Saturday Summary – the most interesting property investment articles I’ve read this week (2012/12/14)

There are more property investment 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 interesting 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.

It’s time to stop procrastinating and get into the real estate market

Terry Ryder didn’t beat around the bush in his article for Property Observer. He said:

This is as good as it gets, folks. It’s time to stop procrastinating and get into the real estate market.

The Reserve Bank’s latest reduction in the official interest rate, which will probably translate into a 20 basis point decrease in mortgage rates, is the icing on a cake that’s pretty tasty for property buyers.

The ingredients of the cake include higher incomes, lower prices, greatly improved affordability and interest rates at GFC levels, against a background of solid economic performance, low unemployment and, at long last, rising consumer confidence.

According to the figures that comprise the HIA-CBA Housing Affordability Index, the median dwelling price is 5% lower than it was two years ago.

In the same time frame, average weekly earnings have risen 7.45%, while the interest rate marker they use has dropped from 7.12% in March 2011 to 6.03% in September 2012. Since September, we have had two interest rate reductions from the RBA.

So we have had seven consecutive quarters of improving affordability, followed by the rate cuts in October and earlier this week.

Figures from Mortgage Choice show that, since October 2011, the average standard variable rate has reduced from 7.79% to 6.6% (prior to this week’s RBA cut). Monthly repayments on a typical $300,000 loan over 30 years have fallen from $2,158 to $1,916, a saving of $242 per month.

Looked at another way, those who have maintained their repayments at October 2011 levels will have reduced their loan terms by close to eight years, saving well over $100,000 in interest over the life of the loan.

Buyers have been responding to the improving situation – gradually but steadily – with loan commitments to owner-occupiers up 5.5% in the past 12 months and loans to investors up 4%.

But surveys have suggested many consumers were awaiting another trimming of the official interest rate before getting into the market. Now they’ve got their Christmas present.

So the fence-sitters are all out of excuses. It’s really not going to get any better than this.

Capital city prices have stopped falling and are now trending up in most the big cities. We have now had six interest rate cuts since October 2011 and we are unlikely to get more any time soon.

Everything you’ve been waiting for is now in place. Stop mucking around and get active.

Source: Property Observer.


End of year round up & what’s ahead from our 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.

This week a number of our property experts review the year that’s been and give some thoughts on what’s ahead.

The property market didn’t crash as many pessimists predicted.

Michael Yardney says our property markets started the year in a tug of war, caught between falling interest rates on the one hand and market uncertainty on the other. He says we now have a new black cloud to watch in the New Year.

Margaret Lomas looks back at 2012 and how she sees 2013.

We ask Pete Wargent  to address a number of issues you have raised in recent times.  Is the property market at risk of crashing?  What are the signs to watch out for?   Investing in overseas markets and lots more.

Finance expert Rolf Schaefer discusses how to access finance in your home or investment properties so that you can buy another property, what the banks look for and how they assess you and serviceability.   We answer a question from Sharon in Townsville about why valuations for equity release are so low?

Developers are being urged to end discounts and giveaways for new home purchases.   The call comes as research shows the typical block of land now includes nearly $13,000 worth of developer incentives.  Valuer Sam Tamblyn explains why it is such a concern.

You should definitely subscribe to this weekly audio program. Click Here It’s free and you can listen on the go on your smartphone, iPad etc.


Superannuation balances set to boom as contributions jump to 12%

In his excellent Escape the Rat Race blog, regular Property Update contributor Pete Wargent gives his view on our Superannuation system and what will happen as our compulsory contributions increase to 12% over the next few years.
He tells us that the Australian superannuation system is something of a marvel in many respects, but also has a great many flaws.

Fund managers charge ever higher fees as your super balance increases (based upon the balance under management) and many funds are heavily exposed to volatile stocks as unsuspecting employees approach their retirement.

When times are good this tends to pass by unnoticed, but when we have a stock market crash as was seen through the financial crisis, the press has a field day.

And all the while the fund management fees, insurance premiums and taxes gnaw away at your ability to generate an adequate pension.

But what’s ahead for us and how can we, as property investors, take advantage of the upcoming changes?

Read Pete’s blog here to find out.


What will housing look like in the future?

Just how will we be living in 30 years? Will you have a home with smart glass windows and mirrors that tells you what medication you need to take and reminds you how much exercise you should do?

And a house that reads your vital signs and tells you when to wake up in the morning? (For many people, that sounds more like a nightmare than a dream).

That’s the vision of one group who have been pondering the questions of how, fast forward three decades, housing will look in developed countries – particularly for people who will be aged over 50.

A report in The Age predicted in 2042:

1. Technology will be totally integrated.
Homes will take instructions from your health care team, delivering live streams and information to help you get the right exercise, food and medication.

2. Homes will be multi-purpose, incorporating work and living.
Properties may be smaller in 2042, but we will use them more efficiently.

3. Homes will be fully sustainable and environmentally friendly.
From solar panels built directly into the roof, to rainwater collection systems and wastewater recycling, homes in the future will be fully environmentally sustainable – and it will just become a normal part of building or renovating a property, predicts Luscombe.

The article also suggested suburbia will be transformed, with more village style living, common ground and facilities between dwellings. Buildings will be more adaptable for people at many different life stages and communal facilities will cut down maintenance for individual property owners and increase opportunities for social interaction.

Read the full article here.


The 10 jobs that attract the most psychopaths

IF you work in a law firm, media company or police station take a look around.


You could easily be working in the company of a psychopath, according to a new book, because psychopaths tend to gravitate towards and thrive in professions that offer power and require cutthroat decision making.

While most people think of psychopaths as serial killers and rapists – because most serial killers ARE psychopaths – not all psychopaths are murderous.

In the workplace, psychopaths are characterised by their attempts to try to undermine and “mentally destroy” their co-workers to feed their need for a sense of power and domination over other human beings.

A leading psychotherapist warned Australian bosses they need to implement strategies to manage workplace psychopaths because they exist in most large companies.

“They don’t suffer any guilt or remorse, or in fact they enjoy the suffering of other people,” said Dr John Clarke

Psychopaths are drawn to and thrive in roles where people need the ability to make “objective, clinical decisions divorced from feelings”, the Business Insider reported.

Top jobs for psychopaths:

1. CEO
2. Lawyer
3. Media (TV/radio)
4. Salesperson
5. Surgeon
6. Journalist
7. Police officer
8. Clergyperson
9. Chef
10. Civil servant

On the other hand, psychopaths are likely to steer clear of professions that require empathy, human interaction and feelings.

Least likely professions for psychopaths:

1. Care aide
2. Nurse
3. Therapist
4. Craftsperson
5. Beautician/Stylist
6. Charity worker
7. Teacher
8. Creative artist
9. Doctor
10. Accountant


Blogs you may have missed

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

China’s love of Aussie apartments is far from over. Or is it?

Bernstein’s 8 risks of investment psychology

Home deposits take less time to save – another good sign for property investment

17 Things You Should Feel Great About



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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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