Saturday Summary – the most interesting articles I’ve read this week (2014/11/22)

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.

Enjoy your weekend….and please forward to your friends by clicking a social link buttons on the left.

Alarming Disparity in City vs. Country Employment Growth

Regular Property Update Blogger Pete Wargent’s excellent blog explains the vast discrepancy in employment growth with growth now being driven entirely by the capital cities.

Note that regional New South Wales has barely added any employment at all in aggregate (on a net basis) for more than 6.5 years. Regional Victoria has fared little better with total employment lower today than it was in January 2011.

Moreover, the trend in the regional employment has now clearly been down over the past couple of years.


There has only been one shining light in terms of regional jobs growth over the past half decade, that being regional Queensland.

Alas with the mining construction boom now unwinding total employment is now declining in regional Queensland too. The coal industry in particular looks vulnerable.

The size of the total workforce in South Australia has been shrinking, with regional employment falling significantly over the past five years and total employment in Adelaide now some 20,000 lower than it was around 18 months ago, with the fallout from the decline of the automobile manufacture industry probably yet to be felt in full.

Not a pretty picture for SA.

Read more here.

Australia vs Global wealth | Best mortgage options | Finding good tradies | W.A. market | Trends & experts

Another great Real Estate Talk Show produced by Kevin Turner, if you don’t already subscribe to this excellent weekly Internet based radio show.

True wealth is much more than how much money you’ve got in the bank or how many properties you own, Michael Yardney tells us the true measure.

Flongle is an Australian website that offers the world’s first crowd-sourcing style mortgage contests, site founder Michael Lee tells us more.

Bernadette Janson is from the school of renovating and she tells us about her experience at finding and keeping a good trade.

In terms of property market experts, John Lindeman explains how to sort the wheat from the chaff.

We catch up with two WA experts about the disturbing news out of that state about falling property prices.

And Pete Wargent looks at the trends in the property market that seem to be pointing to a good time ahead for at least two Australian states.

The iPhone Index

The Conversation explains that for some time it has been popular to take the price of a ubiquitous consumer good and use it as a measure of concepts such as purchasing power parity across countries.

The Economist’s Big Mac index  is an interesting measures of purchasing power parity across countries.

The iPhone Gap index was developed in a similar vein. It takes regional (intra-country) data on average after-tax wages, average weekly working hours and the price of an iPhone 6 plus with 64GB of memory, and calculates the hours or weeks an average worker in a given place has to work to buy the phone. Below is the intra-country data for Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.


Property is still considered safe bet by investors

Confidence still remains high in the property market with the majority of investors polled for the Smart Property Investment/PIPA Property Investor Sentiment Survey saying they were planning to enter the market again in the next six to 12 months.

The survey found 80 per cent of investors believed now was a good time to invest in property, while 68 per cent planned to do exactly that in the next six to 12 months.

PIPA chair Ben Kingsley said about a third of respondents to the survey said low interest rates was the reason they were going to invest in property.

About a quarter felt there were good capital growth opportunities and about a fifth thought property investment was more stable than other forms of investment.

Why taller means richer in China

The Financial Review reports that in China height requirements are routinely specified for jobs which seem to have no need of them and taller people often get paid more:

A 45-year-old man in China today is around 5cm taller than 30 years ago, according to the RAND Corporation, a think-tank.

Soldiers are growing too tall for the diminutive tanks favoured by the People’s Liberation Army; in 2010 the government raised by 10cm the height under which children in China travel free on trains (a rare scheme that benefits the small).

Greater heights mostly reflect greater incomes. Richer people tend to eat more and live in cleaner, better homes.

Meat consumption per person has increased more than fourfold since 1980. Infant mortality is less than a tenth of what it was 60 years ago.

Household size has also helped. Historically people from big families have been shorter (not just in China) because food supplies must stretch further.

In China the birth rate fell sharply from the 1970s nationwide.

Aussies taller, fitter, richer than ever, says report

The Australian reports that Australians are less prone to die from cancer, richer, better educated and even taller than they have ever been, according to a new report:


Weekend video: ‪ Help chose the cover of this new book

Please spend 1 minute watching this video – you’ll be amazed.

Blogs you may have missed this week:

If you didn’t have a chance to read my daily blog, here’s a list of some of the blogs you missed this week:

Australia is headed for recession in 2015 and nothing can stop it! | Michael Yardney

Vacancy rates experience a seasonal dip in October  |  Louis Christopher

Do you know the 6 buyer segments in the property markets?  |  Michael Matusik

A new meaning to location, location, location!  | Rob Balanda



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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 his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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