WEEKEND READS: Catch up on the most interesting articles I’ve read this week

There are more interesting articles, commentaries and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month.

Each Saturday morning I like to share some of the ones I’ve read during the week.

So enjoy for some weekend reading…and please forward to your friends by clicking the social link buttons on the left.

Melbourne property first as grave site passes $1m mark

We are used to seeing housing concerns in the paper, but this article published by the Age takes it a a whole new level.

A valuable piece of Melbourne real estate has quietly passed the $1 million barrier, but it is not your typical family home.

Newly released prices for Melbourne’s cemeteries show that the most expensive position at Melbourne General Cemetery is now valued at almost $1.1 million.

That price tag is attached to a family mausoleum room with 24 casket spaces.

Meanwhile, a family grave at Springvale Botanical Cemetery is available for a cool $300,000.

image grave

Source: The Age

The rising cost of graves is one factor driving the popularity of cremations, which are generally cheaper.

At Werribee Cemetery an “exclusive family alcove” with 10 positions in a mausoleum is expected to reach $271,720 this year.

But many of Melbourne’s priciest resting spots have been pre-sold, echoing the difficulty of entering Melbourne’s housing market.

Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust spokesman Leigh Funston said prices ranged from about $1000 for interment of cremated remains, to hundreds of thousands of dollars for more elaborate options.

“We have a responsibility as a cemetery trust to upkeep and maintain the cemeteries forever,” he said. “We don’t draw on the public purse for that.”

Melbourne’s two metropolitan cemetery trusts are non-profit groups that run more than 20 cemeteries in Victoria.

The prices are regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Line of credit, offset account and redraw facility | 10 events that could crash the housing market | “The Best Price For Your Home is the Love Price” | Top ten tips for first time property investors | Renovations

Another great Real Estate Talk show produced by Kevin Turner.

If you don’t already subscribe to this excellent weekly Internet based radio show do so now by clicking here.

Details of this week’s show:

  • Michael Yardney outlines 10 economy events that will signal  a fall in dwelling prices.
  • Finance expert Andrew Mirams explains the difference between a Line of Credit, Offset Account and Redraw facility.
  • Peter Hutton tells you how to make sure you get the LOVE price when you sell.
  • If you are a first time investor – here are the golden rules for you to follow if you don’t want your plans to come to a screaming halt

APRA taps on the brakes

Pete Wargent analysed the ABS housing finance for May 2015 on his blog recently.

Total ABS Housing Finance for the month of May 2015 came it at a seasonally adjusted print of above $31 billion for the third time on record, with all three of the strongest months taking place consecutively over the three months to May.

On a trend basis, therefore, monthly total housing finance surged to its highest ever level at $31.9 billion.

This was in spite a seasonally adjusted dip in the month of May after lending in April had threatened to explode off the top of the chart.

On a rolling annual basis total owner-occupier lending has blazed upwards by 9 per cent over the past year to a record $212 billion.

Chinese Buyers Grab Billions Worth Of Real Estate In Three Months

An article published on Your Investment Property reports that one quarter of all Chinese capital invested in foreign real estate in the first three months of 2015 was directed to Australia’s shores.

New information from international real estate service firm CBRE shows that in the first three months of 2015, Chinese investors purchased US$4 billion worth of overseas real estate, with US$1 billion worth of that located in Australia.

That figure is almost as much as Chinese investors spent in Australia throughout all of 2014, when they purchased US$1.5 billion worth of real estate.

china economyGrowing ties between ourselves and the Asian superpower have been identified as one of the reason for the increased flow of capital.

“Capital flows from China to Australia are complemented by growing numbers of Chinese tourists, students, settlers and an increased bi-lateral trade relationship,” CBRE’s head of Australian research Stephen McNabb said.

“Australia competes for capital with other markets globally, however the aforementioned factors appear to provide a longer-term underpinning for the capital flow now being experienced.”

From 1 January 2014 to 31 March 2015, Chinese investors became the second largest foreign direct purchases of commercial property in Australia, after Singapore and ahead of the US, and the flow of capital is not expected to slow in the near future.

Inner city development sites, within a 5km radius of the CBDs of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have proved to be the most popular targets among Chinese buyers, with CBRE analysis showing that 36 of the 116 sites sold in that radius in the 12 months to April 2015 were acquired by Chinese investors.

Sixteen of those sites were in Sydney, while 15 were in Melbourne and five were in Brisbane.

Unfortunate Realities You Should Get Used To

Morgan Housel listed some big truths on Fool.com, so grab a cuppa and come to terms with the inevitable.

1. You will spend your life chasing a net worth number you think you will make you happy, but never get there

People talk about their “number,” or the amount of money they think will make them happy and content.

But they’re dangerous.

People are bad at forecasting almost everything, but trying to predict how you’ll feel in the future is a whole different level of delusion.

Once you hit your number, you’ll probably realize you’re no more content than you were before, move the goalpost down the field, and resume chasing your tail.

Psychologists call this the hedonic treadmill, and it can make you miserable.

The best studies show that more money does in fact make people happier.

But there’s a difference between becoming happier and being satisfied with your happiness, which is what most people ultimately want.

The paradox goes like this: More money leads to more happiness, but that leads to greater aspirations for more happiness, which will leave you discontent.

2. A lot of what you know is wrong, incomplete, distorted, and subject to revision

There’s a bias called the “end of history illusion.”

It says that people think changes in taste, new ideas, and learning in general occurred in the past, but today we’ve got it all figured out.

The truth is we’re always learning how wrong we were in the past.

We think it’s crazy that people used to think smoking wasn’t harmful, but those people thought it was crazy that their ancestors had little concept of sanitation, and those people thought it was crazy that their own ancestors thought the world was flat.

People need to believe they’re doing things the right way, but the reality is that for every point in history — including today — someone in the future will look back and say, “Wow, what were those idiots thinking?”

The odds are close to 100% that you’re doing something today you’ll later regret.

And not because you’re making a bad decision, but because you’re relying on facts that just aren’t true.

3. People are less impressed by your success than you think

Most people in the developed world are about as comfortable and safe as they’re going to get in their lives. Their incentive to get richer is to impress other people.

But while people spend their lives trying to impress their friends, a trait they find most attractive in those friends is humility. Few of us ever connect these dots.

You’d be shocked at how little people care about your car, boat, house, purse, or vacation.

Good lesson to remember.

Weekend Video: 25 Chilling Coincidences You Won’t Believe Are Real

Did you know that Napoleon and Hitler were born 129 years apart, came to power 129 years apart, declared war on Russia 129 years apart, and were defeated 129 years apart?

Get ready because these are 25 chilling coincidences you won’t believe are real!

Blogs you may have missed this week:

14 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Your Credit Card

10 Simple but Proven Ways To Be Happier Today

Everything You’ve Been Led to Believe About the Rich is a Myth

Eight tips for equity hunters

Does building a granny flat make good investment sense?

Want more of this type of information?


Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au

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