Monthly Archives

June 2019

domain property price report june commentary

Domain Property Forecast – What it Tells Us

By | Property News
domain property price report june commentary
Domain opens their June property report with a broad, bold statement – prices will flatten, on average, across our capital cities throughout the remainder of 2019, before reversing slightly and beginning an upturn in 2020. This is largely in line with expectations of other market observers and the general feel of market sentiment that we’ve been seeing (although we never like to make big calls based on a “feel” alone).

Domain have revised down their own predictions based on a slower start to the year than expected, attributed to ongoing fallout from the royal commission into the financial services sector, economic headwinds and uncertainty around the election and the economy broadly. We’ve broken down their report. It makes for some interesting reading.

Why the turnaround next year?

There have been a few big changes (and some yet to come) over the past couple of months that bode well for the property market – and Domain, like everyone else, has picked up on it.

Interest Rates

Money is getting cheaper, mortgage rates are dropping, and it’s getting easier and easier for people to get the financing they need to buy their first home or purchase an investment property.

APRA Lending Rules

In May, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) changed its standards surrounding loan serviceability. Rather than loan providers assessing mortgagees on their ability to repay loans at a rate of 7% (regardless of their actual rate), they are now recommended to assess loan serviceability at a rate of 2.5% above the actual rate – so as interest rates continue to drop, the number of people who may be considered able to meet their repayment obligations will increase. This will open up the housing market to new entrants, and more demand (in the absence of considerations of supply) tends to have only one effect on prices.

The Election and New Policy

The federal election eased a lot of uncertainty around housing, particularly with regard to negative gearing. Easing the fears of property investors and locking in certainty for the next few years should help to address some of the underlying turmoil in the housing market and will help reinforce the price floor (possibly higher than it otherwise would have been) once clearances and prices stop declining.

The Capitals

Our attention is often drawn to the capital cities when we’re analysing property price shifts, and rightly so – that’s where the bulk of our population lives. Australia-wide, Domain is calling a 1% increase in property prices by the end of the year (we’re willing to write this off as a rounding error – let’s call it flat) and a 2-4% increase throughout 2020. There may be minor downturns over the next couple of months, but by year’s end, Domain contends, we should see flat-to-positive price performance for 2019 as a whole. This data is reflected across the capital cities, broken down below:



2019 – 2%

2020 – up to 5%


2019 – 2%

2020 – up to 4%



2019 – 1%

2020 – up to 3%


2019 – 1%

2020 – up to 2%



2019 – 1%

2020 – up to 5%


2019 – 0%

2020 – up to 2%

Interestingly, Domain is predicting that Brisbane apartments may see zero growth in prices throughout both 2019 and 2020 – with a maximum of 2% growth next year. Houses, on the other hand, have a very positive outlook.



2019 – 0%

2020 – up to 2%


2019 – 0%

2020 – up to 2%



2019 – 1%

2020 – up to 3%


2019 – 2%

2020 – up to 3%



2019 – 0%

2020 – up to 4%


2019 – 2%

2020 – up to 5%

It’s very interesting to see a flatter prediction for Hobart house prices this year than Sydney or Melbourne. Domain places some emphasis on increased supply for their justification here.



2019 – 2%

2020 – up to 6%


2019 – 1%

2020 – up to 3%

Some Words of Caution

Domain concludes their report with an outline of some of the risks to their price forecasts. Upside risks include a stronger turnaround in investor sentiment than expected, a diving unemployment rate (combined with interest rate cuts) increasing wages and investment, and unexpected interest rate cuts.

The downside risks outlined by Domain include slower global growth than unexpected (possibly driven by an escalation in the trade war) and the potential for a rise in unemployment due to a construction downturn – somewhat of a double whammy. Further, investor sentiment might not respond as expected to the June rate cut and predicted July/August rate cut, resulting in flatter than expected prices or a delayed rebound.

The Big Picture

We’re facing interesting times ahead, but the fundamentals are reasonably healthy. Outside of retail, most of the Australian economy is chugging along at a modest rate. The property market isn’t diving, it’s correcting. We can expect to see more money continue to find its way into the market as the cost of borrowing becomes cheaper throughout the end of 2019. All things considered, now is a fantastic time to dive right in.


hampton-style house plans

Hampton-Style House Plans: Classically Gorgeous Homes

By | Architecture
hampton-style house plans
There is something to be said for timeless beauty. The kind of classical design that transcends trends and architectural eccentricity is something that many of us aspire to in our home. We want to live somewhere that will retain its visual impressiveness far into the future, something that we can be just as proud of on the day we retire as the day we bought it.Hampton-style house plans are a great starting point in the search for the kind of home that will deliver on all fronts.

Why are so many people searching for hampton-style house plans?

Hampton-style house plans have exploded in popularity in recent years. It has always been a timeless architectural style, but changes in accessibility and income have led to more people finding it to be more affordable and thus seeking it out as a design option for their own home.

Hampton-style house plans are the foundation upon which a truly beautiful home can be built. With a strong foundation (provided you pick the right designer and builder) you can expand into your own Hampton-style interior with the right balance of teal, navy and off-white hues. There’s a whole world of Hampton interior design out there, and it’s perfect inside a hampton-style home.

What to look for in hampton-style house plans

It might be hard to describe the ideal hampton-style house plan, but when you see it, you know it. A great Hampton-style house plan will acknowledge its roots and account for them. This means recognising that many of the things that make a Hampton-style home recognisable aren’t necessarily built into the frame. They include the furnishings, such as lantern-style lighting, and paintwork.

When you’re analysing the floor plans, look for open space, air flow and availability of natural light. Think of a stylish coastal home that has the doors and windows open through the warm summer months.

What are the best hampton-style house plans?

We’ve hunted through our archives to dig up some of the best Hampton-style house plans to share with you and get the ideas flowing.


Fairhaven is the perfect blend of luxury and comfort, exemplifying the foundational features that define the ideal Hampton-style house plan. Fairhaven takes full advantage of flowing movement to create a home that just fits together perfectly, while sensibly-designed features ensure that it is a pleasure to occupy.

Fairhaven Floor Plan:

Key Features:

  • Four large bedrooms
  • Open plan living area
  • Large emphasis on outdoor life with two areas
  • Formal dining area
  • Luxurious master bedroom

Click here for more details.


The Provincial is one of the most stunning examples of Hampton-style homes we offer. Featuring a grand staircase and an outstanding kitchen suitable for all occasions, this home is a pleasure to occupy.

Provincial Floor Plan:

hampton style house plans - provincial floor plan

Key Features:

  • Four sizeable bedrooms
  • Deluxe kitchen with butler’s pantry
  • Alfresco – perfect for entertaining
  • Double garage with storeroom

Click here for more details.


The Polaris is a modern, sophisticated take on traditional hampton-style house plans. It is meticulously designed, with all the features that exemplify modern family living.

Polaris Floor Plan:

hampton-style house plan - polaris

Key Features:

  • Five sizeable bedrooms
  • Large alfresco for hosting guests
  • Large master suite featuring an ensuite and walk-in robe

Click here for more details.


When it comes to homeliness, Hampton-style house plans deliver in spaded. The Manor is the culmination of years of shifting home designs towards the perfect intersection of luxury and comfort. This is the ultimate family home for those who want to maximise the value of their time spent inside.

Manor Floor Plan:

hampton style house plans - manor

Key Features:

  • Great alfresco area for those early morning coffees
  • Separate study for full privacy
  • Double vanity in the master suite ensuite
  • Large open-plan living areas

Click here for more details.

It’s all about lasting quality

All of the Hampton-style house plans we’ve listed above have one thing in common: central to their design is the concept of long-lasting quality. A home should stand the test of time, not only in appearance, but also in liveability. All McCarthy Homes are built from high quality materials and designed to be robust, as well as visually stunning, far into the future.

Want unique Hampton-style house plans?

We can help you develop the perfect Hampton-style house plans that will suit your budget and personal tastes. If you have an idea of what you are looking for and some features that you would like to see included in your new home, reach out to us. We’ll sit down, have a chat, find out your requirements and budget and help develop a plan that will be perfect for what you’re looking for.

Call us on (07) 3358 9704 or click here to email us.

The Fairhaven Display Home is Now Open

By | Display Homes
Our latest display home is now open. The Fairhaven is one of our favourite family home designs, and we are very pleased to be able to present it as an open home for you to inspect at your leisure.

The Fairhaven is the ideal family home. It exists at the intersection of luxury and comfort, with four spacious bedrooms designed to make you feel right at home the second you walk in the door.

Open-plan living and entertaining areas ensure that The Fairhaven is a delight to live in, encouraging interaction among family and friends and ensuring that everyone feels perfectly at ease in a luxurious setting.

It’s the little things that make The Fairhaven an absolute delight to live in. An excellently designed kitchen complemented by a butler’s pantry make entertaining a large crowd as simple as creating everyday meals. There’s something to be said for having everything you need in a kitchen that is built for entertainment.

Upstairs you’ll find a separate living area, a comfortable study nook and three bathrooms to ensure that the whole family has some space to themselves. Come along to one of our open inspections to view all that The Fairhaven has to offer and gain an appreciation for the McCarthy Homes difference.

The Fairhaven’s Features:

  • Four large, comfortable bedrooms
  • Walk in wardrobes and ensuites
  • Luxurious master bedroom with large walk-in wardrobe and ensuite
  • Study nook
  • Open plan family areas including the living room and kitchen
  • Additional family room upstairs
  • Formal living area
  • Two outdoor living areas


350 Oxley Road, Sherwood

Grand Opening Date

June 8th, 2019 at 10am

Viewing Times

Opening hours for The Fairhaven display home are:

Friday – Monday: 10am to 5pm

Tuesday – Wednesday: Closed

Thursday: 12pm – 7pm

Home Specifications

Width: 14.29m

Depth: 21.95m

Min Lot Width: 15.5m

Total Area: 419.69sqm

Click here for more details.

Click here to contact us.

McCarthy Homes New Website Blog Banner

McCarthy Homes has a New Website

By | Property News
McCarthy Homes New Website Blog Banner
Our brand-new website launched just recently and we couldn’t be more pleased to share it with you. The new website has been in development for months and we are extremely happy to see the finished result, we think that you will agree that it is both easy to use and beautiful!

The new McCarthy Homes website was designed from the ground-up to deliver an exceptional experience for our valued clients.


Some time ago, we recognised that our old website did not adequately reflect our brand. We construct beautiful homes that are a pleasure to behold, yet our website failed to communicate this effectively. So, the journey towards a new website began.

The Process

Our website design process began with intensive discovery sessions with our development teams. We had to delve deeply into what makes McCarthy Homes the respected and sought-after brand that it is today. It was insightful for all involved, and gave us renewed respect for our own brand, as well as a better understanding of our failure to adequately communicate who we are and how we should go about that moving forward.

What followed was months of design and website development. Throughout the process tweaks and changes were made based on user feedback, development hurdles and ongoing discovery.

The final stage of this arduous process, the reveal to the public, will be the true test of the quality of our new website.

Functionality and User Experience 

The new McCarthy Homes website leaves nothing behind that our previous website offered. We still maintain a range of functionality, including the ability to view house plans, sign up for our newsletter, interact socially and much more.

The major changes lie in our user experience. A far more intuitive navigation structure, smoother edges across the whole site and a simple experience ensure that using the new McCarthy Homes website is a pleasure rather than a chore.

Experience it Now

Please go ahead and explore the website. We welcome all feedback, however we are quite sure that you’ll have a great time navigating through a new site that we are immensely proud of.

Case study – custom home design

By | Interior Design
Location: Hope Island, Gold Coast Qld.

Combining Manhattan warehouse vibes with an eclectic design style, discover how Damian and Alison created their dream home on Queensland’s beautiful Hope Island.

The Build

The client only had a 12-metre wide block so used 3 and 4-metre ceiling heights with soaring voids to create the feeling of light and space.  Polished concrete floors were selected and a slightly smokey wall paint colour because a stark white may have seemed a bit cold in such a voluminous area.

An open plan living concept was top of the priority list, as the client wanted to be able to watch TV from kitchen whilst cooking, dining and just relaxing on the couch.

The Design

The client had a pretty loose direction with interior design. They collected furniture over a three-year period, selecting items they liked and thought would look good in their new home one day.

View the full gallery of images below.

Case study – knock down rebuild

By | Interior Design
Location: Grange, Brisbane Qld.

Situated in the leafy inner city suburb of Grange, the clients chose the area for its family nature and its close proximity to the city.

They purchased the block with the intention of knocking down the existing property and rebuilding with their dream home.

McCarthy Homes Hampton style
The Brief

Taking inspiration from the Provincial display home in Rochedale, the client went into the build process with a very clear vision of what their dream home looked like “for us it was important that we had a very open plan living and dining space that flowed into our outdoor entertaining area and the pool.” Also high on the priority list were separate living spaces for the kids and creating a home that felt warm and liveable.

The Build

Being a knockdown rebuild the client’s first step was to have the old house removed. They advertised the old house on Gumtree free of charge – this saved them approximately $20,000.

Once the old home was removed it was smooth sailing from there, with the process taking 10 months until the client had the keys to their brand new dream home.

View the full gallery of images below.

June Rate Cuts and Quarterly GDP Results – What it means for new home builders

By | Property News
By Nicholas O’Sullivan – General Manager

Yesterday saw Governor Lowe announce a rate cut to 1.25%, subsequently passed on in full by both the Commonwealth Bank and National Bank. The other two majors passed on a little less, with ANZ making the argument that it was starting from a point of lower rates anyway. Either way, it’s good news for those already holding a mortgage.

Today, GDP growth for the March quarter was announced as 0.4%. As a general measure of economic health, the GDP is fairly reliable (we won’t delve into a debate about declining GDP per capita here). Again, presumably, this is good news for those already holding a mortgage. Economic activity increases, and with any luck the buoyant tide lifts all boats, ensuring that those monthly payments are going towards an asset that is increasing in value.

How does the Rate Cut affect those looking to build a new home?

The rate cut will be very welcomed by those who are already in a mortgage, delivering average savings of around $700 a year for those holding a mortgage of $400,000. It’s a healthy amount of money, but it’s overshadowed by Treasure Frydenberg’s gift of $1080 apiece to around ten million taxpayers. Taken together, they are a healthy boon for those saddled with a loan.

However, for those looking at building a new home, this news is equally welcome. Reduced rates on a construction home loan and then a standard loan can only mean one thing – more flexibility in lifestyle and more choice. Whether you use the additional money to pay down the loan, push it into an offset account, or buy some new furniture for your new home, that money eases the load and gives you the freedom to act how you wish.

How do the GDP results affect those looking to build a new home?

The quarterly GDP results were slightly below many projections, but in the same ballpark. This is positive news, as we’re seeing an uptick from the previous two quarters which, annualised, point to a slight recovery in an economy that was otherwise starting to lag somewhat. Nevertheless, the outlook over the next two years is relatively flat, with no major movements in GDP figures expected.

For those people who have been steadily growing their deposit and are looking to take out a loan to build a home, a boost in GDP growth comes with benefits. On the bright side, it provides a slight boost to the housing market, meaning that they’ll be buying into an asset class that will likely see renewed interest from investors and other first-home buyers. As a further benefit, home builders won’t be competing directly with those looking to buy an established home.

Additionally, first-home builders may experience the added benefit of an increase in their own income, depending on the line of work they’re in. As economic activity increases and more money flows throughout the economy, those with elastic incomes are likely to see a rise in the money coming their way.

What’s the big picture? 

The big picture is a net positive for new home builders. If you’re in the market to build a new home, lower interest rates and cheaper loans give you a better chance of getting your foot in the door, may help increase the amount you can borrow, and ensures that you aren’t spending the first period of home ownership drowning in eye-watering repayments.

Coupled with a growing economy, the picture ahead is looking good. The RBA has hinted that based on their projections of slower than usual growth (and subsequently lower than ideal inflation), they’ll likely make the next rate move downwards, possibly before the end of the year (and possibly as soon as August).

If we see the next quarter of GDP growth beat expectations (more likely than not, in my opinion), it will be even further positive news for everyone in the new housing market – either on the buy side or sell side. However, it’s worth pulling the trigger sooner rather than later. Those low interest rates are only going to add fuel to the housing industry.

Look out for headwinds

Of course, looking at two factors in isolation rarely tells the full story. There is a lot more at play in the construction of new housing, one of Australia’s largest industries. Making your investment or home building decisions based solely on an uptick in GDP growth and a simultaneous cut to interest rates isn’t something we’d recommend. Make sure you’re comfortable in your financial situation and can afford to take such a big step.