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  3. Joint ventures are proving to be popular with property investors who have a desire to become involved in developments and projects much larger than they would normally be able to complete given their own finance restrictions but as you will hear it is not as easy as it sounds and there are lots of pitfalls for developers and investors. Kevin Turner from Real Estate Talks discusses Joint Ventures with Matthew Lewison who is featured in the April 2013 edition of Australian Property Investor magazine.

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  4. Homeowners won’t be forced to take out compulsory flood insurance if they don’t want to, following a decision by the Federal Government to scrap the idea. The Government has also ruled out subsidies to help people pay huge premiums in high-risk flood zones. It means homeowners could now be left without insurance cover in some of those high-risk areas. But even if the Government had gone ahead with the idea, there was a risk some insurers would have withdrawn from high-risk areas anyway. So a tough spot to be in for those in flood zones around the country.

    In other news, one US real estate industry boss has told investors that we don’t have a housing bubble in Australia. President of the US National Realtors Association, Greg Thomas, admits property prices in Australia are high, but he also says, that just reflects the higher cost of living here. Despite US economist Harry Dent claiming Australia has a housing bubble, Mr Thomas says our property prices are actually relative to the wages people receive in Australia.

    But it seems even without the bubble, first home buyers aren’t diving into the market. First home buyer numbers are falling. The Australian Bureau of Statistics says first home buyer commitments slipped about 11 per cent at the start of 2013. It’s interesting to note that New South Wales and Queensland experienced record lows for first home buyer commitments – and these are the two states where the first home buyer grant has finished. So it also indicates more first home buyers in New South Wales and Queensland probably got into the property market just before the grant ended.

    More property news, advice and comment at realestatetalk.com.au where Lauren Day from Australian Property Investor magazine joins me each week to discuss the news. Subscription to Real Estate Talk is free and comes with lots of bonuses and an email each Saturday telling you whats on.

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