Saturday Summary – the most interesting property investment articles I’ve read this week (2013/03/16)

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.

4 schemes sure to cheat you in property

Property investing has its dark side and, though largely legal, there are some clever schemes a handful of unscrupulous property ‘gurus’ continue to run in a desperate attempt to rip you off according to an blog by Your Investment Property Magazine.

They discuss four vehicles overly ambitious marketers have been known to push in the past – property investment opportunities that can make you money if you are extremely lucky, but are most likely to be of the type that deserve caution.

These are:

  1. Rent to Own Scams
  2. On selling house and land packages
  3. Trading off the plan properties
  4. Rent Guarantees

Buyer beware – read the article here.

Lessons from the last downturn property investors should never forget!

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:
I share tells us some of the lessons I’ve has gleaned from the last downturn
Terry Ryder talks about which spots around the country are promising for investors
Rachel Barnes dispels another property myth
Michael Teys picks up on how unreasonable communal living bylaws can be
Peter O’Brien of Metropole Property Management gives us some KPIs to judge how well your property manager is performing

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.

Are houses or units the better investment?

Margaret Lomas answers this common question asked by property investors in a recent blog on Property Observer.

She says:

Many investors start out with the notion that they will consider buying an apartment (also known as flats or units) as there is a perception that they are cheaper and represent a more ‘entry level’ price.

Alternatively, it’s believed that because a freestanding house has land around it, and land appreciates while buildings depreciate, a house ultimately becomes worth more.

Both of these notions are actually based more on myth than fact, for a number of reasons.

Read the rest of Margaret’s answer here where she goes on to say:

It’s not proving true that a house and land necessarily grows in value more quickly than an apartment, and if the myth that buildings depreciate were true where it relates to value growth, then we’d be seeing all apartments go backward in value while all houses grow.
Buildings do depreciate for tax purposes, and they do get older, requiring repair and maintenance (this applies to both units and apartments), however for value purposes this depreciation is not necessarily evident.  It’s a fact that in some areas the houses grow better than the apartments and in others the apartments are the better performer.

The wealthy and the caged

In recent years, Hong Kong has developed into one of the world’s most important cities and a global financial hub.

It has also grown into the least equal city in the developed world, according to the Gina co-efficiency measure.

The richest people in Hong Kong, one of Asia’s wealthiest cities, live in impressive mansions with stunning views from the heights of Victoria Peak.

For the nation’s poorest residents however, home is a metal cage. That’s right – a cage!
You can see photos of them here on

Apparently some 100,000 people in the former British colony live in inadequate housing, and what’s worse, the number of people living this way appears to be increasing, as economic migrants arrive in the city from mainland China.

Human Beings are getting dumber

We tend to think we’re smarter than our parents were but a recnet article on suggests that’s not true

IF a person from Athens 1000 BC came back to earth today, chances are they’d be smarter than all of us.

So says Dr Gerald Crabtree, a leading geneticist from Stanford University in the United States, whose new research suggests we humans are just getting stupider. In the  paper published in the journal Trends in Genetics, Dr Crabtree says unavoidable changes in our genetic makeup, combined with advances in technology have caused us to become a mutation of our former human selves and a lot less bright than our ancestors.

Dr Crabtree told the online journal Natural Society that humans were at their peak when exposed to nature’s “fight or flight mechanism”.

Under those conditions humans were forced to rely on memory, clear thinking and emotional stability that allowed us to trust our instincts and adapt to situations quickly.

Modern life places other demands on our bodies and our minds, but technology has replaced our need to rely on our natural abilities and instincts.

Our over-processed diet is not doing us any favours, either. British researchers recently discovered that a steady intake of foods high in fructose can quickly reduce IQ. Pesticides and fluoride found in water supply are also said to have a negative impact on brain development.

But all is not lost. Dr Crabtree argues that our superior education and progress means we’ll have figured out how to overcome these weaknesses in another 300 years or so.

Blogs you may have missed this week:

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

Consumers more optimistic about Australia’s housing markets in 2013
9 biases that property investors must overcome
What does the “China boom” mean for the future
Property investors blamed for housing affordability woes
What will interest rates do to property investment markets in 2013?
What’s going to affect the value of my property in the long term?




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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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