Weekend Reads: Must-see articles from 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.

Monday will be here before you know it, so enjoy for some weekend reading…and please forward to your friends by clicking the social link buttons.

Sneaky property investors are lying to the banks to get lower interest rates

News.com.au reported that property investors are posing as owner occupiers in order to get lower interest rates.

Insiders have revealed a clampdown on loans to investors ordered by Australia’s banking regulator is being subverted by wealthy investors who falsely claim they plan to live in properties when they are actually buying to rent out.

The big banks are offering lower interest rates to borrowers who want to own the roof over their heads after being ordered by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to reduce the proportion of loans going to investors.

This gives owner-occupiers a better chance at breaking into the highly competitive and expensive property market.

It is unknown how many investors are falsely claiming to be buying for themselves, but the practice could impact the stability of Australia’s property market by sabotaging the new rules, which aim to avert a dramatic fall in property prices that could spark a GFC-style meltdown.

But the temptation to rort the system has proven too great for some, according to several high profile insiders who spoke to news.com.au on condition of anonymity.

Mortgage Choice spokeswoman Jessica Darnbrough agreed to speak on the record about the practice, which she confirmed had become a talking point in the industry.

Ms Darnbrough said accessing the loophole — which the company does not endorse — could be as easy as having mail redirected from the loan property’s address, a tactic employed in the past to access the first homebuyer grant.

Read the full article here.

Staring at your smartphone at night could be as bad as drinking a double espresso

Business Insider takes a look at a study showing that staring at your smartphone screen before sleeping is as bad as drinking a coffee before bed.

young cell phone addict man sleeping at night in bed while using

As delicious as a perfectly brewed cup of coffee is, warm or cold, we generally know that we shouldn’t pour a fresh cup after a certain time — it might keep you up at night, after all.

As researchers recently reported in a study published September 16 in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the amount of caffeine you’d get in a double espresso has less of an effect on your circadian clock or sleep schedule than bright light exposure at night.We also know that looking at our smartphones at night can ruin our sleep.

Smartphones, tablets, and laptops all emit very bright blue light, which helps us see them in the sun’s glare — but the effect this light has on sleep is reason to be concerned.

According to what the researchers found, exposure to bright light at night pushes your “sleep time” back approximately twice as long as caffeine does

Read the full article here.

What will drive our economy now | Easier ways to enter the property market | Where and why the market appears to be slowing | Melbourne market today | Plus more

Another great Real Estate Talk show produced by Kevin Turner.

In this show:

  • Michael Yardney will tell us what’s going to drive our economy now that the mining boom is over.
  • Chris Gray looks at the ways in which first home buyers and investors are finding easier ways to enter the property market. 
  • John McGrath joins us to discuss our slowing population growth
  • Simon Pressley from Propertyology has been analysing the latest employment data for locations right across Australia.
  • Property management expert Corina Bailey has a shot at the industry.
  • Greville Pabst takes a look at the Melbourne market with reports circulating that there are too many units.

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

Confidence +5.1pc

Pete Wargent discusses the ‘Turnbull bounce’ in his recent blog about consumer confidence.

Consumer confidence jumped by +5.1 per cent to a 15 week high and to well +2.6 per cent above its long run average, with decent results across most of the sub-indices.

Roy Morgan Research explains the reasons in its media release here, which included the recent share market rebound.

The sub-index recording confidence towards economic conditions for the next five years jumped by +10 per cent.

It is now over the government to present a coherent story on the economy which businesses and consumers can get behind.

9 Features You No Longer See in Cars

Mental Floss published a list of 11 features you no longer see in cars. Here’s 9 of them:

1. BENCH SEATS – Back before seat belts were even included in cars—much less mandatory to wear—three passengers could fit comfortably in the front of most cars, or four if one was a child or a skinny relative.vintage car happy life motivation fun old retro

2. ASHTRAYS – Ashtrays were commonly found in the dashboard (along with an electric lighter), mounted on the back of the front seat, and in the armrests on opposite sides of the back seat. Even if you weren’t a smoker, the tray in the dash was handy for storing coins, and the rear ones were handy receptacles for candy wrappers and discarded chewing gum.

3. SPACIOUS TRUNKS – Back in the good old days you could easily fit a week’s worth of groceries, the spare tire, and a Mafia snitch in the trunk and still have room for that old TV set with the blown picture tube you’ve been meaning to take to the repair shop.

4. FULL-SIZE SPARE TYRE – The advantage with a full-size spare was that you could put it on, stow the flat tire in your trunk, and go on your merry way with no particular urgency to get it repaired (unlike today’s donuts, which are designed to be used for limited distances at speeds under 50 miles per hour).

5. FLOOR-MOUNTED DIMMER SWITCH – In the old days, it was a button in the general vicinity left of the brake pedal, so even in an unfamiliar car all you had to do was tap around with your toe a few times to find it.

6. VENT WINDOWS – Vent or “wing” windows were popular in the pre-air conditioning era of automotive manufacturing. But they were convenient for many purposes that are still valid today.

7. AUDIBLE TURN SIGNALS – How many fewer drivers would drive for miles and miles with their turn signal flashing if the indicators still made an audible noise as they blinked? 

8. “SUICIDE” DOORS – Rear-hinged doors got their macabre name in the pre-seat belt era; if such a door wasn’t closed tight while the car was in motion, the road wind would fling it wide open and the passenger would most likely be tossed to the pavement.

9. CONTROL KNOBS – How much easier it used to be with nice, solid knobs and levers that you either pulled, pushed, slid or twirled, and which were always pretty much in the same place in every car? 

Read the full article here:

Weekend Video: This Much Will Kill You

A lot of things can kill you – but here are some surprising ones!

Blogs you may have missed this week:

Why diversifying investments is for the ignorant

Super Parents Raise Kids Who Become the 1%

5 Misconceptions Most Australians Have About Their Credit Cards

Australia’s weirdest suburb names and how much it costs to live there

Where should I buy an investment property?

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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