Working on a Student Visa
Hospitality and Tourism Industries have Working Hour Restrictions Lifted
International students who are normally limited to working 40 hours in a fortnight, under visa condition 8104, will have these imposed caps lifted if they are employed in the hospitality and tourism industry,
To boost the tourism and hospitality sectors, the Federal Government of Australia has introduced these changes, citing strong feedback from the States and Territories,
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke saying, "Government has listened carefully to the states, territories and industry and is introducing these changes to support critical sectors for Australia's COVID-19 economic recovery,"
Real Estate Queensland
Australian Consumer Confidence Remains High
For the past few months (ending April 2021), Australian consumer confidence has remained high. This means consumers are spending instead of saving, on retail, goods & services, and in turn also affecting the prices of real estate.
Growth in the housing market in Queensland is 2.9%, 11.8%, and 22.3% for 1, 5, and 10 years respectively for the median house price, with a majority of growth in Sunshine Coast which has seen prices rise by 47.7% over the last 10 years. Units on the other hand have seen slower growth, with declines in the median cost of units in Brisbane over the last 5 years.
All areas have seen a decline in the median price of land, which seems contradictory until we consider the shift to smaller blocks over the past 10 years; 600 to 1000 square metre blocks are shifting toward 250 to 450 square metre blocks, which works out to be an estimated 80% growth per square metre.
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."
-- Henry David Thoreau
'indian Variant' COVID-19
B.1.617 remains one of the largest COVID threats at the moment
With over two hundred thousand recorded cases a day, India is struggling with the double mutation that is wreaking havoc throughout their country. It has since spread to over 40 countries, including Singapore, which is known to have one of the most stringent and well-established COVID-19 policies in the world.
The emergence of this variant comes at a time where many European countries are easing lockdowns to prioritise economic recovery from an influx of Summer tourism. The B.1.617 variant is believed to be up to 50% more contagious than the current European dominant strain: B.1.17, popularly referred to as the 'UK variant', and is believed to spread more rapidly, cause more severe disease, and evade previously acquire immunity.
Weakening of COVID-19 measures will likely further the propagation of the new variant, particularly with the delayed distribution of vaccines worldwide. At the current trajectory, we will likely see an increase in COVID-19 cases around the world. That being said, it is quite reassuring to see that the strict boundaries the Australian Government has set to protect its residents.
"All countries need to review their strategies now,"
--Dr. Michael J. Ryan, WHO Informal Advisory Group member; March 2020
Units or Houses
We generally favour houses - but there could be opportunity elsewhere
The Reserve Bank of Australia has reduced the cash rate to a historic low of 0.10% in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and house prices have seen some remarkable growth in recent months as a result.
On the other hand, our research suggests a trend where units are failing to keep up with the growth of houses. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it is caused by a fall in net overseas migration rate as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions, and more specifically, the temporary residents that usually provide the demand to the unit rental market.
As time goes on, poor market conditions will increase pressure on investors, who will be finding themselves in harder positions if the demand for the unit rental does not recover. While this information is not new or ground-breaking, it is only now that we are beginning to see some of the predicted effects in the present.
As a result, many real estate professionals are predicting an influx of unit sales, ultimately reducing the price further. Should these predictions come true, it may be worth considering these price-reduced units as a result.
Vaccination & Travel Exemptions
Speculation Around Travel Exemptions for Vaccinated Individuals
It has been reported in many Australian media sources that the Australian Government will exempt fully vaccinated Australians from the travel ban that has been around since May 2020. The news comes from tabloid-esque interpretations of the Federal Budget that was announced on Tuesday 11 May 2021.
As part of the interpretations of the budget, reporter analysts claim that the Federal Budget is anticipating international travel to remain closed and any operational norm will not be reached, any sooner than mid-2022.
It is also the media's consensus that while the borders will remain closed, a staged release will mean vaccinated individuals will be allowed to travel on exemptions, even suggesting that these exemptions may be used to motivate the populace to volunteer for vaccines.
No matter the claim, it seems that it will be some time before Australians can freely travel. Even well-positioned against COVID-19, such as Taiwan, have seen spikes in cases, with critics blaming low vaccination rates due to complacency of safety.
"... the priority should be to ensure access to vaccination prior to travel,”
--Dr Omar Khorshid
Land is still available at our Holmview Estate.
--Sunrise Property Group