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.

Affordable homes dwindle as property prices surge


This article from Realestate.com.au looks at

Surging property prices have reduced the supply of lower-priced homes for sale as housing affordability declines.

Searches for properties listed on realestate.com.au for $1 million or more are now more than double those for the sub-$500,000 level, highlighting a lack of affordable properties. Investing Into Property

Cameron Kusher, realestate.com.au’s director of economic research, said affordability has worsened over the past year as prices soared, presenting challenges for first-home buyers in particular.

“The reduction in borrowing costs since the pandemic hit has led to increased borrowing capacities and has contributed to the large increases in prices that have been experienced,” Mr Kusher said.

“The run up in prices is leading to a decrease in affordability, in particular for those who are seeking to enter the market for the first time with higher prices meaning larger deposits, while at the same time, record-low interest rates mean that when saving these borrowers are getting no return on their savings.”

Record-low interest rates have driven the sharp rise in property prices, which Mr Kusher said had further increased borrowing capacities at a time when people have faced restrictions in how they can spend their money due to international travel bans.

“This, along with government stimulus in the form of HomeBuilder, has attracted more buyers to the housing market and bid up prices,” Mr Kusher explained.

The combination of these factors has led to higher prices and declining affordability for first-time buyers, he said.

Property prices have risen sharply across Australia, with new realestate.com.au data showing Sydney recorded the biggest jump in median house prices – up 15.8% to $1.1 million – among the capital cities, over the past year.

However, realestate.com.au economist Paul Ryan said market activity will pause during Sydney’s extended COVID-19 lockdown.

“Price growth will likely slow until the market gets back into full operation,” Mr Ryan said after the lockdown was extended by a further two weeks on Wednesday.

Higher prices are pushing up buyers’ budgets

Buyers have been searching for more expensive properties across Australia, with searches for properties listed for $1 million or more continuing to rise at the expense of those for less than $500,000.

In June, 39% of price-filtered searches nationally on realestate.com.au were for properties listed for at least $1 million, compared to 15.5% of searches for those under $500,000.

Mr Kusher said people are searching for what is available.

“There has been a significant reduction in the number of properties available for sale under $500,000,” he said.

“This in turn is pushing buyers to have to spend more on property.

“There’s no doubt in my mind if there was significantly more availability of properties priced under $500,000 – particularly in capital cities – there’d be significantly more buyers seeking them out.”

Read the full article here

Rents rise

In this Blog, Pete Wargent looks at

Rental price growth – somewhat counter-intuitively given the ongoing international border closures – has increased to the fastest level in more than a decade, according to CoreLogic’s data and economics guru Eliza Owen:


Read the full article here

Sydney’s luxury housing market named No.1 in the world, tipped to grow 10 per cent in 2021


This article from Domain.com.au looks

Sydney’s runaway prestige housing market is expected to continue its bull run for the rest of the year, even with more than 10 million Australians living in Sydney and Melbourne currently in lockdown.

The luxury residential market is tipped to rise 10 per cent this year, making it the world’s leading city for luxury property growth, according to global property consultancy Knight Frank’s latest report Prime Global Forecast 2021/2022. Sydney

The forecast, released on Wednesday, is a jump on the 1 per cent forecast growth for 2021 back in May last year and the improved forecast of 3 per cent growth made late last year.

According to the report, closed borders have seen wealthy Australians purchase at home instead of abroad.

There were 1429 prime sales recorded in the first quarter of this year, making it the highest quarterly figure on record for Sydney. Prime sales are defined as the top 5 per cent of the market.

In Sydney’s $20 million-plus trophy home market, there have been more than 20 sales in the first half of this year, not counting a slew of settlements in that range at Crown’s Barangaroo tower in recent months.

There were 17 trophy sales of more than $20 million in Sydney all of last year.

Among this year’s top sales is the $60 million Boyd Penthouse atop the ANZ Tower in the CBD sold by property developer John Boyd to Dial-a-Dump founder Ian Malouf, and the $40 million Point Piper house of Sydney Football Club chairman Scott Barlow to Macquarie Bank’s top-earning commodities executive Nick O’Kane.

“The simple fact is there are only about 200 waterfront houses from the CBD to Watsons Bay and even fewer notable estates in Bellevue Hill, and seemingly unlimited buyers as Sydney becomes more attractive globally, and money is cheap,” said Pillinger’s Brad Pillinger. Sydney Darling Point

Bill Malouf of LJ Hooker Double Bay said the 10 per cent forecast for this year is in line with expectations given the ongoing shortage of suitable properties for sale to meet the buyer demand.

However, Mr Malouf cast doubt on Knight Frank’s forecast of 7 per cent growth next year. “It’s too early to tell,” Mr Malouf said. “Once we see more stock come on the market – if that happens this year or next – then the market will stabilise.”

The 7 per cent growth tipped for next year for Sydney would match the forecast for London, which would be central London’s strongest price performance in seven years.

Sydney’s 10 per cent luxury housing market growth was well above all other major global cities, with Miami second for growth of 6 per cent, Los Angeles’ and Hong Kong’s forecast of 5 per cent, and a forecast of 4 per cent for New York.

Sydney’s broader housing market is expected to do even better than the prestige market, with economists like AMP Capital’s Shane Oliver tipping growth to be as high as 18 per cent this year and ANZ predicting a 19 per cent rise.

Read the full article here

Stamp duty vs. land tax, Victoria: Swap could save up front, but cost long term


This article from news.com.au

A swap from paying stamp duty to land tax would save Melbourne’s typical homebuyer more than $51,000 in upfront costs.

But one property expert has warned the system could have homebuyers left facing tax bills they “couldn’t jump over” later in life. Stamp Duty

New figures from the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation released yesterday show the change would slash costs in every part of Australia, except the ACT.

But Victorians would benefit the most, with the state currently home to the highest stamp duty rates in the nation.

The Stamp Duty Reform: Benefits and Challenges report shows a $1m home in Melbourne, close to the city’s median house value, would incur a $3312 annual bill at a 0.5 per cent land tax rate.

That same home attracts a $55,000 upfront stamp duty payment under current arrangements.

While the land tax model would have homeowners pay every year, and their tax bill rise as the land value of their home did, the NHFIC report shows it would take 16.5 years to notch up an equivalent sum to the currently applicable stamp duty fee for a $1m home.

They noted CoreLogic data shows the average Victorian hangs onto their home for 12.5 years, meaning most buyers would be better off under the land tax arrangement.


$200,000 home: $662 a year (land tax) vs. $7070 (stamp duty)

$600,000 home: $1987 a year (land tax) vs. $31,070 (stamp duty)

$1m home: $3312 a year (land tax) vs. $55,000 (stamp duty)

$1.4m home: $4637 a year (land tax) vs. $77,000 (stamp duty)

$1.8m home: $5962 a year (land tax) vs. $99,000 (stamp duty)

$2.2m home: $7287 a year (land tax) vs. $123,000 (stamp duty)

$2.6m home: $8612 a year (land tax) vs. $149,000 (stamp duty)

$3m home: $9937 a year (land tax) vs. $175,0000 (stamp duty)

However, the report does not flag an end date to land tax payments and after 16.5 years buyers would have paid more tax than they would have by paying stamp duty.Property Tax

At present, NSW has flagged it will move towards a land tax model to raise revenue from homes, but will also offer buyers the choice to pay stamp duty upfront instead.

A choice between the two systems is being offered in NSW.

NHFIC senior advisor Hugh Hartigan said the research paper released yesterday showed that effective rates of stamp duty had soared over the past 20 years as property prices did, and swapping out the tax would lead to more people buying and selling as they sought out homes that better suited their needs.

“NHFIC analysis also shows that for all states and territories (except the ACT) a typical household would be better off paying a broadbased land tax than stamp duty for housing at most price points,” Mr Hartigan said.

Real Estate Institute of Australia president Adrian Kelly said swapping stamp duty for a broadbased tax such as land tax, or even revising the GST, would improve affordability across the nation.

Read the full article here

25 Uplifting Quotes to Brighten Your Day When Life Gets Tough


These uplifting quotes will have you singing a different tune. Use them when you are facing a difficulty in your life that has knocked you off your feel good path. It’s a natural part of life to face struggles and trials along the way, so don’t get stuck for too long in a pattern of negativity. These quotes will help you get back on track.

1. Dale Carnegie Puts a Different Spin on Failure

“Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” ~Dale Carnegie

“Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” ~Dale Carnegie

While it’s easy to use failure as a great way to get discouraged about your next endeavor, it’s a far better idea to use those emotions as fuel to drive you forward to eventual success.

If there were an easy path to success then everyone would take it, and it wouldn’t be so in demand.

Failing and learning to deal with discouragement in a healthy and productive way is a sort of litmus test for successful people. So if life every gets you down, and you don’t feel like you can succeed at what you’re currently doing, remember that this can be a turning point in your eventual success story.

2. Christopher Reeve Was an Example of Hope

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” ~Christopher Reeve

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” ~Christopher Reeve

Christopher Reeve is a perfect example of choosing hope rather than giving it up. He didn’t let his accident end his life, he chose to hope that one day he would walk again and he made great strides towards that goal. While he may not have achieved it he still goes down as a man that didn’t give up and achieved things that others would have deemed impossible. Hope can start small as long as you hold onto it, it grows like a snowball going down a hill. Hope builds confidence that things will turn out fine, which only makes it easier to hope some more.

3. Napoleon Hill Encourages Taking the Final Step

“Most great people have attained their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure.” ~Napoleon Hill

“Most great people have attained their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure.” ~Napoleon Hill

What if you knew that it was just one more step until you accomplished your greatest success? You’d surely take that step, even if you knew it would be a hard one to take.

If you’re going through a tough time right now, it could be that better times are just around the corner, and if you push past what you’re going through you could get what it is you really want.

Letting a setback or a perceived failure get the better of you is a sure way not to get what you want, so be sure to take that next step because it might just be the one that puts you one top.

4. Abraham Lincoln on Predicting the Future

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~Abraham Lincoln

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~Abraham Lincoln

If you’ve been worried about how the future will turn out because things aren’t going as you planned, this is a good life lesson: you can create the future you want, which immediately helps you stop worrying about it. By creating your future rather than fearing it you regain the element of control and stop looking at yourself as the victim of things that are happening to you. They say the future is unknown, and largely it is, but you can do things today that will influence your tomorrows, and that makes today a very powerful thing indeed.

5. Will Smith on What the First Step Entails

“The first step is you have to say that you can” ~Will Smith

“The first step is you have to say that you can” ~Will Smith

Most people think that the first step should be an action item, but Will Smith is saying that before you do anything else you have to say that you can do it. This could mean that if you don’t first convince yourself that it can be done, your future actions won’t hold much water because you’re not in the right mindset. Getting your thinking right before embarking on your next venture is good advice, and can make the actions you take towards your goal more powerful and effective. So if life has been tough lately, be sure that you haven’t been sucked into saying “I can’t.” and start to turn things around.

6. Robert F. Kennedy on Daring to Fail

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” ~Robert F. Kennedy

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” ~Robert F. Kennedy

Life presents us with challenges when we set out to accomplish something great, so if you’re going through tough times it probably means you’re taking on a big project. Just remember that you wouldn’t want to cut your achievements short in order to protect yourself from the sting of failure. It’s all about finding the right perspective when it comes to the big picture of your life, and what you want to do with it. If you’ve noticed that you are sometimes too hard on yourself when things don’t go your way, remember that in the grand scheme of things you’ll be fine and overall you’ll make it.

7. Og Mandino on Persistence

“If I persist long enough I will win.” ~Og Mandino

“If I persist long enough I will win.” ~Og Mandino

Persistence can be tough when the going gets rough, but keep it in mind that as long as you keep going, you’ll eventually get to where you want to be. It’s refreshing to know that all that’s required is to keep plugging away at things, even if in the moment it doesn’t seem like you’re accomplishing much at all. It may not happen today, or tomorrow, or this year, but having the belief that as long as you keep at it you’ll win is a helpful ally in achieving your dreams. Just knowing that you have the power to win no matter what can help to brighten a cloudy day.

8. Albert Einstein on Dealing with Difficulty

“In the middle of a difficulty lies opportunity.” ~Albert Einstein

“In the middle of a difficulty lies opportunity.” ~Albert Einstein

We’ve all heard a version of this saying, something to the effect of each cloud has a silver lining, but when you hear from a renowned genius that each difficulty has an opportunity within it, you take notice. Just because you’re facing a difficulty is no reason to give up or get down on yourself. Find that opportunity that’s hidden within whatever difficulty you’re facing, and see how you can make the most out of it. What a difference that will make when instead of setting you back, difficulties only serve to move you forward.

9. Elizabeth Barrett Browning on How to Spend Today

“Light tomorrow with today.” ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Light tomorrow with today.” ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Often we lose sight of how important today can be, and if things have gotten tough for you it may be because you didn’t properly use your yesterdays, and now you’re dealing with the consequences. So instead of rueing that you should have done more in the past, use the opportunity you have today to make a better tomorrow. It’s so hard to wrap your head around the idea that your future will be better because of what you’re doing right now, today, and that you’re living the sum of all of your previous todays. But once you do the sky’s the limit.

10. James Allen Helps Us Appreciate the Dreamers

“The dreamers are the saviors of the world.” ~James Allen

“The dreamers are the saviors of the world.” ~James Allen

When life gets tough it’s easy to stop dreaming, or to scale back our dreams because it feels like they are unattainable. But you should never sell yourself short just because things are going poorly at any given time. Dreams are bigger than your problems, and they can help you overcome whatever is thrown at you as long as you keep your focus and attention on them. This quote will help you remember that without dreamers in the world the world would be a pretty lousy place. Stand among the other dreamers and be the savior that’s needed.

11. John Wooden on Focusing on Your Abilities

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” ~John Wooden

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” ~John Wooden

It’s easy to look at the abilities you lack and start to feel bad that you don’t know enough, or can’t do enough. This alone can be the start of a bad day, because once you start thinking like that it’s hard for anything else to go your way that day. But once you shift the focus to your long list of abilities, to all of the things you do know, and all of the things you can do, you start getting inspired rather than discouraged, and more things start to go your way. You’ll start playing to your strengths instead of wallowing in your weaknesses.

12. Michael Jordan on Why He Succeeded

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” ~Michael Jordan

Most would consider Michael Jordan a giant success when it comes to the game of basketball, but he was humble enough to realize that even more than is innate greatness it was the attempts and the many failures that led to that success. He didn’t make 100% of his shots, but he wasn’t afraid to shoot the ball when the game was on the line, or to take plenty of shots knowing that some would go in. If failures have been piling up in your life just remember that it’s part of playing the game, and at least you’re in the game taking shots.

13. Frederick Douglass on What Struggle Leads To

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” ~Frederick Douglass

Struggle is often lamented as a bad thing, as a sign that you won’t get what you want and things are going to turn out poorly. But this quote is a reminder that unless you’re struggling you aren’t making any progress. Think about it: a life without struggle would mean that you are playing it safe, staying with what you know, and limiting your own evolution and growth. Struggle is a sign that you are pushing yourself, testing your limits, and making real progress. Armed with this new perspective you can take on the world.

14. Helen Keller on Overcoming Defeat

“Defeat is simply a signal to press onward.” ~Helen Keller

Many people view defeat as a signal to give up and try something else. But here’s a way to get inspired to just keep moving forward when you face defeat of any sort. Amazing things start to happen when you press on without any sign that things will get better. Things start to get better simply because you’ve kept pressing on. The universe bends to you because it realizes that you’re not going to take no for an answer. There may be no more uplifting idea than a universe that is conspiring with you to achieve your dreams as long as you keep striving forward.

15. Mario Fernandez Reminds Us Storms Have Limits

“Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.” ~Mario Fernandez

“Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.” ~Mario Fernandez

On a stormy day it’s easy to forget that the sun is still shining behind all of those thick clouds. The same is true for problems we face in our lives. It can look dark and gloomy when we peer out into the future, but we have to remember that just behind those clouds, rain, lightning, and thunder is an abundance of sunshine and clear skies. It’s just a matter of rising above it so that we can feel the sunshine and get inspired to keep soaring to new heights, where rain and storms just can’t reach.

16. Robert Browning on Being the Ultimate Optimist

“The best is yet to be.” ~Robert Browning

“The best is yet to be.” ~Robert Browning

Have you been thinking that your best days are behind you? That’s not a good thought to hold onto, so it’s better to go with this quote that turns it around and gets your mind thinking that the best is still to come. The reason we start to think that maybe we’ve already lived our best days is because life has been a bit rough lately, and we’re projecting that roughness into the future. But what if it were possible to fully believe that things are going to get better, and that your future holds days that are better than anything you’ve yet lived? That would be pretty powerful.

17. Les Brown on Overcoming Self-Imposed Limitations

“Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.” ~Les Brown

It’s human nature to put limitations on ourselves, and it doesn’t help if you were raised in a family with limited beliefs or had teachers that stifled your growth. But now you have the ability to correct any wrong thinking by releasing yourself from self-imposed limitations and really stretching your legs to see how tall you can stand. Life may be going tough right now, but is it because you have been living to certain limitations, or that you feel you can’t surmount an obstacle in front of you? Time to break free of these limits and change your life for the better.

18. Theodore Roosevelt on the Power of Belief

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

The power of belief can’t be understated, and this quote is an excellent way to sum up just what a difference it can make. The problem with tough times is that they take a big blow to our belief levels. Once your belief takes a hit it’s hard for anything you try to go right. Start by getting your belief level back up, that should be your first step in getting recharged and ready to go again. Believe that you can’t and you’ll never make it, so start with step one so that you can take a sort of shortcut to where you want to go. Believe you can!

19. Charles R. Swindoll on Reacting to Life

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” ~Charles R. Swindoll

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” ~Charles R. Swindoll

Is life tough right now? Can you be open-minded enough to consider that it could be more how you’re reacting to life than what exactly life is throwing at you. Control that reaction and you can play a big part in how life is going. This quote is a pretty popular one, and says that it’s largely up to how you’re reacting to the events that happen in your life. Couple that with other quotes that say you bend and shape your future, and what is really happening is how you’re reacting to the things you’re creating.

20. Truman Capote Puts a Better Spin on Failure

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” ~Truman Capote

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” ~Truman Capote

If failure has been leaving a bad taste in your mouth, it’s time to turn the tables on how you perceive its flavor. Here he’s saying that failure is the reason why success tastes so good. Success wouldn’t be as gratifying as it is if you didn’t have to overcome some failures on the way there. But you get to savor the flavor of success because you did try, you did fail, you didn’t give up, and you made it to your destination. A handy piece to keep in mind when life isn’t exactly going as you’d planned.

21. Bono Tells Us to Mold Our Own Worlds

“The world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape.” ~Bono

If the world around you seems like it is just the way it is because of the way the world works, this quote shows that it’s not quite as fixed as it looks. You get to bend it and shape it so that it’s looks the way you want it to, but in order to do that you have to deliberately set out to. Rather than let life throw you around, get in the driver’s seat, and as Bono is saying, swing that hammer. The world won’t hammer itself into the shape you want, you have to be the one that provides the inspired action.

22. Samuel Beckett on Trying and Failing

“Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” ~Samuel Beckett

Did you know it was possible to fail better? This is a unique quote that shows there are multiple levels of failing. There isn’t just one type of failing, and if you try knowing that you’re probably going to fail, that you expect to fail as a way to get better, the whole game changes. You aren’t afraid of failure, and it isn’t stumbling block. You start measuring your failures to see if you’re failing smarter, better, more efficiently. If you’re failing in the right direction. Eventually these failures lead to success, as they have for so many great thinkers and achievers in human history.

23. Benjamin Disraeli on the Importance of Adversity

“There is no education like adversity.” ~Benjamin Disraeli

Would you want to play a game against a total novice when you yourself are a professional? No! It would be so boring that you would quickly tire of the game. That’s how it is with life, so adversity should not make you want to stop playing. Adversity is like playing the game with someone that’s just a little better than you are. You can learn from them, hone your skills, and improve your game. It makes playing the game fun and makes you better for it. So if life is throwing you a curveball, learn how to hit curveballs.

24. Nelson Mandela on the Impossibility of a Task

“It always seems impossible until it's done.” ~Nelson Mandela

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” ~Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela shows that when you’re trying to do something amazing it’s going to appear like an impossible task right up until the time it’s completed. That’s how you know you’re working on something worthwhile. It wouldn’t be much fun to do work that you know is possible and easy to complete and just do it again and again. So when life gets tough, and it feels like it’s not going to get any better, just remember that it always seems impossible until you’ve reached your goal. That should help lift you out of any funk and put you on the path towards brighter days.

25. Ralph Waldo Emerson on Experimentation and Life

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

So what if everything blew up in your face, at least you were trying something new to see what would happen. Those that stick to what they know and don’t try new things or attempt new goals are living a very limited experience. If things are getting tough it’s likely because you’re venturing into new areas and getting out of your comfort zone. This is a good place to be and will help you get the most out of life. Keep making those experiments. Things might not always be easy going, and you it might sometimes look like a disaster, but on one attempt you’ll get it right. Tinker, tinker.

Read the full article here


Subscribe & don’t miss a single episode of Michael Yardney’s podcast

Hear Michael & a select panel of guest experts discuss property investment, success & money related topics. Subscribe now, whether you're on an Apple or Android handset.

Need help listening to Michael Yardney’s podcast from your phone or tablet?

We have created easy to follow instructions for you whether you're on iPhone / iPad or an Android device.


Prefer to subscribe via email?

Join Michael Yardney's inner circle of daily subscribers and get into the head of Australia's best property investment advisor and a wide team of leading property researchers and commentators.


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 for Michael Yardney

    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,



      February 15, 2020 Michael Yardney

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


Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.


Copyright © Michael Yardney’s Property Investment Update Important Information
Content Marketing by GridConcepts