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Home loans made clear

Would you like to buy your land over the counter?

By johnboy 10 August 2008 22

[First filed: August 02, 2008 @ 09:35
[Second filing: August 08, 2008 @ 19:28]

Mr. Stanhope has announced that “over the counter” land sales will commence from Monday, 11 August.

    Over 100 blocks in Franklin, Bonner and Dunlop will be available for sale over the counter, removing the need for interested parties to register for a ballot or auction to own their own block.

For those who find the concept of buying land this way peculiar it’s only the $1,000 holding deposit that will be needed at the LDA Land Sales and Information Centre located on the corner of Flemington Road and Nullarbor Avenue in Harrison.

Doors open at 8.30am.

If anyone is thinking of camping out to take advantage of this process let me know and I’ll come take a picture.

UPDATED: WIN News is reporting that the process has been abandoned after fears were held for apprentice builders sent to camp out in the cold to secure blocks for their bosses. Instead it seems you’ll need to make an appointment.

All those highly paid public servants and advisors and no-one saw this coming?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Buddingjourno has sent in this comment worthy of wider reading:

    There are going to be so many cranky people in Kingston tomorrow morning!! I went out there today and was given a number close to 100. There are only 100 blocks available and you are allowed to purchase more than 1 so I am already doubting my own chances of actually being able to purchase something. There is no doubt that people are going to show up in the early hours of tomorrow morning and be very pissed off!

    What a joke! How can you change something at 4.57pm on Friday afternoon that affects something that happens before open of business on Monday morning? If releasing 100 blocks of land suddenly over the counter was supposed to be a vote buyer, i don’t think it’s going to work because there are definitely going to be more pissed off people than happy people tomorrow morning.

    I feel sorry for the security guards that had to wait at Kingston all weekend giving out the numbers. From what I heard they copped a lot of flak from angry land buyers already (and they were the ones with numbers and appointment times). I hate to think the flak they are going to cop tomorrow morning.

    Funny though, not a thing was mentioned in either Saturday’s Canberra Times of the Sunday Times. How can this have gone unnoticed, because to me this seems like a massive deal!

UPDATE: Gungahlin Al sent in the following:

    LDA – ripe for a gutting?

    The Canberra Times is reporting today that 33 of the blocks available for over the counter sales yesterday were sold to just three builders.

    Why is this a bad thing?

    Because more often than not, the builders buy job lots and whack up whatever plan they have that fits on the block and with a stack of insulation can squeeze past the minimum star ratings. If the blocks are adjacent, we end up with dumb bland cookie-cutter streets. And forget liveability, or reduced costs of operation…

    The alternative would be people (working families?? 🙂 ) buying a block and working with a builder or designer or architect to come up with a house that will suit the block and maximise passive solar design, and really suit their needs.

    In addition, the builder sells a house and land package, meaning the buyer has to cop stamp duty on the whole lot – not just the land component.

    And maybe there we have hit on the nub of it – the LDA keeps the builders happy by keeping up their shelf stock, and keep the government happy by doubling the stamp duty take.

    I said at the time that Stanhope putting the former Master Builders head John Haskins in charge of the LDA was a “fox and henhouse” move. And I haven’t seen anything to sway me from that position to date. If anything the LDA has become even more wedded to the builders.

    And LDA chief executive John Robertson’s response today that they wouldn’t be changing their system just goes to indicate the depth of the problem at the LDA and with the ACT Government for allowing/perpetuating the situation.

    It’s safe to say I don’t have too many unburnt bridges at the LDA, so I might as well be straight about this: the LDA is ripe for a complete overhaul. There are key people there need to “explore other personal development opportunities” and there are systems and corporate values that need a serious rethink. A savvy government would initiate this before the election, but I suspect it will have to wait until after – so I hope the potential cross-bench candidates are taking notice…? The Act that enables the LDA provides for another 2 board positions – it is time the community was represented.

    And as I write this, Mr Stanhope has just issued another media release trumping the affordable housing initiatives – all of which have been effectively neutered by the market supply manipulation driving up land prices, on which I have written here on numerous times.

    Meanwhile, for those people wanting to sidestep all this LDA nonsense, check out Crace and Casey – one thing Stanhope has got right is to allow these “englobo” sales where the LDA is effectively out of the equation.

What’s Your opinion?

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Would you like to buy your land over the counter?
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Gungahlin Al 1:56 pm 13 Aug 08

Following on from my article about the land being swallowed up by builders (which was tacked on to this article), I note that Mr Stanhope has been responding to the criticism by saying there are 53 blocks still available.

But what he isn’t saying is that they are pretty much all either awkward corner blocks or have mandatory 2-storey requirements – both of which make them expensive to build one. Therefore outside the reach of many of the people whom are trying so hard to escape the rent trap.

There are times Mr Stanhope, as I’d hoped the GDE issue had demonstrated, when you just have to put the endless spin aside and say “yeah you know there is a problem here, and we are going to fix it.” Take a lesson from Peter Beattie. He didn’t waste stacks of column cms or airwaves thowing more and more words at the same excuse. He just said yep, fixing it, next issue?

OzChick 5:16 pm 11 Aug 08

JC said :

Now I know that this scheme is a lot different, but from a legal perspective it shouldn’t make any difference to the banks when loaning money. The only question I have is when someone sell a house with land on this kind of lease who is responsible for ‘buying’ the land out. More so in the case of foreclosure.

The lease can be land rented by the new owner of the property, so it will be transferred from seller to buyer. If the new owner wished to purchase the land outright then the block of land will be purchased from the ACT Department of Treasury (the owner)and purchase the house from the seller at the same time.

This scheme will be great for investors though, claim the Land Rent for investment purposes then lets say 10 years later they purchase the block of land from the ACT Department of Treasury for the current market value, and then sell the house with the block of land.

Depending on the length of time that they officially own that land, they have reduced their capital gains significantly… Just lets the governement and the rich (property investors) get richer. IMO.

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