Weekend reads – Must read articles from the last 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.

The weekend will be over before you know it, so enjoy some interesting reading.

Melbourne lockdown lifting: Regional Victoria to be open to Melburnians, inspection rules relaxed

 

This article on Realestate.com.au looks at the details.

Melburnians keen to escape the city can inspect regional Victorian properties from 11:59pm on November 8, Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed in his Monday press conference. Propertyupdate Victorian Property Melbourne

A realignment of metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria coronavirus restrictions will allow buyers to travel statewide for private property inspections and to compete at auctions, at which attendances will be capped.

Groups of up to 10 people will also be allowed to inspect homes at the same time in metropolitan Melbourne from November 9 — an increase from the current one-on-one limit — Real Estate Institute of Victoria president Leah Calnan told the Herald Sun.

Two households of up to 10 people can also inspect at the same time from October 27, state government confirmed.

Group bookings could not be publicly advertised and social distancing rules must be adhered to while at the property, she added.

“Allowing up to 10 people in a private inspection is a good step forward … it will definitely increase the efficiency of being able to show people through properties while still abiding to social distancing and hygiene practices,” Ms Calnan said. 

“Metropolitan Melbourne has been following all the rules and regulations set out over the past few months of lockdown and it’s important the real estate industry gets to resume operating in a COVID-safe way.”

Private inspections have been allowed in regional Victoria throughout the pandemic.

Maxwell Collins Real Estate manager Eugene Carroll said Geelong vendors and agents were “over the moon” that the ring of steel was disappearing.

“We’re now jostling the dates of property campaigns and auctions, so that they match up with when Melbourne residents can come down,” Mr Carroll said

“I think we’ll see the listings calendar start to fill up very quickly.”

He said a property inspection was “crucial” to sealing most transactions.

Keatings Real Estate Woodend agent Sandi Barry-Mueller said she was already booking private inspections for November 9.

“Vendors who were holding back and waiting for restrictions to ease will be getting themselves on the market,” Ms Barry-Mueller said.

“There will be a flurry of local buyers who are quite active in the meantime, trying to buy before Melbourne gets released too.”

Pandemic downturn ‘continues to confound’

In this Blog, Pete Wargent looks at what the RBA is saying about our current recession.

Confidence at 8-month high

According to CommSec, reporting the latest ANZ-Roy Morgran Consumer Confidence figures, the downturn continues to confound, with confidence rebounding quickly.

Confidence is still below its long-run average, but lifted to the highest level in 8 months this week:

Commsec

Read the full article here

Melbourne property market revives as city celebrates lockdown’s easing

 

This article from thenewdaily.com.au

Pent-up demand from vendors hoping to sell their properties during the traditionally busy spring selling season has revived the Melbourne property market.

After months of sitting on their hands as stage four restrictions barred in-person activity, vendors have listed their properties en masse in response to the reintroduction of private inspections and outdoor auctions.

Property analytics firm CoreLogic found the total number of properties for sale in Melbourne increased from 1606 to 6974 over the four weeks ending ending October 18.

That represents a 334 per cent jump in the number of homes and units on the market compared to one month ago.

Weekend reads - Must read articles from the last week

Although most mortgage deferrals are expected to end in October, CoreLogic head of research Eliza Owen said the uptick was more likely to be the first sign of a rebound than a wave of distressed sales.

Not least because “CoreLogic data does not point to a significant increase in mortgagee in possession events across Victoria,” Ms Owen wrote in a note. Melbourne, Australia

“After months of restrictions, pent-up demand from sellers has accumulated so much that more stock was recently added for sale in Melbourne than any other capital city region.

“High buyer demand can also mitigate risk for distressed sales, because the added demand pushes up prices.”

Only the Macedon Ranges saw a decline in the number of available listings.

And the highest increases occurred in Wyndham (314), Melbourne City (273) and Whittlesea-Wallan (256).

Castran Gilbert director Michael Lang told The New Daily the backlog of properties was being met by an increase in interest among buyers hoping to get bang for their buck in the early weeks after lockdown.

Weekend reads - Must read articles from the last week

“Properties are selling at a fair value compared to when you’re in a bullish market, where you’re usually competing against three to six people, which pushes prices that extra 10 per cent,” Mr Lang said.

But it’s not the cheaper end of the market that has driven the surge of available homes.

Mr Lang said it’s homes that command $2 million to $4 million price tags.

“It’s a sector that’s felt a greater impact because these home owners are employers and business owners, so it may be a result of the effects of COVID and they’re also the ones who have got kids at private school and whatnot, so they need to access that equity,” he said.

“Looking at that, areas that are affected the most are the inner east – so Boroondara, and a bit in Stonnington – compared to first-home buyer magnets in newer suburbs and land subdivision-type stock.”

But the more expensive homes may take a while to sell.

Read the full article here

Australia’s recession may technically already be over as the economy begins to bounce back, the Reserve Bank says

 

This article on Business Insider

It took Australia almost 30 years to enter a recession, but it may have only taken two quarters to exit it.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has tentatively suggested the economy may have grown in the September quarter after shrinking during the first six months of the year. Reserve Bank Of Australia

“At the moment our best guess it looks like the economy probably recorded positive growth rather than negative,” Deputy Governor Guy Debelle told Senate Estimates on Tuesday.

It would suggest that Australia’s economy may be performing better than expected, despite 25% of it being shut down for months under Victoria’s stage four restrictions.

“As best as we can tell … the strength elsewhere in the country was more than the drag from Victoria, and possibly the drag from Victoria was a little less than what we had guessed,” Debelle said.

While it won’t be confirmed until early December, it does point to a fledgling economic recovery.

Some projections had warned the recession could run into next year. Any and all forecasts evidently come with a grain of salt during the pandemic.

“We’re having a lot of trouble trying to understand where we are let alone where we’re going,” Debelle said.

Nor did the possible return to growth came cheap.Recession Australia Note Money Economy Squeeze Tighten Save Saving Budget Cut 300x200

The federal government took on a record-breaking level of debt in an attempt to give a jab in the arm to business and households.

It’s expected to be helped along by a Victorian reopening that should see households eager to spend some of their pent-up savings as they blow off steam.

However, Debelle’s admission on Tuesday also does not mean that it’s clear sailing from here on out.

For one, the record amount of government support offered since March will begin to wind back in the coming months, as JobKeeper is replaced by JobMaker, and the heightened JobSeeker payment is phased out.

For another, many of the pandemic’s biggest impacts loom just as large as before, such as the disappearance of one million people from Australia by 2030.

At the same time fiscal support falls, there’s little more room for the RBA to cut interest rates any further or meaningfully increase its other monetary efforts.

There are still plenty of reasons to think the economy is relatively weak.

For one, there are nearly one million Australians unemployed. With a recession defined as two or more consecutive quarters of negative growth then, it may be little more than a semantic reprieve.

Read the full article here

Lessons from lockdown

An article on Chemistryworld.com looks at the

While Covid-19 is still very much part of our present, and our future, nevertheless we can reflect on what we’ve learnt from living through lockdown

All of our lives have changed this year, each of us adapting to living through a pandemic and trying to make peace with the unpredictable.Corona Virus

For some, this might have amounted to little more than inconvenience but for others it has been a time of unimaginable tragedy and life-changing consequences.

We are still coming to terms with how our society has been disrupted.

Each day presents a fresh trauma, a new U-turn and another demonstration of the far-reaching impact of Covid-19.

No generation is unaffected, no aspect of life is protected, no industry is insulated and, for the foreseeable future, few things feel certain.

The situation is serious, and will remain serious for some time yet, but it is not without humour nor hope.

Here are some of the things that lockdown has taught me, or helped me realise, in no particular order:

  1. Children have little patience for, and derive little entertainment from, watching you work.
  2. Or watching you rest. Or eat.
  3. Family Game Parent Kid Child 300x199A surprising amount of things can be delivered to your doorstep. A disappointing amount of them will be things you actually needed.
  4. Essential workers shouldn’t have to wait for a pandemic to get the appreciation they deserve.
  5. Wearing a mask is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Refusing to wear a mask because you are a defender of freedom is not.
  6. Seeing your own face in video calls is engrossing and disturbing. Also my face is much bigger than I thought.
  7. People are generally resilient.
  8. WiFi routers are generally not resilient.
  9. Those of us who avoided any serious harm to ourselves, families and friends should be thankful. And we should remember that there were many who did not share our good fortune.
  10. Stable employment is a blessing bestowed on too few people.
  11. The pandemic forced a change to more sustainable behaviours in travel, commerce and the workplace – we should strive to preserve them when they once again become choices rather than necessities. Writer Working On Computer At Wooden Desk
  12. Members of your household cannot be expected to provide a serviceable haircut.
  13. It has been wonderful to see green shoots of a post-post-truth era. Scientists have shared stages with presidents and prime ministers, governments are promoting evidence-based policy, the public have been hungry for science and statistics.
  14. The ‘normal’ routine of family life, with our time together limited to a few matutinal and vespertinal hours, no longer feels normal nor sufficient.
  15. The use of ‘Zoom’ as a verb is something I am still coming to terms with.
  16. Scientists, clinicians and health and social care workers will get us through this crisis. Celebrities will not. We should adjust our value systems accordingly.
  17. We’ve realised we can travel less, work remotely, think differently and thrive digitally. We’ve found new ways to be productive and to share our lives and share in the lives of others.
  18. I miss seeing my friends.
  19. There are moments where it seems you have been sat at the kitchen table juggling work, family and endless Zoom calls for an eternity and the urge to escape is overwhelming. In those moments see points 9 and 10 and 14.

Read the full article here

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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au


'Weekend reads – Must read articles from the last week' have 2 comments

    Avatar

    February 15, 2020 Jackline

    Hi Michael,

    Love reading your posts, however there is a correction that needs to be made. In the “12 of the Most Unusual and Beautiful Homes in Australia” article, Cliff House is a concept, it doesn’t physically exist at this point in time in Australia. Maybe someone will get inspiration and have the deep pockets to make it a reality. 🙂

    Thank you for your teachings and sharing your knowledge in the property/investing world.

    Kind Regards,

    Jackline

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      February 15, 2020 Michael Yardney

      Thanks Jackline – as you know we were just quoting some of the interesting articles we read this week

      Reply


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