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.

Melbourne median house price rises to $903,859 over December quarter: Domain Group report

It may be the most livable city in the world – but it’ll cost you to live there…

An article on Domain.com.au looks at the median house price rise in Melbourne.

Melbourne house prices have hit another record high, with new figures showing the city’s median has pushed past $900,000. Melbourne property skyline

Experts say the housing market remains resilient and still has considerable momentum despite warnings prices will cool in 2018.

Melbourne’s median shot up 3.2 per cent to $903,859 in the December quarter, according to the Domain Group’s latest State of the Market report, released on Thursday.

Prices have risen every quarter for nearly five and a half years.

Median House Prices

After growth slowed to 0.4 per cent in the September quarter, some industry observers said it was a sign of weakening confidence in the housing market.

But Market Economics managing director Stephen Koukoulas said the latest figures showed the sector was remarkably resilient.   

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“In these quarterly figures, there’s not a lot of evidence of a cooling in house price growth,” Mr Koukoulas said, adding that he expected softer price gains.

“Even though there has been a bit of a tightening in credit for investors, in terms of the amount that is lent and interest-only loans, it doesn’t appear to have had a significant impact in Melbourne.”

HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham said: “The Melbourne housing market still has considerable momentum.

“This has been supported by strong population growth which is still outpacing new supply despite a ramp up in housing construction.”

Melbourne was again a strong performer compared to most other capital cities, with only Hobart and Canberra posting higher growth.

ydney’s median house price, $1,179,519, increased by 0.5 per cent over the quarter and 4 per cent over the year.Melbourne Property Value

Mr Bloxham said Sydney was getting less support from international and domestic migration compared with Melbourne.

“A cooling in investor interest has also been more apparent in the Sydney market.”

The gap between house prices in Melbourne and the harbour city continues to narrow.

Over the latest quarter the difference was reduced to $276,000, the lowest in three years.

Domain Group data scientist Nicola Powell said Melbourne’s most affordable regions — the west, north west and south east — had recorded the strongest price growth off the back of heightened first-home buyer activity.

Median House Prices2

Dr Powell said loans to first-home buyers, likely enticed into the market by the state government’s stamp duty concessions and first-home owner grants, were at levels not seen since 2009.suburb-melbourne-city-invest-area-location

“Demand at the entry level has been ignited which is helping to drive growth at the lower end of the market,” Dr Powell said.

Experts remain divided about what is in store for Melbourne’s property market in 2018.

Some economists forecast house price growth to ease but remain positive while others predict prices will fall.

“My hunch is we will see prices fall, but not by much,” Mr Koukoulas said.

“My guess is a 3 to 5 per cent fall through the course of 2018.”

Read the full article here

Job ads surging

It looks like there’s good new for the start of the year in the job market.

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

A “strong start to the year” says ANZ.

Job advertisements surged +6.2 per cent in January to 177,961.


Over the past year job ads are now +13.8 per cent higher.

Positive signs here for the Australian economy.

Read the full article here

How do we make housing more affordable?

It’s the questions on everyone’s minds- how can property be made more affordable?

In this article for Switzer, John McGrath looks at what we should consider.

The latest Housing Affordability Report published by The Real Estate Institute of Australia and Adelaide Bank showed an improvement in housing affordability nationwide.

The report, which is based on data from all major lenders for the September 2017 quarter, showed the proportion of income required to make loan repayments had fallen in every state and territory over the previous 12 months. 40327469_l

First home buying had also increased nationwide, with the number of young Australians buying their first home up by 32.6% in September 2017 compared to September 2016.

The biggest change was in NSW where first home purchasing rose by 70.9% – no doubt a reflection of government incentives introduced in July to make first home ownership easier, including significant stamp duty savings.

It’s great to see affordability improving based on these particular measures but it’s cold comfort to young buyers who can’t even get the deposit together.

Their ability to make the repayments, based on their income, is often good but it’s the 20% deposit that makes life difficult, especially in a boom market where prices are rising faster than they can save. property market

Affordability is one of my main concerns in the Australian marketplace today, primarily for first home buyers.

As outlined in our recent Annual McGrath Report, I believe both first home buyers and governments need to take responsibility if a solution is to be found.

Attempting to reduce values materially will never work as that would require major artificial manipulation and would negatively impact millions of existing home owners around the country, not to mention lenders and other stakeholders.

I believe the solution needs to work from all sides.

My key points on the road to affordability are:

  1. This is a supply issue not a demand issue. We shouldn’t attempt to dissuade Australians from buying property, instead we should increase the supply so we can all live the Great property marketAustralian Dream
  2. As the workforce becomes more skilled and moves away from its industrial base, workers need access to work hubs and therefore infrastructure and planning are keys to the resolution
  3. The tax treatment. The current burden of stamp duty is impacting many Australians’ ability to move to the most appropriate home for them. We need an enlightened look at the major tax structures that impact property (stamp duty, negative gearing, land tax and capital gains) in order to deliver a fairer, and most likely broader based sharing of the tax burden, especially around stamp duty
  4. Local government approval process. The delays experienced by developers to obtain complying development approvals is absurd. It is clogging up the system and causing billions of dollars in delays across the country. This must be addressed to clear the blockage.

Read the full article here

Australia ranked the third least affordable housing market in the world

While Australia has always been known as the ‘lucky country’ it would seem the reign may be slipping in housing affordability.

According to an article for the Herald Sun Australia ranked the third least affordable housing market in the world.

THE average Australian mortgage has cracked half a million dollars for the first time, making breaking into the housing market that much harder for many Aussies. 47513700_l

That means Australians are forking out almost 13 times their annual income to buy property, according to the 14th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.

In the last three months of 2017, the average loan size nationally ballooned to more than $500,400, a report from comparison website comparethemarket.com.au shows.

NSW pulled the national average up, with mortgagees in that state owing an average of more than $613,000.

In Victoria, the average loan size was more than $496,800.

Sydney and Melbourne were also this week named among the least affordable major housing markets in the world, according to the survey.

Sydney was ranked the second least affordable, behind only Hong Kong in a list of 92 major metropolitan markets.17034015_l

Vancouver was the third least affordable, followed by California’s San Jose, with Melbourne rising one place from last year to fifth.

Australia was considered the third least affordable country behind Hong Kong and New Zealand.

Of Australia’s overpriced market, Dr Donald Bush, the former Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand said, “Australia is perhaps the least densely populated major country in the world, but state governments there have contrived to drive land prices in major urban areas to very high levels, with the result that in that country housing in major state capitals has become severely unaffordable.”

Former Family First Senator Bob Day also blamed governments for the housing crisis.

“The real culprit … was the refusal of … governments … to provide an adequate and affordable supply of land for new housing stock to meet demand,” he is reported as saying in the survey.

“The ‘scarcity’ that drove up land prices is wholly contrived — it is a matter of political choice, not geographic reality,” he said.

Read the full article here

11 Reasons You Should Drink Coffee Every Day

Need a reason to have that extra cup of coffee?

You’re in luck!

An article on The Huffington post  looks at several health befits a great cup of coffee can have,

There really can’t be any adult in this great big world that has never tried coffee. Coffee 2538290 1920

It’s consumed everywhere, and judging by the amount of Starbucks locations in the United States alone, (in 2012, there were 10,924!) we love our caffeine.

And that’s fine. In fact, there are many advantages to being one of the 54 percent of Americans over 18 who drink coffee everyday.

Coffee can be pretty amazing for your brain, your skin and your body.

Read on to discover 11 reasons you should wake up and smell the coffee…

According to a study done in 2005, “nothing else comes close” to providing as many antioxidants as coffee.

While fruits and vegetables also have tons of antioxidants, the human body seems to absorb the most from coffee.

Just smelling coffee could make you less stressed. coffee

Researchers at the Seoul National University examined the brains of rats who were stressed with sleep deprivation and discovered that those who were exposed to coffee aromas experienced changes in brain proteins tied to that stress.

Coffee could lessen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

ScienceDaily reported in 2012 that drinking coffee may help people with Parkinson’s disease control their movement.

Coffee is great for your liver (especially if you drink alcohol).

A study published in 2006 that included 125,000 people over 22 years showed that those who drink at least one cup of coffee a day were 20 percent less to develop liver cirrhosis — an autoimmune disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption that could lead to liver failure and cancer. coffee

Studies have also shown that coffee can help prevent people from developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Coffee consumption has been linked to lower levels of suicide.

study done by the Harvard School of Public Health determined that drinking between two and four cups of coffee can reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50 percent.

Coffee could reduce your chances of getting skin cancer (if you’re a woman).

Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School followed 112,897 men and women over a 20-year period and, apparently, women who drink three or more cups of coffee a day are much less likely to develop skin cancer than those who don’t.

Coffee can make you a better athlete. coffee cafe

The New York Times reports, “Scientists and many athletes have known for years, of course, that a cup of coffee before a workout jolts athletic performance, especially in endurance sports like distance running and cycling.”

Coffee could reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Coffee also lowers risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to a study from The American Chemical Society.

Drinking coffee could help keep your brain healthier for longer. 10311677_xxl

Researchers from the University of South Florida and the University of Miami found that people older than 65 who had higher blood levels of caffeine developed Alzheimer’s disease two to four years later than others with lower caffeine.

Coffee may make you more intelligent.

You usually drink coffee when you are sleep-deprived, right? Well, that much-needed jolt not only keeps you awake, it makes you sharper.

Read the full article here

Weekend video: Are You Consuming Your Coffee Correctly?


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