WEEKEND READS: Catch up on the most interesting articles I’ve read this week

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.

So pour yourself a mug of strong brew and get ready for some weekend reading ….and please forward to your friends by clicking a social link button on the left.

Sorry kids, we’ll have to eat the house

The Australian explains that:

At least 700,000 people are being pushed into higher tax brackets every year, raising billions extra for the government, with tax thresholds barely changed since the first budget of the Rudd government.

The tax office’s annual release of detailed figures on its collections delivers an insight on how “bracket creep” is working, revealing a 15.8 per cent leap in the number of people in the top, 47 per cent, tax bracket in 2012-13.

There was an 11.5 per cent jump in the number whose earnings rose above the tax-free threshold of $18,200 and had to start paying a tax rate of 21 per cent, including the Medicare levy.

The figures show people at the top and bottom of the income distribution are the most affected by big jumps in their marginal tax rates, as their incomes rise with both inflation and improved productivity — known as “bracket creep”.

tax threshold

Avoid first time buyer mistakes | Negotiating tips | Never buy a property sight unseen | Strategy

Another great Real Estate Talk show  produced by Kevin Turner. If you don’t already subscribe to this excellent weekly Internet based radio show do so now by clicking here.

In this week’s show:

  • Chris Gray explains some first time buyers mistakes
  •  Josh Masters gives us some buyer negotiation tips
  • Michael Yardney explains why he thinks buying a property sight unseen is a recipe for disaster
  • Mark Armstrong talks to Kevin Turner about strategy
  • Bryce Holdaway says that professional investors need to focus on becoming borderless investors.

And much more….

Auction campaigns are getting shorter

The Daily Telegraph reports that the traditional four-week auction campaign has shrunk to three and even two weeks in this super hot property market.

Buyers are so anxious to secure a new home they are making early offers to try and take the property off the market before too many others see it.

What our population growth means for the property market

Kara Ordway of CityIndex writes:

As the number of households is due to increase by 4.3 million over the next 25 years, the demographics of this increase will be key.

There is a difference in having an ageing population compared to having significant immigration.

Ageing populations tend to weigh on economic growth and stock market prices for a significant amount of time.

An ageing population that wants to be risk averse and save for their retirement isn’t going to be investing in stocks.

Quite clearly, there has been a change in society with the increase of up to 65 per cent of Australians living alone.senior-couple-happy-house-200

That’s mainly due to family size and the problem of an ageing population.

Couples are having fewer children and having them later in life, preferring to concentrate on climbing the career ladder prior to settling down.

This decrease of the typical family model has increased single-person living, which could therefore have a knock-on affect to personal spending.

Living alone can be more expensive.

Bills aren’t split between parties, spending on entertainment is increased and there are no shared healthcare or insurance plans.

The increase in single living could affect disposable income negatively, which would mean less available cash to purchase or invest in the stock market.

Therefore, although households are increasing as single-person living is also increasing, this won’t necessarily have a positive effect on the stock market.

Couple-only families are projected to experience the largest increase of all types of families over the next 25 years and are expected to rise by up to 64 per cent from 2011 to reach up to 3.8 million families in 2036.

This increase of households should create further revenue streams for new builds, but it will also continue to push prices higher in major cities.

The idea of macro-prudential policies to try to curb house prices has not been ruled out by the RBA.

How beliefs about what makes us happy have changed in the last 80 years

Psychologist DR. Jeremy Dean writes about the top 3 needs for a happy life and how these have changed over the years.

Eighty years ago the top three things people thought were most important for happiness were security, knowledge and religion.

By 2014 only security was still in the top three, and the other two spots had changed to good humour and leisure.

Meanwhile religion had dropped to tenth, and last place.

The results come from two surveys carried out almost 80 years apart.family couple house

For both surveys people in Bolton, England replied to an advert asking them to answer the question “What is happiness?”

Here are some of the responses form both 1938 and 2014:

“Enough money to meet everyday needs and a little for pleasure.” (1938)

“Knowing that my rent is paid on time and I can afford to eat healthily.” (2014)

“I would like a little home, not many possessions … congenial and satisfying companionship, the availability of good music and books.” (1938)

“Engaging in my hobbies, spending time that is free of worry … Simple things like enjoying a nice meal or receiving care and affection.” (2014)

“When I come home from the pit and see my kiddies and wife, I am happy.” (1938)

“Simple things like going out for a walk…….you don’t need tons of material things to be happy, you just have to be happy in the place you live and with the people around you.” (2014)

Weekend video: ‪ This is what happens to your brain and body when you check your smartphone before bed

Staring at screens right before sleep turns out to be a lot worse than previously thought.

Dr. Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, lays out all of the negative effects bedtime screen viewing can have on the brain and body.

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:

Under the Influence of Money

1.2 million Australians have credit card secrets

How to Achieve Long-Term Failure in Just 66 Days

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard from Warren Buffett

How long will it take you to become a millionaire? [calculator]

Where we live: the case for suburban renewal


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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 Metropole.com.au

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