It’s National Tree Day this Sunday …

So we take a look at building with sustainable timber. Also making headlines, land sales and new housing figures lift; and the mansion with a $100m discount!

Why sometimes a lemon can be sweet

Just because a property has been on the market eight weeks or more doesn't necessarily mean it’s sour.  There are three key reasons why a property doesn't sell: ... Read More! 

New home building rises

New residential building lifted even further in the March quarter 2013, according to data released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The figures show that the total number of dwelling units commenced in the March quarter 2013 was 13.0 per cent higher than 12 months previously. New private sector ‘other residential’ building rose by a whopping 20.8 per cent, while houses lifted 5.1 per cent.

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Planting the seeds for change

It's time once again to get back in touch with our roots. This Sunday events can be found throughout the community celebrating Tree Day (School Tree Day is today, so your children may already be participating in some green activities).

By participating and encouraging local plants to grow you're not only helping the environment and native animals, you’ll be helping reach the milestone of the 20-millionth seedling planted since Tree Day began in 1996!

It's easy to get involved by planting native trees, shrubs, grasses or an edible garden. All you'll need to do is decide what and where you want to plant, get the plants, and register your activities. There's even a chance to win an eco-luxury holiday! For more information head to

Land has room for improvement

Sales of land for housing continue to improve but still fall short of demand, according to a new report.

The latest HIA-RP Data Residential Land Report provided by the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and property analytics provider RP Data shows that residential land sales increased by 4.3 per cent in the March 2013 quarter.

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Build your house with green timber

Want a house with timber in it, but don’t want to be responsible for another patch of trees being cut down? We take a look at a variety of 'good green wood' sources, so that you can have an environmentally-friendly timber house.

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Time to defrost your home loan?

Has your home loan been on ice, unchanged for as long as you can remember? There are some red-hot deals on offer right now that could melt years off it, so this may be the perfect time to crack it open and see if it still matches your current lifestyle and financial circumstances...

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Caveat vendor

Is this the most tragic case of vendor discounting ever? Last year we reported that the Miami Beach mansion where Gianni Versace lived (and died) had gone on the market with a price tag of US$125m.

At the time, we quoted Morgan Brennan, real estate writer with Forbes Magazine, as saying it was “quite likely that the mansion will sell, quickly and for a high price, as the trophy-home market is still very active amongst the world’s billionaires”.

Unfortunately that was not the case, and the property will now go to auction in September with a reserve of just US$25m.

If that still seems like a lot, keep in mind the 23,000 square-foot mansion offers 10 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and a 54-foot long mosaic pool lined with 24-karat gold.