts, the Health Department has predicted that the end of travel restrictions may not occur until 2022. The situation remains unclear, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison has affirmed that the plans for another 12 months of restrictions and hotel quarantine could be reconsidered.


Property Performance Indications

Despite international border closers,


Australia is one of just five nations who enter 2021 very well placed. COVID-19 numbers are low, the news regarding a vaccine is excellent, and confidence is rebounding.


Even Melbourne, the hardest hit city is catching up to the wave of recovery that is already underway elsewhere. Australia has persisted well, and heartening developments in job markets bring forth confidence in the property market.


The damage of 2020 is winding back, and at a breakneck speed at that, but make no mistake, it will not disappear. Some aspects of damage will linger, despite the effective controls put in place.


There is no doubt that things have changed. Spending habits were forced into hibernation, with lockdowns and border closures, and households have been saving more of these funds normally spent on these leisures.


Government incentives were also introduced to lower costs not only not first home buyers, but for everyone in general. This is a sign that the market has high liquidity to fuel the economic recovery and seems to be effective in maintaining the value of property Australia-wide.



"Top performers like New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan haven’t been hurt by the fact they’ve not yet started vaccinating their populations, as low community transmission and balmy weather helps maintain their Covid edge."


--Jinshan Hong, Rachel Chang and Kevin Varley

Bloomberg's COVID Resilience Ranking


PTE-IELTS Concordance Report

Confusion surrounds the report published in 2020


The purpose of the Concordance Report is to enable Governments, Universities, and professional bodies to compare the PTE score ranges against IELTS bands.

The report is a part of a consistent re-evaluation that uses reviewed data to validate the PTE test results against other tests. This allows for the PTE test to maintain the highest levels of accuracy for test takers.


PearsonPTE stresses that nothing has changed to the PTE exam itself, how it is scored, or the scores are required to achieve for your Australian, New Zealand, and UK visas or for university admissions.


While the test itself has not changed, test takers may see an effect if Governments, Universities, or professional bodies decided to change their score requirements as a result of the new alignments of the concordance report.




A candidate who scored 79 will continue to score a 79, their level of English Proficiency will remain the same.

--PearsonPTE


Cost to Foreign Buyers

Not just the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to consider



In additional to FIRB approval, foreign buyers are subjected to additional stamp duty, whether that's applied under the:

Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty in QLD;

Surcharge Purchaser Duty in NSW;

Foreign Purchaser Additional Duty in VIC,

Foreign Ownership Surcharge in SA;

Foreign Buyers Duty in WA;

Foreign Investor Duty Surcharge in TAS.


Each state has their own variation of the cost, and foreign buyers should budget for them accordingly. To highlight the impact of these duties, we take the example of a foreign buyer, looking to purchase a house and land package in Queensland:



Cost of House & Land Package: $460,000

Land Title Registration Fee: $1,231

Stamp Duty: $14,525

Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty: $32,200

FIRB Approval Application Fee: $6,350


Solicitor Fees (estimates)

Conveyancing: $880

FIRB Application: $550

Outlays & Search Costs: $770



TOTAL COST: $516,506


" AFAD (Australian Foreign Acquirer Duty) was introduced to ensure foreign acquirers of residential property who benefit from government services and infrastructure also contribute to their delivery, the same as local buyers."

--Queensland Government

Determining a Price

The importance of the property listing process