Making headlines this week …

Sales of new homes continue to lift; building code amended to prevent falls from upper storey windows; and a competition to design the Prime Minister’s new home…

Fools rush in....

It seems as though everyone wants to know where the next property ‘hot spot’ is going to be where prices are expected to jump giving buyers a financial windfall in the near future. Don't get caught up in the hot spot myth. There is no substitute for thorough research before you buy. Read more.

New home sales firming

Sales of new homes increased in December last year, marking the third consecutive monthly rise, according to a monthly survey of Australia's largest volume builders...

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New code will enforce window barriers

Windows that are more than two metres above the ground will be required to have barriers installed on construction when new residential building codes become effective in May.

Amendments to the Building Code of Australia 2013 (BCA 2103) mean that openable windows in bedrooms in residential buildings or early childhood centres will need to be fitted with either a screen or a device that restricts opening.

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ACCC turns heat on laundry detergent capsules

Those intriguing, squishy, multi-coloured pods of laundry liquid that have been on sale recently are a menace, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced...

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What a load of rubbish

The average Australian household generates around 1.5 tonnes of waste a year, the Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed this week.

Altogether, Australian households generated almost 12.5 million tonnes of waste, nearly half of which was organic waste and nearly a quarter was paper and cardboard.

As part of a new, experimental, environmental economic account, the ABS found that the supply of waste management services in 2009-10 was worth just over $9.5 billion, while income made from waste products was worth over $4.5 billion. Previously, data was used simply to estimate the volume of waste being generated and/or recycled.

Design a Lodge on the Lake

How would you like the chance to design a new official residence for the Prime Minister?

As part of the celebrations for the Centenary of Canberra in 2013, the University of Canberra and the Gallery of Australian Design are inviting designers to participate in a Design Ideas Competition for a new official residence for the PM on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra.

The competition has the endorsement of the Australian Institute of Architects and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. First prize is $80,000 with second and third prizes of $20,000 and $10,000.

Keeping cool is for the birds

Summer in Australia is traditionally fairly extreme, and this year has been no exception. In the midst of a heat wave you’ll notice it’s not just the kids who like to get out and play under the hose – there will often be birds on the grass with their wings spread out to keep cool or diving in a nearby swimming pool.

Native birds and animals all feel the heat, but with a little work and planning you can turn your backyard into a place that both attracts visitors to your garden and help them chill out when the mercury rises.

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