The latest property video from Kevin Turner | 9th December

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Mortgage payments are on the rise according to the ABS. Median monthly mortgage repayments in Australia climbed by 38 and a half per cent in the period between 2006 and 2011 according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In a surprise outcome, the fastest growing mortgage costs were in areas outside of major capital cities.

The Sydney suburb of Woollahra has the most expensive median monthly mortgage repayments at $3250, but the fastest increase was recorded in Ashburton in Western Australia, where mortgage repayments increased by a staggering 278.6 per cent. In other news – there’s been a fall in the rental vacancy figures.

Data released by SQM Research shows rental vacancy rates declined in five of the country’s eight capital cities during October 2013 – and there was an unexpected Quinella. The champion was Hobart which saw a 0.3 per cent fall in its vacancies during October this year. Adelaide had the next largest fall recording a 0.2 per cent drop.

Louis Christopher, managing director at SQM Research, says this was the fourth straight month of a national tightening in vacancies. Meanwhile changes to laws in New South Wales could force people to sell against their will. Planned legal changes in the state could force unit owners to sell if the majority of fellow owners in a strata building agree.

The State government’s flagged reforms of strata legislation include a removal of the ‘unanimous agreement’ rule, which requires every single unit owner to agree to sell the building and terminate a strata scheme. Instead, only 75 per cent of owners would need to consent, a move that opponents say would force the remaining quarter to sell.

The Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association, who believe the move “panders to the development lobby”, warns vulnerable, older residents will be at risk. It might now be a case of watching a delicate waltz unfold between grey power and the New South Wales government.