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 weekend reading.
Property listings to fall, general market hiatus tipped amid coronavirus lockdown, ban on public auctions
The effects of the coronavirus have been felt throughout the property market with the fall of listings.
This article on Domain.com.au explains all the details.
The real estate auction market is likely to go into a state of hiatus with fewer properties for sale, following a ban on public auctions and open for inspections in response to the coronavirus crisis.
The ban announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday night had been anticipated by the property industry, with agencies making the switch to online auctions, private inspections and virtual tours in recent weeks.
But the new measures, along with increasing economic uncertainty, are still expected to take a toll on the market.
“In the retail space, auction houses, gatherings together in auction rooms, that can no longer continue,” Mr Morrison announced on Tuesday night, as part of a raft of new measures announced in a further coronavirus crackdown.
“Real estate auctions and open house inspections – in particular, open house inspections – that cannot continue,” he added.
Private inspections are still allowed to go ahead.
Melbourne and Sydney, the nation’s busiest auctions markets, would be the hardest hit, said Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell.
Almost 4400 auctions had been scheduled to take place across the two cities over the coming two Saturdays.
“I’m anticipating many of those auctions have already sold, or been withdrawn or postponed,” said Dr Powell, noting in Sydney last Saturday more homes sold prior to auction than under the hammer.
While the proportion of pre-auction sales was significantly lower in Melbourne – at 21.5 per cent according to preliminary results – this was a record high.
“Owners and buyers had already adopted … many homes hadn’t even gone to auction settings,” Dr Powell said.
Read the full article here
Capital cites population up 303,000 in FY2019
What do the current population figures mean for our cities?
A quick break from the Coronavirus news which is evidently usurping the planet!
The ABS reported that the capital cities population of Australia increased by +303,100 in FY 2019.
Greater Sydney, which includes the Central Coast, increased by +87,100 or +1.7 per cent, and remained the most populated city at 5.31 million.
However, Melbourne grew at the fastest pace, up by +113,500 or +2.3 per cent to 5.08 million.
As in previous years the densest locations included parts of inner-city Melbourne, Sydney’s Potts Point-Woolloomooloo, and Ultimo-Pyrmont.
Brisbane’s population increased quickly too, at +2.1 per cent or +52,600, to increase to 2.51 million.
Capital cities accounted for 79 per cent of population growth over the financial year, reported the ABS, and some 17 million Aussies now live in the capital cities.
Read the full article here
Buying a home amid the COVID-19 crisis
Is this the right time to buy a home? What does the current condition mean for the property market?
This article from Realestate.com.au looks at what you need to know.
There’s no denying it’s a strange and alarming time amid the global coronavirus pandemic. But, fortunately, life doesn’t simply stop because of a virus outbreak.
Like many out there, I’m personally in the midst of looking for a house to buy, so as you’d expect I’m proceeding with care and caution before making any sudden movements.
But, at the end of the day, we all need a place to live. So while I probably wouldn’t have chosen to be looking at purchasing my next home during an unprecedented lockdown of society, it might not actually be as bad as first thought.
I’ve spoken to some experts to get their take on the best approach for those looking to buy a property amid this ever-evolving situation.
1. Assess your own situation
While the outbreak is one matter, the economic aftershock of the pandemic is another.
Chief economist at realestate.com.au Nerida Conisbee explains that conditions can change rapidly, both positively and negatively, so we need to take it day by day.
If you find yourself working in an industry that is currently affected or will possibly be affected then you need to take a realistic look at the likelihood of continued employment.
If you feel comfortable, or as comfortable as you can be, then now could be a great time to find that dream home.
2. Plan for the worst when it comes to your finances
While it’s impossible to know exactly what the future holds you can plan for the unexpected by making sure there’s a financial buffer for you to access when times get tough.
It goes without saying that the more money set aside the better, but this isn’t always possible – especially for families with kids or those working in industries affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns, such as tourism and hospitality.
If you’re thinking of taking out a new mortgage, naturally you should do your best to make sure you’ll be able to service the loan going forward if you or someone else in the household loses an income.
But remember to keep the risks in perspective, says Conisbee. “Job losses may occur in the short-term, but companies will need to rehire once the pandemic abates and the economy comes back.”
So, if possible, try to keep a level head and stay calm.
The health crisis, however, isn’t the only thing that’s unusual, says Melbourne buyers advocate Cate Bakos – the record-low interest rates are also worth considering.
“We are not only in a historically low interest rate environment, with cash rates cut again by the RBA, our current interest rate actually aids households with smaller interest repayments enabling a greater monthly surplus, and this does hold special meaning in anyone’s economic terms.
“Shelter is a fundamental human need, and as we are seeing at the coalface even this week, many owner-occupier buyers are pushing hard to secure their home in the face of the global pandemic.
“Heightened borrowing capacity as a result of the consecutive (and likely ‘crisis’ cuts) is unknown, but is anticipated to be stronger than the post-election bounce back. Every 25-basis-points cut we enjoy is a growing percentage of heightened capacity. “
3. Seek out the best advice
If you’re at all in doubt about heading into a long-term relationship with the bank and a new mortgage then bend the ear of all the knowledgable experts you can get your hands on.
The main word we’re hearing around this current situation is “unprecedented”, so it’s unlikely you’re going to get a black-and-white answer. But the more informed you can be about all likely scenarios, the better.
Bakos says that those who are feeling rattled by the headlines may well find themselves making critical mistakes if they aren’t focusing on accurate and timely sources.
4. Remember, property is for the long term
Bakos says for those who are pre-approved, confident and informed, these buying conditions we find ourselves in could represent a great opportunity.
An important thing to remember is that property, unlike other investments, is a long term purchase. Experts agree that owning the family home is a great way to ensure long-term financial security, and while markets can dip in the short term, property values will generally increase over the long term.
If you’re in doubt about your financial situation, speak to your bank first and foremost.
Read the full article here
The government is allowing Australians to access up to $20,000 of their superannuation early. Here’s why it’s a bad idea.
Despite the government allowing Australians to access $20,000 of their super – many believe it’s a bad idea.
An article from Business Insider looks at the reasons why.
The Federal Government is rolling out a number of new policies to get businesses and workers through the current economic downturn, as Australia and the world grapples with COVID-19.
On Sunday, it revealed it would permit Australians to crack open their superannuation funds from mid-April and withdraw up to $20,000 over two years to help see them through an Australian recession.
While that money may prove invaluable to out of work Australians over the coming months struggling to make ends meet, it’s a policy fraught with danger, according to economist and former Gillard government adviser Stephen Koukoulas.
“It’s a bad policy and it’s encouraging people to take money out when the market has just dropped 35%.
Your $10,000 was maybe worth $14,000 a few weeks ago,” he told Business Insider Australia.
“The people who are most vulnerable right now, the one who have just had their hours cut or find themselves unemployed are also the people who don’t typically have great big super balances anyway.
If you’re a young person, you may not even have $20,000.”
Koukoulas supports some of the measures laid out in the first stimulus package, but says there is plenty to be criticised in policies such as this one, which will be used by Australians given few other choices.
“There are a million policies that would be better than this one,” he said.
“If giving people access to $10,000 is a good idea, then just give them $10,000.
Don’t make them rob their own super accounts. In fact, maybe they should be putting $10,000 in people’s super accounts, rather than taking it out, so super funds can be buying shares, not selling them at a discount.”
Read the full article here
What Your Coffee Order Says About You
Do you enjoy a cappuccino? A latte? Or are you more of an Espresso drinker?
Did you know that your choice of coffee could say a lot about your personality?
Find out more with this article from Urbanlist.com and see what your next coffee order really means.
It may be something you do with hardly a second thought, but the way you order your coffee gives an astonishing insight into who you are as a human being.
You might think you ask for a flat white or a macchiato because you like the way it tastes.
As your friendly barista knows perfectly well, the choice you make at the café in the morning reveals everything about who you are, where you have been and what is running through your head.
Here is what your coffee order says about you:
If you’re not Italian, you’re doing a good job of imitating an Italian.
You undoubtedly have a penchant for gold jewellery and a borderline-sexual fixation with tomatoes.
You may have considered writing an epic poem about woodfire pizza.
To complete the picture, try standing at the counter to sip your espresso (while talking loudly) next time you go to the café, rather than sitting at a table.
Sure, you’ll annoy the buggery out of the wait staff, but you’ll look swank doing it.
If you were a dog you’d be a Great Dane-St Bernard cross.
If you were a car you’d be a gold-plated Hummer.
If you were a former Communist state you’d be the USSR.
You are robust and ferocious, just like your coffee.
You are magnificent.
Your teachers at school called you a ‘dreamer’ but probably meant it in a derogatory way.
You often lose sleep wondering who would play you in a biopic of your life. If the hoverboard has not been invented by the end of 2015 you will be genuinely devastated.
When you draw the coffee cup to your mouth you also instinctively raise your little finger.
If you don’t currently drive a Toyota Yaris, you will at some stage of your life.
Coffee is something you do to pass the time between Ben Affleck films.
You are eagerly waiting for 1950s-style bullet bras to come back into fashion.
You wish you knew how to quit Myspace.
You see life as a kind of game featuring a series of elimination challenges. Every decision for you is a momentous test; every question a baffling riddle.
You must be operating at 110 percent mental capacity at all times merely to subsist. All of this is why you favour the potent caffeine hit that comes with a ristretto.
Unless you only drink your cappuccino in the morning, you’re doing it wrong.
Don’t let a Calabrian see you drinking one after 10am or you’ll end up sleeping with the fishes like Luca Brasi.
Regardless, taking your coffee with chocolate sprinkled on top indicates you are either a big cuddly teddy bear or a simmering sociopath.
The difficulty you have dealing with those around you is not actually your fault; rather it’s due to the fact you were born in the wrong place, in the wrong era.
Your responses to everyday situations and ways of coping with conflict would be perfectly normal if you were living in the French Concession of Shanghai in the 1930s and making a living as a calligrapher, or perhaps waiting tables at a tea shop/brothel.
Explain this to people when you first meet them and you will find things run a lot more smoothly.
SOY FLAT WHITE/SOY LATTE
Nobody at your work realises you worship Pagan gods.
At the end of high school you were torn between becoming a priest/nun or trying your luck in the real world.
Notice how life constantly baffles you?
Let’s just say you made the wrong decision.
Have you not yet heard of flat whites?
If Earth was invaded by an alien race, you would be the first to jump on board with the new regime.
You are best friends with your cousin or another close relative.
Your desire to add syrup to your caffeinated beverage suggests you may be suffering from Irukandji syndrome.
Read the full article here
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