Melbourne: The bigger the better?


Melbourne is renowned for being one of the most liveable cities in the world, but how big is too big? Oliver Milman of The Guardian recently published an article on the impacts of Melbourne’s rapid growth on the social and physical environment.

As urban growth increasingly extends out, there are calls to ensure that new suburbs are equipped with the necessary services and to be located near adequate means of transportation.

Managing Director of Steller, Nicholas Smedley, echoed these sentiments in a recent post on LinkedIn, ‘this is a vision that’s been part of Steller’s development as a company, with most of our projects situated near train stations’.

Steller is one of Melbourne’s premier construction and development companies, located in Carnegie.

Read Nicholas’s post here:

Read Oliver’s article here:

Supporting the homeless by collecting 50,000 socks



Jim’s Conveyancing, Frankston recently became aware of the amazing efforts of a local 9 year old boy in their local community.

Josh has decided he would like to collect enough pairs of socks to donate to the homeless in Victoria, so that each homeless person has two pairs of socks (can you imagine a life without any socks!?).  This would mean collecting 50,000 pairs of socks!

Jims Conveyancing Frankston has decided to support Josh in his endeavours with this haul – 100 pairs of socks!!

Josh is still a long way from his goal, so if you can provide a pair or two of socks (or 100!), please see Josh’s Facebook page “2 Pairs Each”  ( for the mailing address, or contact Jim’s Conveyancing  on  1300 248 217 for more information.

Announcing the commencement of Jim’s Conveyancing Surf Coast

We are very proud to announce the commencement of our newest franchisee, Fiona McQuillan of Jim’s Conveyancing Surf Coast.

Fiona is a caring and highly experienced lawyer and we are thrilled that she has chosen to be part of Jim’s Conveyancing. Fiona’s skills include contract negotiations, estate law and conveyancing. Her customers will love her attention to detail, her laughing happy demeanour and highly professional service.

The Surf Coast is lucky to have her too.

Congratulations Fiona

Announcing the commencement of Jim’s Conveyancing Yarra Ranges

We are delighted to announce the commencement of our newest franchisee, Bec Corless of Jim’s Conveyancing Yarra Ranges.

We are proud that Bec has chosen to be part of Jim’s Conveyancing after more than 15 years experience in conveyancing and operating and managing multiple conveyancing firms. Bec is delightful, professional, extremely knowledgeable and is already renowned for her brilliant customer service throughout Eastern Melbourne.

Congratulations Bec!

Which part of Australia has the largest economic growth?


While most attention on the economic growth of the past decade has been on the resource segment and in particular the Pilbara, the Understanding the Economy From the Ground Up report (by Price Waterhouse Coopers- showed that the greatest single contributor to the Australian economy between 2001 and 2014 was the Melbourne CBD (including Docklands and Southbank).

The report shows the Australian economy grew 46% ($461 billion) over this period with the Melbourne CBD contributing a whopping $24.4 billion of this growth, more than Sydney, the Pilbara or Ashburton mining areas.

The report is quite revealing in that growth is concentrated in a small handful of areas, with nearly a whopping 1 in 5 dollars of Australia’s income coming from just 10 (out of 2214) locations. Although, in our opinion, other indirect economic contributions may not have been truly explored, the report states “There are a very large number of locations in Australia that, from an economic perspective, matter very little”.

Sydney CBD’s economy grew 37% over the same period, constrained, in part geographically. Yet, this can only add to fuel the fire of the Melbourne v Sydney rivalry, especially with Melbourne’s population set to overtake Sydney’s by 2053.

In a period of general prosperity for our overall nation it is surprising that one in three locations actually went backwards over the same period. Does this issue require government intervention or should we allow natural economic forces allow the decline of these areas, and is this reflected by lower services, medical and education resources in these areas? As the report states “… from a social and equity point of view this creates unique challenges and potential conflcits between economic and social policy and investment imperatives.”

Overall it is these urban areas, rather than resource deposits that “…. have been steadily generating a larger share of economic output.”

VCAT passes down decision to the delight of short- term accommodation investors


An increasing trend in the apartment investor market is renting out the accommodation for short stays (e.g. Airbnb and Stayz). For those with time to manage the online bookings the rental yields can be excellent, allowing investors to purchase more investment properties or to justify their entry in to a market.

However, an opposing trend has been the increase of Owners Corporation (previously known as Body Corporates) rules prohibiting the use of units for short- term accommodation.

We have often disputed the enforceability of such clauses and have warned developers and purchasers of these apartments of the impact this restriction may have (if valid) on their resale value.

VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal) has now passed down their decision on this issue to the delight of many investors.

Owners Corporations will no longer be able to prohibit the use of units for short- term rentals.

This may be a temporary resolution with the Owners Corporation and developer involved still deciding whether they should contest the decision in the Supreme Court, however many jurisdictions have now tested the same issue.

There is also the fear that legislation may be introduced. However such legislation may provide protection to residents and make this type of accommodation even more attractive to tourists and subsequently investors.

Foreign buyers of Victorian property to pay additional 3% stamp duty from 1st July 2015

Foreign purchasers of Victorian property will pay an additional 3% stamp duty from 1st July 2015, meaning that many will pay 8 to 9% stamp duty in total.

“This will have a devastating impact on the construction industry and greater Victorian economy” said Mandi Morison, National Franchisor of Jim’s Conveyancing “as the vast majority of properties sold to foreign buyers are new or off- the- plan.”

Typically property purchased off- the- plan in Victoria benefitted from significant stamp duty savings. For example, a $500,000 apartment may only incur stamp duty of $3,000 rather than close to $25,000. From 1st July foreigners will pay the additional 3% stamp duty on the entire purchase price, meaning they would pay $18,000 stamp duty for the same purchase.

Many developers and property industry professionals rely on the sale of up to 50% of units to foreigners to ensure the success of their developments. This change will impact the speed that these developments can proceed and the consequences will filter down to construction workers and even potentially impact the value of the overall apartment market in Melbourne and Victoria.

Jim’s Conveyancing Conducts First Vic Electronic Conveyancing Settlement


We are proud to announce that we have conducted the very first EConveyancing settlement in the state of Victoria. This is an incredibly historic occasion and is arguably the largest single change to the transfer of property titles since the Torrens Title system was introduced.

To be chosen to be involved with this occasion is an enormous compliment for Jim’s Conveyancing and shows how well the brand and its franchisees are trusted.

PEXA, the organisation established to facilitate Electronic Conveyancing in Australia was delighted with our co- operation and professionalism said George Morison (franchisee). They consider us market leaders and we are very excited about how this will change our industry.

(See PEXA press release at:

PEXA CEO Marcus Price said. “Together with PEXA, (Jim’s Conveyancing) are helping establish the backbone of a world leading online property exchange platform and are among the first in Victoria to be able to offer their clients real-time access to the proceeds of sale – just one of the many benefits PEXA provides.”

Jim’s Conveyancing’s Training Manager Emily Ferguson agrees. It is our hope that EConveyancing will mean the end of settlements not proceeding at the last minute due to incorrect signing of documents, incorrect spelling or any other number of small errors that one party may make. It will give purchasers the certainty of knowing when they will move and it will give vendors immediate access to their sale proceeds.

As Emily further adds, Jim’s Conveyancing is positioned to benefit from EConveyancing more than single branch conveyancing firms. With our national expansion in the coming months, our clients will be able to visit any Jim’s Conveyancing franchisee to have their identification verified, rather than going to considerable cost to pay for someone local, or travel, in some instances, considerable distances, to have their id verified by their appointed conveyancer.