Weekend reads – Must read articles from the last 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.

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.

With 32,000 more apartments on the way for Brisbane, there’s no way to soften the blow

It would seem the number of apartments in Brisbane keep growing and growing.

But what does this really mean for the Brisbane property market?

This article from Domain.com.au looks at the what the market could be expecting.

Property experts estimate Brisbane is facing the introduction of as many as 32,000 new units to the market, with few ways to combat the continued downward pressure on prices.Brisbane City CBD, Queensland, Australia

Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson made the estimation based on approvals for apartments in Brisbane for the past two years.

Property experts estimate Brisbane is facing the introduction of as many as 32,000 new units to the market, with few ways to combat the continued downward pressure on prices.

Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson made the estimation based on approvals for apartments in Brisbane for the past two years.

“You could speculate that over the next two years you could have that quantity of apartments coming into the Brisbane market,” he said.

“You may get some developments that are shelved, put on hold. And that does happen as well.”

Dr Wilson said there was no clear way to manage the incoming units.  


“That’s the conundrum for the developer, isn’t it.

They’re putting supply into a market where supply is already ahead of demand,” he said.

“We’re moving into the peak of the supply cycle.

And there’s negative factors impacting the demand cycle.”

Metropole Property Strategists chief executive Michael Yardney said the genie was out of the bottle, and Brisbane developers, investors, and homeowners simply had to weather the storm.

“What can we do to prevent it? The answer is nothing,” he said.

“The problem is there are many vested interest involved with large amounts of money involved with long time-frames, these projects were started two or three years ago or sometimes queensland brisbane city water sky QLD map state capital australiaeven longer.

“It’s now too far into the process to say speed it up.

Or delay it, because there’s extra holding and finance and interest costs.”

That storm, or “tsunami” as Mr Yardney has taken to calling it, will take the form of falling values and widespread settlement issues.

“There’s a tsunami of settlement issues coming,” he said.

“[The apartments] won’t be worth what [buyers] paid for and they won’t get any capital growth for five to six years.”

Even banks were taking a step back from getting involved in Brisbane high rise apartment buildings, Mr Yardney said. brisbane-city_2661799

“Currently the banks are worried and concern so there’s a whole lot of blacklists.

Banks are only lending to a small percentage in these buildings,” he said.

“They only want 15 to 20 per cent exposure in each building.

So what’s going to happen is you’ll have difficulty getting finance.”

Dr Wilson said this attitude from lenders and the banking regulator APRA was exacerbating the issue.

“Even if you want to buy a unit in Brisbane you can’t get a competitive interest rate or you can’t get a loan at all,” he said.

Read the full article here

Gizza job!

Things are certainly looking up for the New South Wales employment rate.

This Blog by Pete Wargent shows the statistics behind the results.

How low can you go? Sydney-July

The New South Wales economy has added a stunning +123,800 full-time jobs over the past year.

And how low is the New South Wales unemployment rate now?

The answer is: very low at 4.6 per cent.

That’s now equal to the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in 9 years for the Premier State.

And the way things have been tracking, it may not be all that long before the unemployment rate across across the state approaches the lowest level on record, across decades of data.

Nsw Employment Rate

In February 2008 the state’s unemployment rate fleetingly plummeted to just 4.2 per cent, if only for a month.

Casting one’s mind back, that was an extraordinary time in Sydney’s labour market.

Read the full article here

Australia’s top retirement destinations

Where are Australians retiring?

In this article for Switzer, John McGrath looks at the states attracting out retirees, and what makes them so popular.

What do Queenscliff Victoria, the Eurobodalla Shire New South Wales and Hinchinbrook Queensland all have in common?  beach

They’re all seaside regions, popular with tourists and they have the highest proportion of residents aged 65-plus in their respective states.

Just over 40% of the Queenscliff LGA population is aged 65-plus, according to a report from CoreLogic based on new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Almost 30% of Eurobodalla Shire’s residents are 65 or over and in Hinchinbrook, it’s 26%.

CoreLogic’s report lists Australia’s top 50 council areas for over 65s and not surprisingly, we don’t see a single capital city area on the list. Beach 2090091 1920

This reflects the ongoing Aussie tradition of leaving the big smoke in favour of a seachange to the coast in retirement.

Australians love the ocean so it’s not surprising that many of us want to enjoy our retirement years on the beach in a far more relaxing environment than our cities.

In most cases, there’s also the benefit of much cheaper housing in these areas compared to cities.

This is a key element for retirees who are often living solely off capital such as superannuation, other savings and capital gains from selling their city residence.

Comparing median prices: 

  • Queenscliff’s median house price is $768,529 compared to Melbourne’s $818,436 australia
  • The Eurobodalla’s median is $455,656 compared to Sydney’s $1,074,552
  • Hinchinbrook’s median is $243,470 compared to Brisbane’s $527,802

In terms of the other states, the most popular retirement destination in South Australia is Victor Harbor, with just under 38% of the population aged 65-plus.

In Western Australia, it is Wyalkatchem with 31.5% (although this council area has a very small population overall at just 520 people).

In Tasmania, it’s Glamorgan-Spring Bay with 31% of residents aged 65-plus.

Read the full article here

Soaring land prices are a sickening sign that housing affordability in Australia is unlikely to improve

As land prices continue to grow – so do the challenges of housing affordability.

The question remains, will there be an improvement?

According to an article on BusinessInsider.com.au the idea of affordable housing is unlikely anytime soon. 47513700_l

When it comes to buying a home in Australia, nothing matters more than the cost of land.

Forget the fees and charges associated with a purchase, let alone the actual dwelling itself, it’s the land the home sits on that largely determines what it’s worth.

And that applies to both new and established housing, regardless of where its located.

In an era when housing affordability, or more precisely housing market accessibility, continues to dominate the headlines in Australia, policymakers continue to roll out measures to help improve the chances of first-time buyers entering the market.

Stamp duty concessions, higher grants — they’ve all be rolled out in different states and territories over recent years to deal with what many now deem to be a crisis.  house-dream-young-land-property-build-300x199

However, for all those attempts to improve housing affordability, there’s just one tiny problem.

Residential land prices — the largest component in determining a properties value — are not going backwards or steadying but skyrocketing, nullifying any other measures to help improve affordability.

Just take a look at this chart below from the latest Australian Housing Industry Association (HIA)-CoreLogic Residential Land Report released earlier today for evidence as to just how fast prices are rising.

australia-land-prices-q2-2017Source: CoreLogic

According to the report, the median lot price nationally rose to $256,683 in the June quarter, an increase of 8.5% on a year earlier. 30307218_l2

And, even with the number of lot sales jumping by 13.1% over the quarter, total sales were still down 8.7% on the same period a year earlier.

So sales fell and prices jumped, an understandable outcome given Australias’ population is currently growing at the fastest pace in years, and well above historic norms.

For government’s attempting to solve housing affordability, it’s not an ideal situation.

The largest cost in purchasing a property — the land — is increasing at a significantly faster than incomes or inflation.

Making matters worse, land costs in Sydney and Melbourne — Australia’s largest and most expensive housing markets where housing affordability concerns are the most acute — are rising at a far greater rate than the national average.

Read the full article here

Feng Shui Tips For Your Entire Home

Wouldn’t it be nice to attract more health and wealth into your home?

While Feng Shui isn’t a new concept to most – it’s often believed that changes to the house would be complicated and expensive.

But a article on The Huffington Post is about to change that – this article article look at simple ways of making your home Feng Shui friendly.

Feng Shui translates to “wind-water” and is the Chinese art of creating harmonious energy within a space. 8127702_l

Feng Shui uses ancient principles to help increase the positive flow of “chi” or energy using colors and the five elements of nature.

Many people swear by the effects of Feng Shui and believe that it can help to encourage health, happiness, good fortune and positive energy.

To experience these benefits for yourself, why not try a few of these easy suggestions:

Living Room

This is the heart of the home and where most family activities are carried out.

Keep this area free from clutter and introduce a lot of natural light and plants. Kitchen Interior 1772105 1920

Avoid heavy curtains and choose a couch is raised up off the floor with legs.

This helps to create a positive flow of energy within the room.

The Kitchen

In Feng Shui, the kitchen represents abundance.

If you want to attract abundance and good fortune into your life, you need to keep your kitchen clean and your counters free from clutter.


The position of your bed is very important in Feng Shui.

You don’t want to have your bed directly facing the door and you don’t want to have a mirror facing your bed.bedroom

Next to the door works best or diagonal from the door also works well.

The bed should also be raised up off the floor to help promote the flow of energy.

Never have items under your bed either, as this is believe to cause restless sleep.

When decorating your room, try to have everything in pairs to create a sense of balance and symmetry.

Avoid hanging large pictures above the bed or having large chandeliers over the bed.

The Bathroom 

Hotel 1737171 1920

The bathroom is one of the most important rooms to Feng Shui in the house.

This is because the bathroom contains a lot of water energy, which can flush chi out of the home.

To create a harmonious flow of energy, keep the toilet lid down and cover drains with rocks or a plug.

Decorate your bathroom in earthy colours to counteract the watery energy and keep counters clear of clutter.

The Home Office

Place your desk in the power position in the room ― you should be able to see the door.

Avoid having your desk face a wall as this is said to promote stagnant energy.

If you want to attract more clients, consider having two chairs on the other side of your desk.

In Feng Shui, it is not considered good fortune to have a mirror in the office.

The Dining Table

A round table is always preferred in Feng Shui as it helps to promote balance and equality. Dining Room 2157778 1920

Dining tables with sharp edges should be avoided, as this is said to promote hostility and negative energy.

Keep your dining room intimate by decorating in soft, warm colours.

Hang a mirror in the room that reflects the dining table; this is said to bring in abundant energy.

Have an even number of chairs and arrange the layout so no one has their back to towards a door or window.

Why not give some of these easy Feng Shui tips a try to see if they help to invite positive chi into your home.

Read the full article here

Weekend videos: Humans In 1000 Years


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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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