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Supermodel Kristy Hinze Clark makes super profit on Florida mansion

<p dir="ltr">Kristy Hinze Clark and her husband, American tech titan Jim Clark, have just sold their sprawling Florida home for a record-breaking sum.</p> <p dir="ltr">The couple’s 16-acre home in Palm Beach is expected to sell for more than $US 175 million ($AUD 253 million) in an off-market deal, according to <em><a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-billionaire-bought-a-florida-home-for-94-2-million-last-year-now-hes-selling-it-for-around-175-million-11655323328" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Wall Street Journal</a></em>, in a deal far exceeding Florida’s current sales record of $US 130 million.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hinz Clark and her billionaire husband are set to make around $US 81 million ($AUD 117 million) from the sale, which was a “spur of the moment purchase” 15 months ago.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to <a href="https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2000-S-Ocean-Blvd_Lantana_FL_33462_M57433-88058" target="_blank" rel="noopener">property records</a>, the oceanfront home was bought by the couple on March 8, 2021, for $US 94,173,300 ($AUD 136,580,949), when they thought they were going to live in Florida most of the time.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Clark told the Wall Street Journal that, although they fell in love with the aesthetics and other features the home offered, they decided to stay in New York and enrol their two daughters there.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In the end, we sort of thought, ‘How much will we come down here?’” he recalled. “I knew there was someone who wanted it and I beat them to it so I thought, ‘Let’s see if they want it again’.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Boasting a total of 30 bedrooms spread across the 12-bedroom main home, two four-bedroom beachside cottages, the seven-bedroom Mango House, and a guest or staff house comprised of four studios.</p> <p dir="ltr">Other luxe features include a swimming pool, tennis court, golfing area, half-basketball court, fitness centre, and a spa, as well as access to a dock and pier on Lake Worth.</p> <p dir="ltr">The home itself has 360-degree views and is surrounded by 1200 feet of beach facing the Atlantic, and 1300 feet of frontage on the lake.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the listing from its 2021 sale, the home is also within a “singular microclimate” created by the Gulf Stream, meaning it is treated to “refreshing breezes and warmer waters, even when cooler weather prevails in Miami”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“These unique conditions allowed for the creation of extensive botanical gardens that showcase neqarly 1,500 tropical species that replicate a ‘walk through the Caribbean’,” the listing reads.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Look, it’s a phenomenal property,” Mr Clark said. “You can’t find anything like that in Florida.”</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-edce07b8-7fff-9f42-4baa-b880783b24ea"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty Images, Realtor</em></p>

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"Getting onto the wait list is a battle in itself": insiders on what it takes to get social housing

<p>Social housing has become extremely difficult to access; in 2021 around <a href="https://cityfutures.ada.unsw.edu.au/documents/685/Waithood_paper.pdf">160,000 households</a> were on the waiting list.</p> <p>To have any chance of getting a social housing spot in a reasonable time frame, applicants must be on the priority waiting list; people on the general waiting list <a href="https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/housing/help/applying-assistance/expected-waiting-times">may never get social housing</a>. </p> <p>However, to get on the priority list, applicants need to</p> <ul> <li>have complex needs</li> <li>not be in a position to rent privately and</li> <li>be in danger <a href="https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/housing/help/applying-assistance/waiting-times">of becoming homeless</a></li> <li>show they have tried to find private rental accommodation.</li> </ul> <p>In short, they have to prove they are massively disadvantaged.</p> <p>To find out more, we interviewed 43 people involved in the social housing application process in NSW, Tasmania and Queensland. This included assessment workers, support workers and government staff.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14036096.2022.2085169">study</a>, published in the journal Housing, Theory and Society, found an applicant’s chances of getting on the priority waiting list are much greater if they have help from advocates who know what arguments to make and how. </p> <p>Success can depend on whether advocates can invest a significant amount of emotional effort to help the applicant and connect them to professionals who can track down supporting documentation.</p> <h2>‘An overwhelming process’</h2> <p>The application form for social housing is demanding.</p> <p>In NSW it requires answering 31 questions and – depending on the applicant’s situation – up to 18 supporting documents. </p> <p>Completing the form optimally requires a fair amount of literacy and “cultural capital” – things such as presenting and speaking “well” or being able to draw on the benefits of a good education.</p> <p>Claire (all names used are pseudonyms), a NSW community housing provider worker, said even understanding the application form is challenging, "I think sometimes it’s the interpretation of what is actually required. What are they asking in this question? And if you don’t have the context of why that question is being asked, sometimes it can be very difficult to know how much information to put [in]. Do I just skip it or […] what do I do with that [question], or what does that even mean?"</p> <p>Jess, an assessment team manager in Tasmania, said, "… [the] majority would need assistance and do get help from supports, family and advocates, as it is onerous. Also literacy, language interpretation would be an issue, especially for lower socio-economic cohorts."</p> <p>James, an assessment worker in NSW, said some applicants simply abandon the process, "It’s really an overwhelming process […] Sometimes people will say, “You know […] this is too much. Forget about it.”</p> <p>Marie, a Queensland homelessness worker, said, "It’s more common that they won’t know how to do the process, and so I’ll go through it with them. I assist them with identifying well-being barriers, complete the application with them, get it, and then when it’s approved, also do community housing applications with them if they wish."</p> <h2>The challenge of gathering ‘evidence’</h2> <p>Producing evidence of clients’ vulnerabilities is potentially challenging. </p> <p>Karim, a homelessness support worker in Queensland, said, "So, getting onto the wait list, that is a battle in itself, right? [Part of that is] getting people document ready […] So, say someone is on the streets, we know they are very, very unwell, but they don’t have documents to prove that. We have done the housing application, it’s gone to department of housing and they’re waiting for further information, because this person’s checked that they have chronic health issues. So [the department] want medical documents or confidential medical report from the GP. This person does not have a GP. What do we do? We try and link them in with the GP, take them there […]"</p> <p>Lots of people, their stuff’s stolen. They’re more worried about where the next meal is coming from instead of worrying about IDs. So getting ID documents, medical documents to go along with the housing application, to get it approved, is the first battle."</p> <p>Susan, a women’s refuge worker in Sydney, said, "Every question has […] evidence requirements […] and they have to gather all of that and you know obviously just gathering all of that is a challenge […] But that’s definitely something that we support them with; to get all the support letters and stuff in order."</p> <p>In Queensland and NSW, an applicant who needs social housing because they are fleeing domestic violence needs to provide substantiation.</p> <p>Susan told us, "The types of documents people would have to collect for this question are copies of AVOs (apprehended violence orders), police event numbers, doctor reports (GP or psychiatrist), support letters from social services. So, as you can imagine, these are quite onerous as many people don’t report to police or perhaps their doctor doesn’t record the injuries as resulting from violence. On top of that, if they’ve just experienced violence they might not feel like running around."</p> <h2>Emotional capital: care, empathy and compassion</h2> <p>Working with vulnerable people requires empathy and compassion. </p> <p>Avril, an assessment worker in Tasmania, said, "So much of it is about rapport. These people who are often really sick of systems, really sick of them and they don’t want to divulge their entire life to someone that they’ve just met once. They don’t want to sit still in a small room for an hour and a half."</p> <p>"What we’ve found is that by having Pat, she’s our specialist rough sleeper front door worker, [and] is based in services that they know and frequent. She’s known to them and they do tend to [open up] bit by bit."</p> <p>Jill, an ex-manager in a community housing provider in NSW, explained, "Also refugees or people who are trauma, torture survivors, DFV (domestic and family violence) survivors […] experience additional layers and complexities in applying."</p> <p>"Whilst the system aims to only ask a client to tell their story once and not multiple times, this is not always possible. So it adds further challenges to these applicants and brings up the trauma again, especially if not handled well by untrained staff."</p> <p>Applying for social housing is fraught, onerous and competitive; applicants have to “prove” their vulnerability is greater than others.</p> <p>Assistance from skilled advocates clearly helps get you on the priority wait list, which begs the question: what hope do others have?</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/getting-onto-the-wait-list-is-a-battle-in-itself-insiders-on-what-it-takes-to-get-social-housing-184838" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

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Greta Garbo's eccentric former home hits the market

<p>Hollywood icon Greta Garbo's former New York home has hit the market for an impressive $7.25 million. </p> <p>The stunning three-bedroom, three-bathroom Manhattan apartment retains many of her personal touches and eccentric furnishings, making it stand out from other luxury homes. </p> <p>The apartment last sold for $8.5 million in 2017 after a fierce bidding war, with many fans of the Swedish-American actress expected to be vying for the property this time around. </p> <p>The home boasts large picture windows with spectacular views of the East River, which was said to have reminded Greta of her native Stockholm.</p> <p>It also includes a newly renovated kitchen, dining room, many living areas, and numerous bathrooms, with most rooms boasting an impressive chandelier. </p> <p>The living room – which was Greta's favorite space – includes a gas fireplace and an attached den, while French doors at the far end open to a lovely balcony cooled by river breezes.</p> <p>The primary bedroom suite features Greta's beloved rose-hued Fortuny silk walls and headboard, while a second bedroom includes a pink-and-green-accented V'Soske rug personally designed by the movie star.</p> <p>Greta, who was best known for her roles in <em>A Woman of Affairs</em>, <em>Anna Christie</em>, <em>Romance</em>, and <em>Camille</em>,  died in 1990 at the age of 85, but retired from acting when she was just 35, leading a private life in her New York apartment for 50 years.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Compass Real Estate</em></p>

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“This house is my special place”: Wendy Whiteley promises $100 million gift to NSW

<p dir="ltr">Wendy Whiteley has made an “extraordinary” cultural gift to NSW, promising to sell her Lavender Bay home and bequeath her collection of her late husband Brett Whiteley’s artworks to the Art Gallery of NSW.</p> <p dir="ltr">The collection is worth more than $100 million and will be among the largest single donations the gallery has received in its 151-year history according to director Michael Brand.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This gift is yet another example of what an outstanding citizen of our harbour city Wendy Whiteley is, and why she continues to be so admired and revered,” Brand <a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/media-office/whiteley-bequest/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">said</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Almost 2000 artworks spanning Whiteley’s career will be left jointly to the gallery and the Brett Whitely Foundation.</p> <p dir="ltr">As for Wendy’s home, which has lived in since 1969, it will not be preserved in public ownership.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 81-year-old has instead instructed that it be sold upon her death, with the proceeds going into a trust to secure the future of the collection and the Brett Whiteley Studio in Surry Hills.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It doesn’t amke any sense to turn [the house] into another museum,” Wendy told <em><a href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/art-and-design/this-house-needs-a-family-again-wendy-whiteley-s-extraordinary-100-million-gift-to-nsw-20220615-p5atzy.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Sydney Morning Herald</a></em>. “It would be almost impossible to run it as a museum, having knowledge of what it costs to do this kind of thing. This house needs a family again. It would be lovely to think of a creative family but it would be enough if they loved it, and lived in it.</p> <p dir="ltr">She told the publication that she hopes its future owners would “keep an eye on the garden” and hassle “whoever’s in charge” if it starts to fall into disrepair.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I imagine I’m going to be here until, you know, they take me out in a coffin. Long ago I gave up taking anything for granted, like health or longevity,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The house is my special place, along with the garden and the studio. All have expanded my opportunity to lead a creative life. That’s what I’d like for others through this bequest.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The Wendy and Arkie Whiteley Bequest takes inspiration from the couple’s daughter, Arkie, who died just nine years after her father from cancer at the age of 37.</p> <p dir="ltr">After Arkie’s passing in 2001, Wendy became the sole custodian of the collection and solely responsible for maintaining her husband’s legacy.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Certainly this is Brett’s legacy, but it is also mine and my daughter’s because we made it happen,” Wendy said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The couple’s home in Lavender Bay features some of Brett’s major works, including Archibald Prize-winning Self portrait in the studio 1976, his Sir John Prize-winning Interior with time past 1976, and The jacaranda tree (on Sydney Harbour) 1977.</p> <p dir="ltr">Its significance was recognised in 2018 when it, along with the setting and former studio, were state heritage listed.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-2de9970e-7fff-474a-1226-96ec2f4f1454"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Art Gallery of NSW</em></p>

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Inside the house where you can swing from room to room

<p>Dubbed ‘Disney World for adults’ by the selling agent, the owners of this interesting resort style home have dropped the price by AUD $946,400 (USD$700,000) in hopes someone will finally buy the property after a long 18 months on the market.</p> <p>Real estate agent Colleen Henninger of City Center Realty recently re-listed the unusual family home on real estate site Zillow, where it gained huge interest thanks to its design.</p> <p>It’s a fusion between African safari, American wild west, Tarzan's lair and a ride at a Disney resort.</p> <p>For AUD $1.6 million (USD $1.2 million ), the home could be all yours. The outside of this two-storey home features timber and rock walls, while inside you will find massive exposed timber beams, corrugated iron walls and wrought iron walkways connecting the rooms, which are separated by a massive internal void.</p> <p>A life-sized carved timber elephant is on display in the downstairs living room, while a statue of a pirate guards the upstairs area.</p> <p>There is also an elevated stage complete with drum kit and ropes to swing from end to end if you’re feeling like something different.</p> <p>The three-bedroom, three bathroom home in the Los Angeles suburb of Lakewood, California, first hit the market in October 2020, with an asking price of USD $1.9 million (AUD $2.57 million). However, after failing to sell and a brief stint as a rental on Airbnb where it was leasing for USD $730 per night, the owners have decided to drop the asking price.</p> <p>Henninger, who is a friend of the owners, says there had been a great deal of interest in the home, but the majority of those who inspected the property just wanted to look and had no intention of buying.</p> <p>"It's a great house. It's like Disney World," she said. "It was built with fun in mind.</p> <p>It's a unique home and it's going to need a unique buyer. You go in and you either love it or hate it. It needs someone who wants to entertain guests and have fun."</p> <p>Of course if you do get bored, the home is within driving distance to Disneyland Resort, Anaheim which is a short 20 kilometres away.</p> <p><em>Images: Domain</em></p>

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Holy renovation: unique church conversion wows viewers

<p>A true one-of-a-kind church conversion is now for sale in the bright inner-Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy. The asking price sits between $5.7 million to $6.2 million.</p> <p>Situated in the heart of the cosmopolitan locale, just minutes away from some of Melbourne's most desirable bars, restaurants and cafes, this property is a unique offering.</p> <p>Part of a boutique living complex that utilises the structure and the grounds of a gorgeous bluestone church, the residence spans multiple levels.</p> <p>Boasting three bedrooms, three bathrooms, one off-street parking space on title and a total footprint of 443-square-metres, space, this property is a once in a life time find.</p> <p>Occupying the entire top floor of the church and benefitting from stunning beamed, vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows, the living, dining and kitchen area is minimalistic, tasteful and bright.</p> <p>However, best of all is that one entire side of the church's tiled roof has been replaced with large glass panels, creating a mesmerising window feature that soaks up and bathes the space in natural light.</p> <p>Walking through an aperture in the creative window display leads occupants to an expansive outdoor timber deck that provides sweeping views across rooftops toward Melbourne's CBD.</p> <p>While the architecturally designed space is unquestionably the abode's crowning glory, it doesn’t stop there with the rest of the stylish pad ensconced in solid wood panelling throughout.</p> <p>Other benefits include a generous master suite that occupies the entire first floor, an elevated loft and plenty of storage space.</p> <p><em>Images: Domain</em></p>

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“This is our home”: Aussie family forced from home for new bridge

<p dir="ltr">An Australian farming family is being forced to move from the farm they have owned for the past 22 years after it was decided a road would be run right through the centre - despite the property being surrounded by acres of vacant land.</p> <p dir="ltr">Marian and Peter Wilcox have been growing vegetables on their 15-acre North Richmond property for over two decades, but have been told their land will be turned into a road to provide access to a new bridge.</p> <p dir="ltr">The family have been hit with a notice from the NSW Government, Hawkesbury Council and a developer that their property would be forcibly acquired as part of the Redbank Communities project.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking to <em>A Current Affair</em>, Ms Wilcox said the family were completely blindsided by the decision.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is our home. We had no idea this was coming,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Wilcox said she first found out about the plan for their home at a community meeting with other locals.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I found out at a community meeting in front of a whole lot of other people,” she recalled.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They just put a picture of our property up on the screen and said this is where the road is going to run and that is how I found out. It was very heartless.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The road is needed to connect a new bridge that is forming a major part of the Redbank North Richmond project and will cost $23.8 million to build.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It has purposely been directed to go through the house. Our property was not going to be touched at all,” Ms Wilcox claimed.</p> <p dir="ltr">“What we have here, it just doesn’t matter to them. Our family does not matter to them, our family home does not matter.”</p> <p dir="ltr">But, documents obtained by the Wilcox’s through freedom of information indicated that the original plans would have seen the road go through the neighbouring property, belonging to horse breeder and local real estate mogul John Starr.</p> <p dir="ltr">A Current Affair claimed there was evidence that the planned road had to “avoid the private land housing the horse stud”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The road (has to be) designed to avoid the Starr property,” the documents reportedly read.</p> <p dir="ltr">Though there is no evidence to suggest Mr Starr was involved in the changes, the Wilcox family are still looking for answers.</p> <p dir="ltr">Adam, the Wilcox’s son, said the farm was “all I know” and that he had planned his future around it.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There’s vacant land there. Put(ting) it straight through someone’s house, it just doesn’t make sense,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I don’t know how much stress they have put on me and my parents. Just for what? Nothing.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Linda Perrine, the Hawkesbury City Council Director of City Planning, told the program that the road’s design was part of a joint discussion between Hawkesbury City Council, Transport for NSW and Redbank Communities.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Perrine explained that the original route was changed to its current path in February 2020.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The original route for the proposed bridge was through the nearby Navua Reserve,” she explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In February 2020, Council considered a report and confirmed its in-principle support for the current route alignment based on the facts that it:</p> <p dir="ltr">a) Does not involve any loss of public open space;</p> <p dir="ltr">b) Provides greater flood immunity, above 1:100 flood level;</p> <p dir="ltr">c) Minimises impact on heritage and biodiversity;</p> <p dir="ltr">d) Affects only three private property owners;</p> <p dir="ltr">e) Complements a suite of other roadworks upgrades also required to be delivered in the same Voluntary Planning Agreement</p> <p dir="ltr">f) Assists in addressing current traffic levels/congestion”.</p> <p> </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: A Current Affair</em></p>

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Hugh Jackman's NYC "triplex" attracts big looks and bigger bucks

<p>Hugh Jackman has listed his beautiful New York City apartment for sale.</p> <p>The five-bedroom West Village ‘triplex’ – a dwelling composed of three units – has just hit the market for $US38.9 million (A$56.1m).</p> <p>The seven-bathroom pad boasts more than 1,020 square metres of floor space and has stunning views over the nearby Hudson River and the city itself. Jackman has owned the home since 2008, when he paid $US21m for it.</p> <p>The interesting home was designed by renowned architect Richard Meier, who has made his name with a series of projects including the Getty Centre in Los Angeles. Meier designed the building and also personally designed Jackman’s apartment.</p> <p>“He had done the interior of the apartment for the previous owner,” Deborah Grubman, who shares the listing with fellow Corcoran brokers David Adler and Paul Albano said. .</p> <p>Through its wall-to-wall windows, the apartment looks down upon the Hudson River and out onto the New York skyline.</p> <p>The unit spans the building’s 8th, 9th, and 10th floors. On the 8th, there’s an enormous recreation room and four bedrooms, all with ensuite baths, as well as a guest bedroom with a half bath.</p> <p>On the 9th, there’s the double-height great room, as well as a home office with a gas fireplace, the kitchen and a dining area.</p> <p>The 10th floor is dedicated to the primary bedroom and its spa-like bath, dressing rooms and a sauna, as well as an exercise area. Every floor has a terrace and they are all connected by a spiral staircase.</p> <p>New York City has enjoyed a post-Covid real estate revival, with Jackman’s pad joining a number of top-end listings that have hit the market this year.</p> <p><em>Image: Real Estate</em></p>

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Inspired retirement apartments in Waitara, Sydney

<p>Kokoda Residences’ unique vertical village in Sydney’s upper North Shore offers a community heart with transport, retail and recreational convenience second to none.</p> <p>Constructed by Sydney’s highly regarded builder Richard Crookes Constructions, alongside the equally reputed WMK architects, Kokoda Residences’ inspiring apartments now stand for Waitara to see and admire.</p> <p>Whether it's a one, two or three-bedroom apartment, each has been purpose-built to be light and refreshingly open, with a superior level of design, finish and building integrity. Kokoda Residences offers an array of floorplan layouts and aspects, with generously sized balconies, and distinctly curated neutral colour palettes designed to suit any furnishings.</p> <p>Quality European appliances feature throughout luxuriously designed kitchens, with beautifully styled and easy-to-use taps, soft-closing drawers, along with ovens, thoughtfully positioned at a comfortable height and location. Each apartment is insulated for comfort in summer and winter, with double glazed windows, ducted reverse cycle and multi-zoned air conditioning, block out blinds that are automated in the dining and living area, luxurious 100% wool carpets underfoot and so much more. To watch display apartment videos, <a href="https://kokodaresidences.com.au/display-apartment-video/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">click here</a>.</p> <p>The ground floor spaces become the time and place where Kokoda Residences’ community can truly connect, grow, and flourish. A suite of engaging facilities will generate a real neighbourhood of friendly, active, and like-minded people. Featuring a bar and lounge with a toasty fireplace, café, hairdresser, cinema, terrace garden and gym with specialised over 55s HUR gym equipment. All of these amenities can be enjoyed by residents and their friends and family, so there's little need to even leave their home to have a warm cup of coffee, have a glass of red by the fire, get their hair cut or watch a movie on the big screen.</p> <p>Kokoda Residences’ location is proving to be its own inspiration with future residents, being so close to everything - and everyone - they love. The train station is less than 100m walk away where they're one stop from Westfield Hornsby or the beautifully quaint Wahroonga Village. Magpies Waitara is just a few steps up the road with PCYC Hornsby/Ku-ring-gai and Mark Taylor Oval right next door, so life’s never boring at Kokoda Residences.</p> <p>For the security minded, Kokoda Residences has the added peace of mind of secure underground parking, which provides swipe-card access to resident-only lifts. What's more, Kokoda Residences doesn't have renters or allow Airbnbs, so you can always feel safe knowing your neighbours. All of which allows those keen travellers to 'lock-up and leave' whenever they wish.</p> <p>The benefits of choosing retirement living are as reassuring as they are delightful, like having no home maintenance to worry about with Kokoda Residences’ gardens, all taken care of for residents. Kokoda Residences is an innovative development in retirement living, proudly created by Vasey Communities, a trusted not-for-profit organisation who has been operating four other retirement villages across Sydney, and this year is celebrating their 60-year Diamond Jubilee.</p> <p><a href="https://kokodaresidences.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Kokoda Residences</a> still has a range of beautifully finished one and two-bedroom apartments from $599,000*, including their own car space and additional basement storage. So, if you want to discover how to make Kokoda Residences your time and your place, please call our sales team on (02) 9299 3953.</p> <p><em>*Correct as at June 2022. You may have to pay a departure fee when you leave this village.</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with <a href="https://vasey.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Vasey Communities</a>.</em></p>

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Massive house price slowdown as interest rate climbs

<p dir="ltr">After experiencing near-record high prices during the pandemic, the cost of a house in Australia’s capital cities is experiencing its biggest slowdown since 1989, according to new data.</p> <p dir="ltr">The slowdown in price growth over the past six months is worse than the stagnation and turbulence the housing market experienced in 2004 and 2008’s Global Financial Crisis.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to new analysis from PropTrack, the annual rate of home price growth in capital cities has dropped from January’s rate of 24 percent, to 14 percent.</p> <p dir="ltr">PropTrack has reported that Sydney prices have slowed at the fastest rate since 1989, Melbourne’s is the slowest since 2010 and Brisbane’s since 2008.</p> <p dir="ltr">Economist Paul Ryan told <em><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/australia-capital-city-home-prices-slow-down-slow-at-most-rapid-pace-in-more-than-30-years/e7d7b5cc-965d-480c-9b7f-20a6a9ef862d" target="_blank" rel="noopener">9News</a> </em>the slowdown was “not surprising”, blaming recent interest rate rises and predicting it would continue due to additional rises expected over the rest of the year.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Looking ahead, the rapid slowdown in price growth signals the housing market is likely to continue to see slow growth over the rest of 2022,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">He added that buyers may be hesitant with the high level of uncertainty around the cost of mortgage repayments.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Resolving this uncertainty about the path of interest rates will be the key element buyers look for over the rest of the year,” he continued.</p> <p dir="ltr">Though it is normal for prices to decline after a period of growth, Ryan said this sudden six-month deceleration was of potential concern.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s not necessarily the case that growth falls rapidly after a run-up,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In general, the market moves more gradually, indicating there are other factors involved.”</p> <p dir="ltr">It comes after the Reserve Bank lifted the nation’s interest rates by 0.5 percent on Tuesday, making it the second month in a row with an increase.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-48ed0c2e-7fff-7e4f-99ba-fd689c54849e"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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Impact of Block auction loss on Ronnie and Georgia revealed

<p dir="ltr">A castmate from <em>The Block</em>’s Ronnie Caceres’ time on <em>Celebrity Apprentice</em> has shared a new insight into how he and his wife Georgia handled coming last on the DIY show.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Perth couple had been among the contestants tipped to win the 2021 season, but placed fifth and earned total winnings of $296,000 - a far cry from the $744,000 winning duo Mitch and Mark scored.</p> <p dir="ltr">Now, Ronnie’s <em>Celebrity Apprentice</em> castmate Darren McMullen has revealed that the palpable disappointment the couple displayed on The Block extended to the second show, which was filmed at the same time as The Block’s houses went to auction.</p> <p dir="ltr">The former Voice host told KIIS 101.1’s <em>Breakfast Show with Jase &amp; Lauren</em> that after Ronnie left filming to attend the auction, he came back a different person.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Something changed dramatically after <em>The Block</em>; I think everybody would say that,” he told the show on Wednesday morning. “We were initially segregated into guys’ and girls’ teams - and the boys were really tight; we were winning all the challenges, everything was great. Then Ronnie went down to do The Block auctions in Melbourne and it didn’t go very well; I think they came last.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He came back a different guy.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite winning the most room reveal challenges, the couple made the least amount on auction day and even trailed behind the two teams implicated in the season-long “cheating scandal”.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-c47a8daa-7fff-1eca-37ce-dadc961a3e12"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: The Block</em></p>

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Madonna to offload home with a huge price tag

<p dir="ltr">Madonna’s nine-bedroom Los Angeles home has hit the market with an eye-watering price tag of $US 26 million ($AU 36.1 million).</p> <p dir="ltr">The pop megastar bought the sprawling estate in the Hidden Hills, California, from Canadian singer, The Weeknd, last year, dropping $US 19.3 million ($AU 26.7million).</p> <p dir="ltr">Sitting on nearly three acres, the home sits beyond a driveway lined with olive trees and a “storybook bridge” according to the <a href="https://www.thebeverlyhillsestates.com/listing/24220-long-valley-rd-3/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">listing</a>, and boasts a range of upgrades.</p> <p dir="ltr">Interior features include a foyer filled with natural light from two-storey walls of windows, a great room with an indoor-outdoor bar, an outdoor living room, a formal dining room with a fireplace and glass wine cellar, a home theatre and music lounge.</p> <p dir="ltr">Out of the nine bedrooms, seven come with an ensuite, including the primary ensuite which boasts dual closets, a steam shower and a stone bath.</p> <p dir="ltr">Heading outside, the property includes a two-bedroom, two-bathroom guest house with a full kitchen, a barn housing a gym and dance studio, a zero-edge saltwater pool, a spa that can fit over 10 people, and a full-size basketball court, all surrounded by grassy lawns and sunny hillsides.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-5ab7d6cc-7fff-a035-e0c4-2fb6171bb148"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: @madonna (Instagram), The Beverly Hills Estates</em></p>

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Inside Amber Heard's remote desert hideaway

<p>We've all learnt an awful lot about Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in light of the recent, very public trial.</p> <p>As the trial has <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/verdict-reached-in-depp-versus-heard-trial" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reached its conclusion,</a> yet another interesting piece of information about Heard has made its way into the public domain.</p> <p>Reportedly, the 36-year-old actor confirmed in her opening testimony that she lives in a sleepy town called Yucca Valley, which is located in the beautiful Mojave Desert. The town is roughly 200-kilometres east of Los Angeles and the rural locale is not a place where you'll find many A-listers.</p> <p>The locale only has about 22,000 residents total, and it's known for its art culture, as well as its proximity to celebrated places like Joshua Tree, Coachella and Palm Springs.</p> <p>The house itself was purchased by Heard in 2019; however, property records show the abode was bought through a trust attached to Heard's accountant.</p> <p>Costing USD $570,000 ($795,000) at the time, the unique 2015-built residence hoasts three bedrooms, three bathrooms and sits on 24,281-square-metres of arid but beautiful land.</p> <p>Features include a large open-plan kitchen, living and dining area with vaulted ceilings, fireplace and floor to ceiling windows that no doubt provide Heard with exceptional views of the surrounding desert.</p> <p>Another distinct benefit of the property is a custom 34-metres bridge that enables occupants to cross a dried-up creek and access an elevated gazebo perched on a rocky hill.</p> <p>Although Heard purchased the property back in 2019, the mother-of-one only started living in the house earlier this year.</p> <p><em>Image: Domain</em></p>

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Dreaming of greener pastures? You could be paid to move to the Scottish countryside

<p dir="ltr"> If you’ve ever wanted an excuse to start afresh in a remote area on the other side of the world, you could be in luck - and you could even be paid to do it.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a bid to boost the populations of Orkney and the Isle of Skye, the Scottish government has been handing out up to £50,000 ($88,000 or $NZ 97 thousand) to people who are willing to make the move to the countryside.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to its mission statement, the Island Bond fund was created to support island residents to stay in their community and encourage others to move there, with financial support totalling £5 million ($AU 8.77 or 9.66 million NZ) split between 100 households.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We launched the Islands Bond consultation on 2 August 2021, providing an opportunity for our island residents in particular to identify the key challenges that a bond may be able to respond to.”</p> <p dir="ltr">As well as boosting local populations, it’s also hoped that the scheme encourages new residents to start new businesses in the region, giving the local economy a boost.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, local residents and councillors on Orkney have shared their reservations about the scheme, including Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-6c7718c8-7fff-41df-b161-d4c5a4d61f91"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“Rather than offering bribes to individuals, which could prove divisive, Scottish Ministers should commit to investing in projects that benefit whole island communities such as new ferries or faster broadband,” he wrote on Twitter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Rather than offering bribes to individuals, which could prove divisive, Scottish Ministers should commit to investing in projects that benefit whole island communities such as new ferries or faster broadband. <a href="https://t.co/EJLI1HRGKz">https://t.co/EJLI1HRGKz</a></p> <p>— Liam McArthur MSP (@Liam4Orkney) <a href="https://twitter.com/Liam4Orkney/status/1528711611665489928?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 23, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“The proposed islands bond is set to benefit only a small minority,” he explained, per <em><a href="https://www.tyla.com/news/scottish-island-50k-20220525" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tyla.com</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It also has the potential to open up divisions rather than tackle the root causes of depopulation in island communities.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite reservations, the program has already been well-received, with <em>Tyla.com</em> reporting that applications have come from as far away as South America.</p> <p dir="ltr">To find out more about the scheme, head to the Rural and Islands Housing Fund (RIHF) website <a href="https://www.mygov.scot/rural-housing-fund" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-cf8e1e26-7fff-68a3-969d-81bf484e6fb7"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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Sydney icon to be returned to Aboriginal owners

<p dir="ltr">A historic decision has been made to return one of Sydney harbour's iconic landmarks to its Indigenous custodians.</p> <p dir="ltr">The NSW government has begun the official transfer process for Me-Mel Island - also known as Goat Island - which will be accompanied by a nearly $43 million ($NZ 47m) revitalisation of the island.</p> <p dir="ltr">NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet described the achievement as a “personal priority”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Returning Me-Mel to the Aboriginal community is the right thing to do, and it helps deliver on my commitment of improving outcomes and opportunities for Aboriginal people across all parts of Government,” he said.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-884d2a08-7fff-393c-0609-2d285d9a3db1"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“A big part of my commitment is ensuring the island is remediated before it’s transferred to the Aboriginal community.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Me-mel (Eora): Bennelong's island; little green space in the sea. <a href="https://t.co/HZFslBCkyH">pic.twitter.com/HZFslBCkyH</a></p> <p>— Carolyn R Galbraith (@CarolynRGalb) <a href="https://twitter.com/CarolynRGalb/status/1530773156536852481?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 29, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">This remediation, included in the $42.9 million package spread over the next four years, will cover various works such as repairing seawalls and buildings, improving water and sewer services, adn removing contaminants like asbestos, according to <em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/43m-move-to-return-memel-island-to-aboriginal-hands/news-story/b28de6cc4bc21003aec0e5a801c362b9" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Me-Mel Island is the biggest in Sydney Harbour and lies north-west of the CBD.</p> <p dir="ltr">The State Heritage-listed island is known for its rich Aboriginal heritage, as well as being home to more than 30 buildings and structures from the 1830s to 1960s.</p> <p dir="ltr">Once inhabited by Wangal man Bennelong and Cammeraigal woman Barangaroo, Bennelong said he inherited it from his father who was born on Me-Mel according to colonial documents.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-9e769c3e-7fff-5f05-09d0-f67c7b488a4d"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">The transfer was first promised during the 2015 election by the NSW Labor Party - who lost to the Liberal Party that year - before officially commencing under the Liberals seven years later.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">I welcome the announcement today by <a href="https://twitter.com/Dom_Perrottet?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Dom_Perrottet</a> of $43m for restoration work on ME-MEL <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/goatisland?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#goatisland</a> prior to this historic land being returned to the Aboriginal community in 2026 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/alwayswasalwayswillbeaboriginalland?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#alwayswasalwayswillbeaboriginalland</a> <a href="https://t.co/Xe3ySXOINf">pic.twitter.com/Xe3ySXOINf</a></p> <p>— Councillor Yvonne Weldon (@ypweldon) <a href="https://twitter.com/ypweldon/status/1530860098515783682?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 29, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Though it has been a long time coming, the decision has been welcomed by Yvonne Weldon, the Deputy Chair of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, who said the transfer will help heal and progress Indigenous issues.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Me-Mel is a place where we can go to be within our culture, pass culture on to our younger generations and share with other people,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Until the transfer, the island will continue to be managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), which is calling for <a href="https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/parks-reserves-and-protected-areas/park-management/community-engagement/sydney-harbour-national-park/me-mel-goat-island" target="_blank" rel="noopener">expressions of interest</a> for the Me-Mel Transfer Committee.</p> <p dir="ltr">Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Franklin said this committee, with advice from legal, heritage, planning and governance experts, will develop a business case and plan for future ownership and management of the island.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The Me-Mel Transfer Committee includes Aboriginal people and NSW government representatives, and importantly, its establishment is supported by the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council,” Mr Franklin said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nominations for this committee are open until close of business on June 27.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-4bd3246b-7fff-8211-0ee4-0e09959bc419"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Office of Environment and Heritage (Flickr)</em></p>

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