House/Land Bonanza

Reporter: Lynda Kinkade

Ending the rental-trap... and securing your own property..

Tonight the latest housing options for young people, families and retirees...

According to reports late last year Australia's residential property market was headed for its worst year since the global financial crisis ...

But in the last few weeks... it's begun to claw back

"We've got a large number of auctions coming up this Saturday in Sydney, its actually the largest number of properties up for auction for the last 18 months. similarly in Melbourne there is a large number of properties going up for auction." Said Andrew Wilson

"We've got ten different designs ranging from one bedroom through to 2 bedroom plus study.." Said James Kelly

If you're over 50... a piece of this could be all yours.... for very little...

"This looks a little like Pleasantville? we try to make sure we vary the street as much as possible... we set the houses back and we change the facade types so we have no two facades the same." Said James Kelly

Here you buy the home... but not the land it sits on.

"The resident buys the home... and then they get a 90 year lease over the land. Typically we've had capital growth that's pretty much matched the suburbs in which these villages are situated..." Said James Kelly

From boot-scooting classes , to bowling greens, to hydrotherapy work-outs

Even a tennis court...

This is a new type of village... which aims to please those baby boomers who want to free up their finances... but are not yet ready to retire...

James Kelly is managing director of Lifestyle communities...

"Typical a house is worth between 220 and 240 thousand they and they pay a weekly rental 37..15 the way the village is structured they also get rental assistance so the rent out only works out at 20% of the pension." Said James Kelly

In their early 70s... Lynne and Geoff Morris... sold their home and bought into this village in Warragul on the outskirts Melbourne.

"It is the best move we have ever done." Said Lynne and Geoff Morris

Using the equity from the sale... these grandparents are revelling in the chance to travel.

"We're off to Merimbula in a fortnight, we're off to Alaska in July and New Zealand for the New Year." Said Lynne and Geoff

Still working part-time.. Linda and James Howie... wanted to down-size.. this village in Cranbourne was a perfect fit.

Similar villages are now operating in northern New South Wales, WA and Queensland....

"It's a wonderful lifestyle I'd recommend it to anybody." Said Lynne and Geoff

Although Michael O'Neil from the Senior's Association... has this warning.

"Potentially if a village does go under or there are problems associated with it that you have no ongoing security in place and whilst it's easy to say "take it somewhere else" in practice that is a very expensive option." Said Michael O'Neil

Last weekend clearance rates began to rise.... 60% of homes auctioned sold in Sydney... over 56% in Melbourne... 36% in Adelaide, just over 32% in Adelaide and almost 40% of homes auctioned sold in Perth.

Andrew Wilson is from Australian Property Monitors

"I think after a very quite or subdued 2011 we will see generally in most markets a lift in buyer confidence, the fundamentals are still in favor of the housing market." Said Andrew Wilson

A new trend shows an increasing number of buyers are pooling funds with friends or family... according to research by Mortgage Choice 66 per cent of first homebuyers planning to purchase before March next year won't be doing it alone.

Self-employed graphic designer Holly McLaren is confident it's the best option for her.

"A lot of my friends rent and they do find they are trapped in that rental market." Said Holly

She's using a scheme known as Home Addressed to buy a property in a co-ownership agreement...

Christina Ward created the scheme.

"A lot of people that thought that it might have been not achievable can realistically look at owning their own place now." Said Chris

For families looking to escape the rental market and buy on their own..... Real Estate Institute of Australia's Amanda Lynch has this advice....

"We say to buyers start small if they can't afford the exact house they would like, buy a flat, buy an apartment, move up from there." Said Amanda Lynch

If you're in the property market... now is the time to consider re-financing your mortgage.