The 3 most overused words in reporting real estate and property investment

With so many differing opinions on the real estate and property investment markets, here are my top 3 words that are used with monotonous regularity by property commentators:

1. Bubble property bubble 2013

What ‘bubble’ is supposed to mean: a speculative mania.

Steve Keen is perhaps the…well…keenest user of the word, famously predicting a 40% crash in property prices in 2008 which was a spectacular miss.

He’s still going strong though.

Only in May this year, he predicted that dwelling price declines would accelerate and he would let the figures do the talking.

They didn’t and he didn’t.

What ‘bubble’ usually means:

“I don’t own any property and I want prices to crash so I can buy some.”

2. Spruik

What ‘spruik’ is supposed to mean: the equivalent of the British word ‘tout’ i.e. one who solicits for business in an inopportune manner.

What ‘spruik’ usually means:

“There are loads of shonks out there, but as I have used the word ‘spruiker’ to describe others, you can definitely trust what I say…I’m fair dinkum!”

3. Furphy 

The king of over-used words by property commentators, some of whom manage to use it on a near-daily basis, which is no mean feat.

What ‘furphy’ is supposed to mean:

Australian slang for a rumour or erroneous story.

Etymological derivation: Aussie soldiers used to stand around stock agent tanks (made by J. Furphy & Sons) during WWI and exchange gosssip, rumour and fanciful tales.

What ‘furphy’ usually means:

“I’ve decried the views of others as furphies, therefore I am an expert…everyone else, though, is a spruiker!”



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Pete Wargent is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Secretary and has a Financial Planning Diploma. He’s achieved financial freedom at the age of 33 - as detailed in his book ‘Get a Financial Grip – A Simple Plan for Financial Freedom’. Pete now manages his investment portfolio, travels and works as a consultant in the finance industry from time to time. Visit his blog

'The 3 most overused words in reporting real estate and property investment' have 2 comments

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    January 5, 2014 @ 8:55 am Pavlo

    I have a friend in Melbourne, she’s been telling for the last 10 years that there’s a ‘bubble’ and property prices are going to come down… She’s still saying the same thing as recently as 3 weeks ago and to this day hasn’t bought a property. We all know where property prices have gone in the last 10 years.


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    January 3, 2014 @ 9:48 pm Simon Roberts

    Was a Furphy a water cart? I’d heard these were clean/fresh drinking water carts and as people (often the ladies of the house) collected their water they would exchange gossip. Often this gossip turned out to be somewhat distanced from the absolute truth! Hence the term “I heard a Furphy”.
    I’ve actually seen one of these carts but although recogniseable, unfortunately it was beyond its useful life. It was at an Army base in Victoria, so maybe it was used by soldiers.
    P.S. Had a left leaning friend recently espouse the evils of property investors. Similar to your “Bubblers” (you’re welcome to use that term I’ve just created – maybe Steve is a Keen Bubbler?) he has no property in his name other than his own home with a mortgage, is on a good income but has admittedly wasted much money on alcohol, cigarettes and gambling. He also thinks there should be NO limits on what is spent on health care on what anyone wants for themselves. As someone who has seen a doctor twice in the last 14 years, both times for a flu for which I took only one or two days off work, I don’t understand why people would need to complain about paying a measly $6 for a $45 consult to see a GP after already using 12 free visits in a year? It seems to me that common sense be damned, concensus is not in favour of governments ever balancing their budgets!


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