Frank Walmsley

Canberra Auction and Property Expert

Frank Walmsley, a leading freelance auctioneer and director of Canberra Granny Flat Builders and Fixed Price Extensions, uses his 20+ years of experience to research and secure your ideal property.

What do we do for our clients? 

We help investors secure and create high or positive cash flow residential properties in Canberra, ACT (Australian Capital Territory).  

We do this by finding great/below value, established residential properties suited to having a Secondary Dwelling and or extension added to the block.  

We then manage the entire negotiation & purchase, planning and development and building process on their behalf using a fixed price quality guarantee. 

Once we have built the dual income property most clients can expect a gross return of 5%–6% on their initial total investment, excluding depreciation, by following this strategy (once the Second Residence is built). 

Directly below is a table of pre-qualified properties that demonstrate the product recommendation.    

How We Do It For Our Clients?

You provide your overriding property investment strategy, we will provide a property shortlist 

We have expertise in researching and negotiating the purchase of the most suitable properties, we recommend blocks sized between 600 sqm and 900 sqm that are priced between $750,000 and $1,100,000 in RZ1 development zones.  

In determining your ideal property shortlist, we undertake a detailed site inspection of the target properties to ensure that the planning and development conditions can be met, and that site works, and utility compliance costs are minimized.  

Level blocks with minimal improvements, uncomplicated easements and direct utility connections are generally preferred. Protected trees and the availability of compliant parking are also less significant factors. 


We then determine the planning viability of the site/block, we then work with property managers and market evidence to assess rental returns and the most suitable additional dwelling and/or extension for the target properties.  

Frank Walmsleya leading freelance auctioneer in Canberra and director of Canberra Granny Flat Builders and Fixed Price Extensions, uses his 20+ years of experience in real estate to research and secure your ideal property at auction, off-market or via direct negotiation. 

Using our exclusive range of Second Residence and extension designs, we then use overlay tools to determine what design best meets the planning, site works and rental return parameters.  Our exclusive range of designs can be found at:

Canberra Granny Flat Builders and Fixed Price Extensions has over 200 online videos of homes we have built, and we are considered one of Canberra's premium builders. Watch build videos now

If the property requires renovation we can engage the team at to provide a price estimate report before exchange. 

Once we have agreed on the purchase target price for the shortlisted properties, Frank will represent you at auction or in direct negotiations. Some properties can be secured off-market.

Once the property is secured, you can take up the option to build a Secondary Residence and or extension using Canberra Granny Flat Builders and Fixed Price Extension's unique Fixed Price Quality Agreement. 

We can work with your existing property manager or match you with a qualified short-term property manager expert (Airbnb) or traditional property manager - depending on your strategy. 

Once the Second Dwelling is built, we assist with revaluating the new property and the using the increased equity to start the process again to build your positive cashflow portfolio.

Our Google reviews

What does this service cost and how do we get started? 

There is no upfront engagement fee, just a commitment to work exclusively together.
Once we have secured the target property, the total service fee ranges from 1.75% to 2.5% of the purchase price, including GST. You, as the client, get to select that fee within that range once negotiations are finalized. 

My goal is to save you 3%–6% of market value, remove the stress and time involved in scouting, and secure the best properties for your longer-term wealth building objectives. 

If you decide to advance with the building of a Secondary Dwelling and or extension then we will engage our design team at Canberra Granny Flat Builders and Fixed Price Extensions.   

You essentially have two options use an existing design or create your own. If you decide to create a custom design we will waive the design fee of $2850 inc GST and the only required investment will be a mandatory site survey, which is approx. $1200 inc GST.

As soon as we have finalised the design we will provide you a Fixed Price Quality Agreement, which includes a total and fixed price. If you are happy with the proposal we will advance to the planning approvals stage. 

Planning approvals to build a Secondary Residence take on average 6 months to obtain in the ACT. A minimal payment of 10% of the build value is all that is required.

Rest assured we can add a special condition in the lease agreement that will enable us to lodge the development application and build while the tenant remains paying rent.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why is stamp duty in the ACT treated differently than in other states in Australia? 

The ACT is unique in that it has a leasehold land title system. In theory, you are renting the land from the Federal Government with a 99-year lease with the certainty of renewal. 

For tax purposes, as you are not acquiring the land, you can claim 100% of the stamp duty as a tax deduction (for investment properties) for properties purchased in the ACT within the financial year it was purchased. 

How do we calculate the applicable stamp duty if we purchase a property in the ACT?   

Do the rates or applicable land tax change if we have two dwellings on one title (ACT)? 

No is the short answer.  

Rates in the ACT are determined by the property's unimproved value (UV), which means the land's value, not the improvements/structures upon it, determines the calculation of the rates   


Land tax in the ACT is only applicable for investment properties.  


If you have two dwellings on one title and live in one dwelling and rent out the other, then only the residence rented out attracts land tax. In this instance, the land tax is paid proportionally on the net lettable area rented. There are some subtle loopholes to this as well, which I can explain what we meet. 

Can cost savings be made by targeting specific agents in the ACT?

Yes, 100%. It was well documented in the best-seller Freakonomics.  

Watch here:  

Agents are generally motivated by the financial incentives negotiated with the seller.  

Agents working for flat fees like $10,000 or 2% of the sale price have minimal incentive to hold out for a premium price on behlaf of their seller clients.   
What generally motivates them is the speed and uncomplicated nature of the sale and the ability to turn over the deal as quickly as possible so they can move on to the next sale.   

Most sellers list with the agent they like the most or know, or who is cheapest (often flat fee) rather than those most likely to negotiate an incentive outcome or versed in the art of negotiation. I mean, even the seller out-negotiates the appointed negotiator (agent).  

We can use this to our advantage; we have developed a list of the 20 most favourable agents to buy from. The savings can be up to 15% of the market value.  
We cannot legally publish this list of the most favourable agents to buy from, but here are some of the factors that get those agents onto the list:  

  • agents selling properties from their rent roll - interstate owners with limited knowledge of the value highly influenced by the agent  

  • agents selling out of the area  

  • agents with lots of stock - looking for high and quick turnover    

  • agents with a high auction clearance rate, 95%; this means a higher likelihood of convincing the owner to take an offer on the day of the auction 

  • agents with a preference to sell pre-auction   

  • agents looking to retain properties in their rent roll, preferring investors over owner occupiers  

  • agents selling complicated properties with factors like class 10 structures or unapproved dwelling elements  


All these factors can be used to your advantage. Having the ability to exchange and settle quickly can also create bargaining strength.  

 The percentage of private sales is minimal in the ACT 1% of transactions. On occasion, this can be very fruitful. 

Do you have any practical evidence about the uplift in capital value if a Second Dwelling is added to a single dwelling block with an existing residence?

There is limited sales evidence of homes with Secondary Dwellings selling in Canberra; however, the sales evidence that we do have demonstrates a significant return on capital for those that build


The Planning and Development Act changed in 2017, allowing for Secondary Dwellings to be built on blocks greater than 500sqm (about the area of a basketball court) in the ACT.    

Since 2017, only about 80 (Secondary Dwellings) per year have been built. Not because of the absence of market demand but primarily because of the perceived complexity of dealing with the ACT Planning bureaucracy.


From our research, only a handful of properties with two residences had sold post-2017 when the laws were introduced. Most properties purporting to be dual residence homes are makeshift properties with Class 10 structures illegally rented as Granny Flats.    

As an auctioneer, I have sold two properties with two dwellings on one title in the last 12 months, and both have sold well above expectations.    

In Kambah, with a UV of $395,000, a three-bedroom Secondary Dwelling and a modest four-bedroom home sold for $1,525,000 in late May 2022. Video:  


In October 2021, we sold a basic 98sqm three-bedroom home and a three-bedroom Secondary Dwelling (design 384) for $1,080,000. Video: 

How do we find/figure out the rates and land tax for a specific property in the ACT? 

Most property websites have published rates and land tax values of the specific property being offered for sale.   

However, as rates and land taxes are calculated on the Average Unimproved Value of the property, there is a straightforward online calculator tool:  

This tool also calculates applicable land tax rates based on foreign ownership %. 

Can we have two separate lease agreements if more than one dwelling is on the block (ACT)? 

Yes, is the short answer. However, you will need to have tenancy agreements in place. Residential Tenancy agreements are legislated in the ACT and are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. This means that the 100 conditions outlined with the residential tenancy terms can't be negotiated or changed because they are regulated.   


To enable two separate tenancy agreements, 1 per dwelling, you will need to have individual utilities, specifically electrical. This means both houses need separate electrical meters, and individual water metering is not required for a unique lease arrangement.   

Download ACT residential lease agreements: 

If we build a Secondary Dwelling, can you assist with providing a detailed tax depreciation schedule?   

A complimentary BMT Tax Depreciation schedule will be provided if you build a Secondary Dwelling with Canberra Granny Flat Builders or an extension or improvements with Fixed Price Extensions.  

Please find an example BMT Depreciation schedule that incorporates CGFB designs 160 and Design 390. Download  

The report calculates the following for the client/property owner values of Division 40 and 43 deductions.   

Division 40, also known as plant and equipment, are the removable assets within an investment property. 


Division 43, these are:  

  • buildings or extensions, alterations or improvements to a building 

  • structural improvements such as sealed driveways, fences and retaining walls 

  • earthworks for environmental protection, such as embankments. 


Claiming the tax deductions has a significant financial benefit to the property owner. This is why having a property that combines 2 dwellings with new and old buildings - low deductible (older), and high deductibility (new) - is so appealing. 

Why do we specialise and recommend Canberra? 

Canberra has the highest median weekly rents of any major capital city in Australia, coupled with the lowest vacancy rate (1%).  

According to SQM research, the median weekly rental value for a 3-bedroom home in Canberra was a staggering $695 in August 2022.   

Canberra has the highest average weekly earnings of any state and territory, and its unique and bureaucratic planning laws mean a constant undersupply of rental properties.   

The strong labour market and low housing supply mean that rental prices are historically higher than in Sydney and Melbourne.   

While property land tax and rates are higher in the ACT, in comparison to most other major capitals, when you combine the cashflow generated from having two incomes from two separate dwellings whilst maintaining one set of rates and land taxes, Canberra properties are commonly more profitable and stable than any other capital in Australia. 

How do you arrive at that value when calculating Stamp Duty plus in the recommended buys list?  

The stamp duty value is determined using that ACT revenue office calculator.   

We used the recommended buy price benchmark value researched and provided above to determine the stamp duty value. 


In calculating stamp duty, we have not applied the Home Buyer Concession Scheme or Penisor Duty Concession Scheme and have applied as a non-owner occupier.  


Some other costs applied to the "Stamp Duty Plus" in addition to the Stamp Duty.  

  • Legal fees for conveyancers or solicitors: $2000  

  • Value of the building, EER and compliance report: $1500  

So the calculation of Stamp Duty Plus is: Stamp Duty + Legal Costs + Building Reports.  

In the ACT, the buyer of residential property must compensate the seller for the costs of providing the building, pest, energy efficiency and compliance reports.   

In the ACT, unlike other Australian states and territories, the full contract for sale is prepared before marketing the property by the seller. 

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Franks Auction Videos

Auction at 38 Gallagher Street, Kambah ACT 2902

Auction at 7 Brawn Place, Calwell ACT 2905

Auction at 6 Lacey Place, Kambah ACT 2902 – Part A

Auction at 6 Lacey Place, Kambah ACT 2902 – Part B

Auction at 2 Chappell Street, Lyons ACT 2606

Auction at 111 London Circuit, City ACT 2601

Auction at 25 Banner Street, O’Connor ACT 2602 – Part A

Auction at 25 Banner Street, O’Connor ACT 2602 – Part B

Auction at 43 Ford Street, Yass NSW 2582

Auction at 24 Emily Bulcock Crescent, Gilmore ACT 2905

Auction at 6 Purnell Place, Calwell ACT 2905 – Part A

Auction at 6 Purnell Place, Calwell ACT 2905 – Part B

Auction at 25 Hyslop Crescent, Casey ACT 2913

Auction at 12 Archel Place, Palmerston ACT 2913

Auction at 121/50 Ellenborough Street, Lyneham ACT 2602

Auction at 158 Dog Trap Road, Marchmont NSW 2582

Auction at 3 McDermott Street Kambah ACT 2902

Auction at 6 Grevillea Close, Murrumbateman NSW 2582

Auction at 6 Powley Street, Casey ACT 2913

7 Biala Place, Ngunnawal ACT 2913 – Part A

Auction at 7 Biala Place, Ngunnawal ACT 2913 – Part B

Auction at 183 Bicentennial Drive, Jerrabomberra NSW 2619

Auction at 2/12 Gilmore Crescent, Garran ACT 2605

771 Good Hope Road, Good Hope NSW 2582 – Part A

Auction at 771 Good Hope Road, Good Hope NSW 2582 – Part B

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