More homes needed

In property news this week, rising approvals begin to make their mark but there's still a shortfall of homes for sale; how your mortgage compares with the rest; and we see a goldmine in the humble garden shed …

Ask yourself – Do you need it??

Why do people purchase properties at their limit and often beyond their means? These properties often come with more bedrooms and bathrooms than they really need. Before you put yourself and your family under extreme financial stress take a step back and evaluate the big picture to determine what’s really important.

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Home approvals get the nod

Approvals to build new homes lifted slightly in August, according to data released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Private sector house approvals have been rising for nine months in a row and are now more than ten per cent higher than in August 2013.

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Home building boosts construction index

Renewed growth in residential building has lifted national construction to its strongest point in almost three and a half years, according to a report released this week by the Australian Industry Group (AIG).

Lower interest rates and a lift in buyer sentiment have meant that the construction sector is closer to being stable than at any time since mid-2010, says AIG Chief Economist Julie Toth…

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A man’s shed is his castle

Every man needs a backyard shed - a place to hang his hat, store his home brew and sharpen his tools. Most women probably need one too – to hang hats and tools or just get away from it all.

The garden shed need no longer be the ramshackle lean-to up against the fence and whether it is a yurt, gazebo or regular colorbond model, it can add to the value of your home if done well.

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Space efficiency, cubed

In a society that constantly puts a price on space, it seems logical that we'd use it effectively. Following the global shift in preference for smaller living conditions, designer Till Könneker has developed
an elegant solution to home-space management.

The Living Cube is a multi-functional piece of furniture that provides compartments in front for clothes, shoes, books, television and anything else you'd like to keep on display. The top of the cube acts as an elevated bed platform, while a stylish side door allows access into a walk-in closet.

Tailor-made from high quality materials, the cube can be adjusted to suit anyone's needs, making it easy to reclaim your living space and reduce household clutter in an aesthetically pleasing fashion.

New home sales gain ground

New home sales regained some lost ground in August 2013 due to an encouraging lift for detached houses, according to a survey of Australia's largest volume builders.

But demand is still exceeding supply, says peak residential building body...

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Take the home loan challenge

Are you sure you have the best home loan for your circumstances? Could you be saving hundreds of dollars off your repayments?

Financial data provider Canstar has found that the difference between the average mortgage and the least expensive variable rate one equates to a staggering $1900 in repayment savings every year!

Put your mortgage to the test. ‘Take the Challenge’ on the Canstar website and see the difference in cold hard dollars between your repayments and what you could be saving with one that offers better value. Canstar compare more than 1,908 home loans from 110 lenders to compile a star ratings comparison for both fixed and variable home loans, and the findings are available on their website.