THE BEST OF THE BEST IN NSW AUCTIONEERING

Estate Agents Co-operative and Real Estate Institute of Australia have once again hosted the NSW heats of the Australasian Auctioneering Championships. 10 of the top auctioneers in the state fought it out for a place in the National Championships.

The competitors in this year’s heats included:

Andrew Cooley – Cooley Auctions
Briannan Crawford – Cooley Auctions
Clarence White – McGrath Estate Agents
Damien Cooley – Cooley Auctions
Edward Riley – McGrath Estate Agents
Gavin Croft – Bresic Whitney Estate Agents
Joshua Larsen – McGrath Estate Agents
Leon Axford – Axford Auctions
Lucas Cannan – Think Real Estate
Will Hampson – My Auctioneer

The winner in this year’s final was EDWARD RILEY of McGrath Estate Agents (pictured) with the runner up DAMIEN COOLEY of Cooley Auctions.

Edward and Damien will now go onto the National Championships in the hope of securing a place at the Australasian Championship in Melbourne 1 – 3 September 2015.

“Both Edward and Damien I’m sure will do NSW proud at the National Championships,” said Dale Whittaker, Chairman of EAC. “The absolute best in NSW auctioneering came to compete today, so Edward and Damien should be very proud and I look forward to watching them compete in Melbourne.”

“I would like to thank all the competitors for their entry into this year’s competition, I wish you all the best and I think that it is great to see the number of high quality entrants in this year’s heats,” said Neville Sanders, President of REIA.

EAC and REIA would also like to thank the major sponsor of the NSW heats, AON. AON is a sponsor of the REIA and was recently announced as the Insurance Partner for Estate Agents Co-operative.

2015 NSW Awards for Excellence Date Announced

Estate Agents Co-operative Ltd (EAC) and the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) is pleased to announce the New South Wales Awards for Excellence recognising the real estate industry’s top performers from the NSW Affiliate Council Members of the REIA.

The 2015 awards will be held on 27th of October 2015 in Sydney.

The awards are a brilliant way to recognise the professional efforts of agents and property managers.  The awards allow award winners from NSW to also be recognised and compete at the National Awards.

Details on entry to the awards will be released in the coming weeks.

National Licensing for the Real Estate Industry is not going to proceed

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) held its 36th meeting today in Canberra and it would appear as though National Licensing for our industry will not be proceeding.

In the Communique from the meeting it was stated:

“COAG noted that, following the outcome of extensive State-based consultation, the majority of States decided not to pursue the proposed National Occupational Licensing Scheme (NOLS) reform. Most jurisdictions identified a number of concerns with the proposed NOLS model and potential costs. States instead decided to investigate approaches that would increase labour mobility and deliver net benefits for businesses and governments.”

” To this end, States agreed to work together via the Council for the Australian Federation (CAF) to develop alternative options for minimising licensing impediments to improving labour mobility and to manage the orderly disestablishment of the National Occupation Licensing Authority from early 2014.”

While EAC was in favour of National Licensing, we had stated that in the proposed form we did not believe it was in the best interest of the industry or consumers. We can now look forward to maintaining the educational standards and professionalism of the real estate occupations.

NSW HOMEBUYERS UNDER THREAT FROM PROPOSED CHANGES TO REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY

NSW homebuyers and property investors are most at risk from proposed changes to lower current industry standards, as suggested by the National Occupational Licensing Authority (NOLA) in its Decision Regulation Impact Statement – Proposal for National Licensing for Property Occupations (DRIS), the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) reveals in its official response to Government.

The proposal to reduce or remove the education and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements for real estate agents will put consumers at greater risk from inadequately trained and under-qualified real estate agents.

Under the new proposal, consumers in NSW would lose the assurance offered by mandatory CPD – an ongoing education requirement that is designed to increase the knowledge and skills of those working in the real estate industry and ensure high professional standards are maintained.

“The proposal fails to take into account the importance of consumer protection and the integral role played by Continuing Professional Development in our ever changing industry.

“Buying a property is the biggest investment people make, and this should be undertaken only with the assistance of a fully qualified and knowledgeable agent.

Mandatory CPD was introduced in Western Australia in 2007 for licensees and in 2009 for sales representatives. As a result, the average number of written concerns or complaints raised by the public to the REIA of Western Australia dropped from 196 in 2009 to 58 in 2010, representing a 70% reduction.

A full copy of the Real Estate Institute of Australia’s official response to the DRIS proposal can be downloaded at www.reia.com.au

NSW Fair Trading Announces New Trust Account Audit Rules

Amendments to the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002, will commence from 1 July 2013. These amendments will change the way licensees fulfil their responsibilities in relation to the auditing of trust accounts.

Currently, licensees who have held or received trust money during their audit year are required to have their trust accounts audited and lodge the audit returns with NSW Fair Trading whether the audit was qualified or not.

Licensees who did not hold or receive trust money during their audit year are required to lodge a statutory declaration with Fair Trading to that effect.

New Laws
The amendments provide a new framework for how licensees handle their trust account auditing responsibilities under the Act, commencing from the 2012/2013 audit year.

The changes include:

  • While all licensees who held or received trust money during their audit year will still need to have their trust accounts audited, only those audits which are qualified by the auditor are required to be lodged by the auditor and licensee with Fair Trading.
  • The term ‘qualified’ is now defined in the amendments to the Act.
  • The list of persons who are qualified to audit trust accounts under the Act is extended to include authorised audit companies, members of a Professional Accounting Body as defined under the ASIC Regulation 2001 (ie. CPA Australia, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and National Institute of Accountants) holding a Public Practising Certificate with one or more of those bodies.
  • A requirement on the auditor to forward a copy of the trust account audit (if qualified) to Fair Trading within 14 days after providing the report to the licensee.  A maximum penalty of 50 penalty units ($5,500) is provided for a breach of this requirement.
  • Licensees who did not hold or receive trust money during the audit year will no longer lodge a statutory declaration to that effect.  Instead, licensees will be required to note whether or not they did so when they next re-apply for their licence.
  • Licensees are now required to hold a copy of their trust account audit (whether qualified or not) at their registered place of business, for at least 3 years, and make it available to Fair Trading inspectors for examination if required.

Click here to view the New Trust Account Audit Rules in detail on the NSW Fair Trading website.

Government Action Required on Housing Affordability

A new report by the National Housing Supply Council clearly identifies the need for a concerted approach by Governments to address housing affordability, particularly for first home buyers, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA).

“The Housing Supply and Affordability Issues 2012–13 report shows that it now seems certain the aggregate rate of home ownership in Australia will drop from around the rate of 70 per cent that it has been for the last three decades,” says REIA President, Peter Bushby.

“Affordability is identified as the main reason for this change.”

“Exacerbating the difficulty for first home buyers is that during 2012, the Governments of Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia announced that they would only provide the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) to purchasers of new property and not to those buying established housing.”

“The actions of the state governments ignore the evidence that first home buyers have a clear preference for established houses. Only 18 per cent of Australian first home buyers are buying new homes with 82 per cent purchasing established dwellings,” says Mr Bushby.

“In its Pre Budget Submission, REIA has urged the Government to address the plight of first home buyers.”

“As part of a package of measures to address the affordability problem, REIA proposes that the Commonwealth Government should establish a scheme to encourage young Australians to contribute to voluntary superannuation by allowing access to these resources for the purposes of raising a deposit for a first home.” “A good example of how this can work is provided by a Singapore where home ownership is at 87.2 per cent.”

“The issue of first home buyers and affordability is a major issue for both sides of politics to address in this election year,” concluded Mr Bushby.

Source: Real Estate Institute of Australia Media Release 4 March 2013

Estate Agents Co-operative Ltd is an Affiliate Member of the REIA.