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.
The weekend will be over before you know it, so enjoy some weekend reading…and please forward to your friends by clicking the social link buttons.
Home ownership not a priority for one in three: Rising prices ‘changing Australian culture’
There once was a time when owning a house was the definition of ‘The Great Australian Dream’.
But with changes in the economy, challenging property prices and a higher cost of living – it seems for some the dream has changed.
An article on Domain.com.au looks at statistics indicating that the priority of buying a home has lowered significantly – particularly for the younger generation.
The Great Australian Dream of owning your own home – usually a house on a quarter-acre block – is almost considered a universal truth.
But one in every three people no longer holds onto this aspiration, a new survey reveals.
While one in four of 3200 people surveyed by ServiceSeeking thought they would never be able to own a home, of those who don’t own, 35 per cent said it was not a major priority in their life.
This could be due to the unaffordability of housing in key east coast capital cities, ServiceSeeking chief executive Jeremy Levitt said.
“This contradicts the ‘Great Australian Dream’ of property ownership and shows how rising house prices are changing Australian culture,” Mr Levitt said.“Housing prices and living costs are higher than ever, making it more difficult for younger generations to buy a home.
The whole perception of home ownership and its importance in our lives has changed.”
Sydney’s median house price is now $1.17 million, while Melbourne’s is $865,712, latest Domain Group data shows.
During the price boom in these cities first-home buyer levels fell to record lows.
And all capital cities, with the exception of Perth, saw a rise in property prices in the year to June 2017.
A survey from Mortgage Choice in June found almost two-thirds of Australians consider home ownership to be something for the wealthy.
But an earlier survey from the company found 86 per cent of respondents still want to own real estate – most likely an apartment.
The median house price is now about seven to eight times the annual salary – triple what it was for Gen Y’s grandparents, property investment services company Thalia Stanley Group chief executive Marion Mays said.
“How this plays out is we are seeing a 50 per cent decline in first-home buyers in the under-30 age bracket, and a dramatic increase from buyers in their 40s and 50s,” Ms Mays said.
Now, the shift has been towards investing in real estate – as opposed to buying a home to live in – and renting.
This strategy, called rentvesting, has been marketed as a way for first-home buyers to get a foot on the ladder.
But a move away from any property ownership at all has seen experts call for a rethink to housing policy, particularly the way retirement is funded, due to the structure of rental and superannuation laws.
First Home Buyers Australia co-founder Taj Singh said young Australians who were still keen to own a home were instead learning to compromise.
Read the full article here
Jobs ads rise for a 5th month
The rise of job ads does not appear to be slowing down.
Job ads are ramping up nicely according to ANZ’s survey.
Total ads rose for the 5th month on the bounce to 177,879.
That now represents a much improved +12.8 per cent increase from a year ago, and the highest level in 6.5 years.
“Recent data has shown a clear improvement in labour market conditions consistent with elevated business conditions, profitability and capacity utilisation. In particular, the strength in full-time employment and a solid increase in hours worked (near 3.3% y/y) are quite encouraging.
Among other things we think this strength has contributed to the lift in consumer confidence from its recent low point in April.”
This bodes reasonably well for employment hiring over the next 6 months.
Roy Morgan’s labour market results have been a fine indicator of improving conditions in 2017.
Read the full article here
Lending to Australian housing investors is increasing again
Despite headline after headline suggesting that investor lending is set to become an almost impossible task – it seems the numbers suggest otherwise.
In fact – this article from Business Insider suggest that lending to Australian investors has actually increased.
Australian home loan lending rose again in June, led by a surprise jump in the value of investor loans.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), housing finance rose by 0.8% to $33.261 billion during the month in seasonally adjusted terms.
The increase followed a 1.4% increase in June and left the value of housing finance up 2.9% on the levels of a year earlier.
As early as January this year annual growth had been running in excess of 10%, offering further evidence that housing market activity it cooling, albeit slowly.
Loans to owner-occupiers grew by 0.3% to $20.738 billion, with a drop in refinancing overridden by a solid increase in new lending.
Excluding refinancing, lending to this cohort rose by 1.4% to $14.76 billion.
It was the fifth consecutive monthly increase, and left lending up 8.3% on the levels of a year earlier.
Refinancing of existing facilities fell by 2.3% to $5.98 billion after a 5.8% surge in June, something that was likely driven by repricing of interest-only loans by lenders in response to tighter macroprudential measures introduced by Australia’s banking regulator, APRA.
From a year earlier, the total value of owner-occupier refinancing slid by 12.9%.
After falling in April and May, the value of lending to investors rose solidly, increasing 1.6% to $12.52 billion.
It was the largest percentage increase since January this year.
Despite that rebound, the year-on-year increase in investor lending slowed to 5.7%, down from 8% in May and well below the 22% increase recorded in the year to November 2016.
Click here for the full article
Are Melbourne house prices killing the world’s best city?
Melbourne is unquestionably the most livable city in the world – but is that all changing due to the high increase in property prices?
According to an article in News.com.au there is a concern by economists about Melbourne following Sydney’s footsteps in unafforable properties.
Melbournians take considerable pride in their hometown’s ‘Most Liveable City in the World’ crown, but property and planning experts are warning that the title is under threat.
Expensive housing, sprawling outer suburbs without proper infrastructure, clogged freeways and packed trains are all taking their toll on Melbourne’s once-enviable way of life.
Melbourne has been ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the world’s most liveable city for the past six years in a row, but if property trends continue on their current path Melbourne could become just as unaffordable as Sydney
According to the latest CoreLogic figures, Sydney recorded 12.4 per cent growth and Melbourne recorded 15.9 per cent growth over the past year.
It’s the first time Melbourne values have increased at a higher rate than Sydney’s, year on year.
So what’s going on?
THE PACKED PLAYING FIELD
“It wasn’t really a big surprise, to be honest, because Sydney has more investors and they’re being charged a lot for loans so that portion of the market is cooling slightly,” says Head of Research at CoreLogic, Cameron Kusher.
While Mr Kusher thinks people should track the Melbourne market a little longer before jumping to any conclusions, he added: “If the market continues in this direction for a few years, you still may have cheaper house prices in Melbourne, but people are going to have to move a lot further out to get them.
“Then you have the whole issue of infrastructure and public transport in those areas.”
The recently released interim report of the Liberal and Nationals body, Victorian Population Policy Taskforce, claimed that Melbourne’s population growth, which is tipped to hit eight million by 2051, threatens the city’s “liveable city reputation”.
“Victoria is growing at over 100,000 people every year yet there is no clear plan to ensure that infrastructure and services keep pace with this enormous growth in our population,” the report authors stated.
MELBOURNE’S CHANGING FACE
Independent economist Saul Eslake lived in Melbourne for 31 years before moving to Hobart and he shares the concerns of planners, opposition MPs and locals.
“Melbourne is at risk of becoming as unliveable as Sydney,” Mr Eslake said.
“The rapidly rising house prices are a source of growing inequality and social division.
“While rising prices are great for people who have at least one property, they are terrible for those who don’t, and so you end up with this great polarisation within the community.
Click here for the full article
Finally! Your “Me” Home: Decorating for Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type
They often say your home is a a reflection of your style and personality.
Now you can take that theory to the next level with a guide to matching your decorating style to who you are.
This article from The Huffington Post looks at the ways you can match the decor of your home to suit your personality.
Who knew that four letters could bring so much clarity to your life?
It’s like the Myers-Briggs personality test looks deep into your soul to see the most genuine parts of you-the way you make decisions, the way you look at the world.
And once you get in tune with those aspects of yourself, you gain a whole new perspective on everything in life, including how you decorate your own home.
It’s not about finding your style — your personality type has very little effect on whether you prefer organic minimalism or eclectic industrial spaces.
How you’re energized:
Extraversion (E) Create a space for entertaining. You want a home that makes random get-togethers and drop-ins easy and comfortable. You’ll feel happiest in a space with open layouts and plenty of seating.
Introversion (I) Create a retreat. As an introvert, you enjoy spending time alone to recharge, so when decorating your space, give yourself a place to do just that, like a reading nook or something away from the action.
How you gather information:
Sensing (S) Pare down. You’re a very practical, present-minded thinker, so chances are you don’t have a lot of stuff anyway. But if you do find that you’re burdened by things, consider shifting to a capsule wardrobe or embracing some aspects of minimalist living.
Intuition (N) Trust those instincts! Make decorating decisions for yourself, and not according to any advice or rule book. You might not understand why you feel the way you do about choosing a paint color or where to hang a picture, but it’s got to be a great choice
How you make decisions:
Thinking (T) Make your own solutions. Thinkers are chief strategists, skilled at analyzing the situation around them and coming up with the perfect solution. For that reason, you shouldn’t feel shackled to conventional advice about room layouts and traffic flow.
Feeling (F) Create a space you can share with others. Feelers are sensitive to others. They enjoy giving gifts and performing acts of service for the people they’re close to. Figure out what that means for you-entertaining? baking?-and make sure your home supports that.
How you approach life:
Judging (J) Embrace routine. You have an organized nature and you like to plan in advance and do things step-by-step. Make that innate part of your personality a part of your home, too. Keep your calendars and to-do-lists on display and invest in everything-in-its-place home organizers.
Perceiving (P) Mix it up. Perceivers are the ultimate free spirits. You love to keep your options open, improvising and making things up as you go. So redecorate often. Find new ways to use your old furniture.
Click here for the full article
Weekend Video: The Scientific Power of Thought
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