News & Media



Hello Pascoe Vale... inner north location on the doorstep of Melbourne CBD



September 2016

This easily overlooked small Northern suburb remains affordable in comparison to its immediate neighbours. Its 4.9 square kilometres houses around 15,000 people with a currently aging population, according to Census and REIV data. Its housing comprises of simple weatherboard and brick homes dating from the 1950s adding much sought after charm and character to the street appeal. Viewed on a map, it is immediately obvious that Pascoe Vale is a well-connected suburb close to the city and transport hubs. 

Why we like the suburb

  • 10 ks North of Melbourne CBD.
  • 28 minutes on train from Pascoe Vale Station to Melbourne CBD.
  • Median home price for houses is $775,000 (source REIV).
  • Gentrification of suburb underway. Hip cafés have started to arrive.
  • Steady and consistent growth in property prices over the recent years.

What type of property we like and why

Existing older styled homes on land around the 500m2 to 600m2.  Some recent sale examples: 


 9 Somerset Street Pascoe Vale VIC
  • Unrenovated  brick 2 bedroom home on 526 m2 of land opposite parkland.
  • Sold 30/07/2016 for $775,000, previously sold for $540,000 12/12/2009. 
16 Oakbank Grove Pascoe Vale VIC
  • Fully renovated 3 bedroom home adjoining parkland.
  • Sold 09/07/2016 $840,000, previously sold for $415,000 5/11/2008.  


Buying in Pascoe Vale requires the same due diligence and knowledge as any other potential location. There is always a ‘market within the market’ so be wary of falling into the trap of assuming that any property will do.  For example, we think homes on land are right for the buying but suggest that the unit market has some time to go before this type of property hits the radar for buying prospects. Other similar locations that are on our inner North radar include, Pascoe Vale South, Glenroy and Fawkner.

Wish to learn more, have a question?  Our property adviser team are a call or email away. 



Investing in property without negative gearing benefits. How much more does that cost?


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June 2016

The hot topic of Negative Gearing being abolished continues to raise its head in the media.  There are many different views about its long term viability being unsustainable from Government perspective, public opinion right through to independent Economist’s. Provincial Home Loans provide finer detail on indicative numbers using a recent property we purchased for an investor client of ours here in Melbourne.


Read full comparison, summary including the benefits (or non-benefits) of Negative Gearing here 



Is NBS (Next Best Suburb) the right option to consider when you are priced out of where you wanted to buy? 


August 2015

Being in the right public school zone is a strong component of why more owner/occupiers inspect, bid and on average pay more for properties than in lesser school zones.

Given this we thought we would look at some recent sales in the popular McKinnon Secondary School zone (ranked 9th top public secondary school in 2014) versus the adjoining Bentleigh Secondary School zone (ranked 40th best public secondary school  in 2014) to see if there were significant differences in the property prices. The search criteria was; sales made in the period 8 May to 8 August 2015 of established homes on land within a circle of about 1KM of each other between the two school zones. The calculations that came back; 

  • 11 home sales in the McKinnon School zone, average price paid $1.443M / median price paid $1.435M
  • 11 home sales in the Bentleigh School zone, average price paid $1.037 / median price $1.065M 
  • Differences of $406K average or $370K median between the neighbouring school zones regardless of suburb name.

Melbourne University estimated the cost for elite schooling (Private education) by 2016 will reach an average of $30K per year per child. Assuming two children attend a private secondary school from year 7 – 12 (total 6 years) would equal $360K in post-tax fees for parents based on this predication.

Interestingly, based on the above home sale results the ‘out of top school’ zone purchase price was $370K less in median and $406K less on average.

Is it just a coincidence that the cost of private schooling for 6 years x 2 kids is virtually the same amount as the difference in purchase price between these two school zones, maybe?    

For families that had the ability to pay the higher price (and/or borrow more) in the better public schools zone could be exposed to higher monthly home loan repayments if needing to borrow. As an example, if a family had to borrow the extra difference of the median price ($406K) to get into the right public school zone and allowed for a higher than current average interest rate, say 5.5%, based on a 30 year loan term, the repayments would be an extra $2,305 per month P & I or $1,861 per month interest only

If the extra home loan repayment was the same for the next 6 years whilst the kids attended the better public secondary school the family would have to find and extra $27,660 in post -tax principal and interest home loan repayments per year but not have to potentially find an extra $60K in post-tax payments per year by choosing to send their children to a private secondary school. This example is a savings of over $30K in tax free income per year. This simple exercise is not about measuring the differences in public versus private schooling values or costs it is to demonstrate the potential growth in property values.

History shows us residential property grows consistently in value based on the majority of people in the area being able to afford it, live in it and benefit from the amenities offered around it. Based on the above example one could argue that the better buying is the property in the top public school zone because more people could afford the extra $27K per annum in payments than extra $60K in private school, makes sense? 

The above example is to show that when assessing how much you need to pay or/should pay for a home should always be based on a variety of angles and measures which by considering correctly with the right data and guidance provides greater confidence, understanding, and most importantly better property ownership. This kind of assessment is what our service at Provincial Property Advocacy considers and offers when advising our clients on property purchases or sales.  

Want to know more about our service?
Email us at or call one of our qualified and experienced Advocates at 03 9650 0399.



 Are you waiting for the heat to come out of the market?


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June 2015

Lots of activity now exists around the Government taking some heat out of the booming property market, primarily in Sydney and Melbourne. This has been focused specifically around investment property lending with such changes from lenders including, higher interest rates for investment lending,  lower LVR (loan to value ratio) requirements, higher loan qualifying requirements effecting such things as required income level with suggestions that we may even see greater restrictions on interest only loans in the near future.

In addition to these changes there has been a strong push again, this time by the Australian Greens Party, to abolish Negative Gearing to also assist in removing heat from the market. In principal the new restrictions in lending are to combat the heated property market by attempting to reduce the very sharp growth in the current property prices whilst allowing the historically low interest rate environment to continue.  Now that this process has begun we believe the policy restrictions will continue to increase and tighten until a sustainable equilibrium is met. 

What does this mean for you?

For buyers We do not see property prices decreasing anytime soon due to the underpinning and ongoing affordability of borrowing, especially in the metro owner occupier sector as no current restriction currently apply to this type of borrower unlike the now investor borrower.  Taking an immediate local look property prices in certain locations of Melbourne will continue to see strong demand with the overflow continuing to boost immediate neighbouring suburbs due to price pressure and buyer’s (mainly owner occupiers) fear of not getting into the market. 

For sellers It is a two edged sword. Potential great sale price when selling on one side but then the challenge of trying to find and buy a property in a very strong market on the other side. Such effect does interrupt the flow of stock supply as some potential sellers decide to just sit and wait which can add more price pressure when trying to buy. 

What do I do?  Sadly there is no quick fix in this current market for buyers or sellers given the above which means the ‘devil is in the detail’ in you understanding where your individual situation sits within this current and ongoing market.  Your investment into understanding the market and your financial capability via the assistance of a professional is now needed more than ever and this is where we can help.  Within the service and skills offered by our professionals in the property and finance sector we can assist in providing you a greater understanding of the market and you in it.  Contact us today to start a conversation and learn more.  The property market is not beyond you, you just need to invest more in understanding it.  



We support local community



May 2015

Provincial Home Loans and Provincial Property Advocacy are very pleased to be a major sponsor for the Tamil New Year celebrations being held on the 10th May at Malvern Town Hall in Melbourne. It was a wonderful afternoon of dancing, singing and plays. Find out more about the community at



Is a heritage house right for you?



April 2015 

Heritage properties can be a double-edged sword: beautiful to look at and much-loved, but they can also be a lot of work and cost to renovate or maintain. So is it the right choice for you if you're looking to buy? 

These type of properties have great kerb appeal and are often found in high demand areas. However, the planning controls that maintain the beautiful facades also restrict development potential. Tight planning laws can limit and define the changes and alterations you can make to properties in heritage conservation's areas. They affect anything from exterior paint colour to major extensions. This could prove costly and put off buyers wanting to make significant changes. When it comes time to sell it could mean you’ll have a longer wait for the right buyer. 

However, here in Victoria, many are fond of heritage properties and, over many years, have consistently paid a premium to buy or rent them. Investors and owner-occupiers are generally happy buying into heritage precincts because they know that no indiscriminate redevelopments can occur opposite them or next door. Heritage property will also only become more valuable over time because, quite simply, there will be less of it. If you have the right house in the right spot it could be a goldmine. 



Ugly duckling to hot property – see the transformation


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March 2015
Provincial Property Advocate and Finance Adviser, Sue Stevens, recently purchased an investment property in West Footscray for her client, Georgie. The single level 2 bedroom unit was in the same ownership for the last 30 years. Following the purchase Georgie put $45K into a renovation to increase its rental return whilst awaiting for future capital growth. Prior to the renovation the rental estimate of the property was $280 per week.  Now that the renovations have been completed the rent has increased to $345 per week.  From the investment of $45K, Georgie increased her rent return by $65 per week / $3,380 per year which is a solid return for what she spent. The rent increase will make it easier for Georgie to own the property whilst she watches the capital growth evolve and allows her to consider investing in the next property sooner. 
When renovating, some costs such as stamp duty and interest rates can be calculated in advance. The big unknown is how much a renovation will cost. Georgie estimated the renovation would take 8 weeks but it took 13, due to Christmas and summer holidays. She spent more than she had first planned (an extra $5,500) as unexpected items crept in, i.e. new wiring and switches, plumbing to make the bath fit, garage door needed replacing. However, her thrifty shopping skills helped her source excellent discounted items such as tap-ware, bath, loo and sink from the Reece’s Outlet in Footscray and carpet from Western Distributors.
7 tips to consider when looking for a renovation opportunity 
  1. Narrow your search to three suburbs (not necessarily near each other).
  2. Research who lives there, the local culture and overall demographics of the area so you know who your buyers / tenants will be.
  3. Analyse the property’s floor plan to assess if value can be added through removing / adding walls, extra bathrooms etc.
  4. Estimate the overall renovation cost by speaking to a qualified trades person.
  5. Remember, the end goal is to increase the capital value of the property whilst getting a solid rental return.
  6. Estimate the improved sale price and rental value of the renovated property prior to commencing by speaking with a qualified property advocate/valuer.
  7. Always be honest with yourself - not all properties will stack up. If it doesn’t then keep looking as many properties will not be suitable.
Top money-making tips when renovating
• Add an extra bedroom.
• Improve first impression.
• Add an extra bathroom.
• Renovate existing kitchen.
• Renovate existing bathroom.
• Brighten and lighten the internal colour scheme. 
• Improve or create outdoor living area.


Original photos source: Jas Stephens Real Estate



Where will the property market opportunities be in 2015?


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January 2015

Property markets were fragmented in 2014, performing strongly in Sydney and Melbourne while other regions languished. In fact, they were even more fragmented than this, with only certain areas in these two big capital cities performing strongly. This trend will potentially continue in 2015, as property markets in new homebuyer locations, blue-collar areas and regional Australia expect to under perform in line with the weaker economy forecast.  On the other hand there remains a large section of the population with rising disposable incomes due to their type of industries and/or professions who will also be in the market for 2015.

With a fragmented property market the opportunity to buy or sell still exists but not without knowing the risks and challenges.  If you are planning to buy or sell property this year here are some key points we think you need to consider, regardless of the market condition.

1. Buy/Sell the type of property that can appeal to owner-occupiers. Generally, owner-occupiers buy similar properties pushing up local real estate demand and values.

2. Buy a property at or below its intrinsic value (actual value). Avoid getting caught up in ‘marketing gimmicks’ of property that’s being offered at a premium price against the existing established values of the area.  True premium prices are historically determined by the buyer due to demand and not by the expectations of the seller.

3. Buy in an area that has a long history of capital growth that will continue to improve due to the existing population and their needs. This will be an area where owner-occupiers want to live because of lifestyle choices conveniences, distance to work, amenities and limited supply of new property. A location where the locals will be prepared to, and can afford to, pay a premium price because they have higher disposable incomes. Historically these areas are the more affluent inner and middle ring suburbs of our big capital cities.

4. Look for a property with a twist – something unique, special, different or scarce about the property.

5. Buy a property where you can manufacture capital growth (add value) through refurbishment, renovations or redevelopment rather than just waiting for the market to deliver external capital growth.

In buying and selling property knowledge is very important, but that’s not enough. Successful property owners are financially fluent, have a good team around them, treat their property investments like a business by holding themselves accountable and regularly reviewing the performance of their assets, and most importantly they have the right mindset to weather the ups and downs of the market.  

Want to know how Provincial Property Advocacy can assist you with your property buying and selling needs for 2015? We are simply an email or call away…, call 03 9650 0399.



Seasons Greetings from us all at Provincial



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December 2014

With the holiday season just around the corner, we all look forward to enjoying some celebration and rest with our loved ones. However, not everyone experiences such good times at Christmas. Thanks to your ongoing support, Provincial are pleased to make a special Christmas donation to our two primary charities, OzChild and Lighthouse Foundation, who actively assist Australian children who are in need of support right now. 


Our donation to Ozchild will help to run educational and therapeutic and vital assistance programs in 2015 and services such as on call 24 hour support during time of critical need. To help further go 


Our donation to Lighthouse Foundation helps support young people with school supplies, uniform and books for the new year. Many young people, have grown up knowing nothing but abuse and neglect and have had to fence for themselves from a very young age. To help further go to 



Donning the runners for the Melbourne Marathon


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October 2014

Members of the greater Provincial Team got into the Melbourne city spirit with 32,000 other participants at the Melbourne Marathon on Sunday 12th October. Top runner, David Hicks made 22 km in 1.47 hr. While the rest of the crew opted for 10, 5 km run and the 3 km walk. Check out all the legs on our Facebook's page here


Team Provincial hits Melbourne Marathon 2014


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October, 2014

David Hicks proudly represents Provincial Team at Melbourne Marathon 2014 on Sunday 12th October. He’s determined to raise money for Cerebral Palsy Education Centre (CPEC). Support David who’s training hard for half Marathon, 22km and for doing a good cause by sponsoring him here


*All sponsorship helps to cover the cost of supporting the children and their families. This is done through therapy intervention programs where children learn practical skills and receive essential equipment that will enable them to reach the best of their abilities.




Provincial's Pedal Pushers


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September, 2014

The Inaugural ‘Team Provincial Pedal’ battled against 80+ KPH winds on 28th October 2014, cycling from our Carlton office to Blackrock and back. Luckily the crew was streamlined in the new Provincial cycling kit, lycra is back ladies and gents! Tim Clarke from Plus Architects took out the top sport winning the sprinter prize, Tim's lycra clad legs were able to get him over the line at a flying 60kmh. Our MD Max Waller reckoned his top speed was about 20 KPH (with a handy tail wind) Suggesting that the new lycra kits works for some better than others……  Thanks to everyone who joined in the ride and made the morning such a hoot.



Provincial supporting Lighthouse foundation auction


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September, 2014

We enjoyed our 5th year of supporting the Lighthouse Foundation’s annual footy finals luncheon at the MCG on 10th September 2014. The charity auction raised over $13K in 10 minutes at the big event. You too can make a difference at