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.
House prices drop 1.2 per cent across Australia with Darwin leading the charge: Domain Group
When it comes to housing prices – things only appear to be looking down.
According to this article from Domain.com.au house prices have dropped 1.2%.
House prices across the country have fallen by 1.2 per cent over the March quarter, according to the Domain Group’s State of the Market report.
Darwin led the charge with a 7.5 per cent drop in the quarter, followed by Sydney, where prices fell by 2.6 per cent.
The downwards trajectory of Perth prices continued from its peak in December 2014, when the median price was $616,229.
A house in Perth now costs $553,486.
Perth’s market in recent years has started to show signs of recovery but has been prone to seasonal variation.
Local analysts say the state economy’s resurgence is likely to lead to house prices stabilising, but any meaningful growth is some time off.
The strongest-performing market was Hobart, where house prices rose by 2.7 per cent, while both Canberra and Adelaide saw slight growth of 0.8 per cent.
Domain Group data scientist Nicola Powell said Darwin had always been a volatile market, and the results of the latest report showed those conditions continuing.
“It’s impacted seasonally, and we are seeing those seasonal variations,” she said.
“When you look at the actual median price for Darwin, it’s back to around 2008 prices.
Darwin is now the most affordable city to purchase a unit in. It hasn’t had that title since mid-2005.”
In March last year the median price for an apartment was $422,875.
This year it is $308,999.
Domain’s recent rental report showed that median Darwin house and apartment rents had also fallen over the year, down to $530 per week for a house and $410 a week for a unit.
“You saw strong growth during the mining boom, not so much now,” chief executive of think tank Grattan Institute John Daley said.
He said that there was little that governments could do to intervene.
“The kinds of thing that drive regional economic growth and population growth are the kinds of things governments don’t control.
They don’t make a mining boom happen, and they can’t turn it off either,” he said.
“The government can make sure there are appropriate hospitals and schools , but it’s got all those things already.”
Quentin Killian, chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of the Northern Territory, said Darwin was seeing more positive news about the economy.
“We’ve had around 21 consecutive quarters of negative interstate migration,” Mr Killian said.
“Interestingly we have had an announcement around fracking – it is something we’ve desperately, desperately been waiting on them to say yes to.”
“It’s the stimulus we need for our economy, and with that comes people”, he said.
But on the flip side, he added, rental yields in Darwin were excellent, and investors could look at getting in at the bottom of the market.
“There are huge bargains,” he said.
While he didn’t see the market picking up immediately, the size of the Darwin rental market in particular meant the effects of a re-invigorated economy wouldn’t take long to be felt by investors.
“Darwin in particular is a very small market, and it moves very quickly”, he said.
“Here, you’re talking a couple of thousand dwellings at most.
It can change in 12, 16, 18 months.”Across the country, Melbourne posted 8.8 per cent annual growth, but just 0.1 per cent over the quarter.
Brisbane’s prices were relatively stable, up 1.5 per over the year but down 0.6 per cent over the quarter.
Mr Daley said price growth in Melbourne and Hobart was being driven by “very rapid population growth”.
Read the full article here
Sydney’s population growth climbs to all-time high
It would seem that all roads lead to Sydney.
Sydney 5.1 million
The ABS reported that Sydney’s population increased by more than +100,000 in FY2017 for the first time ever, in doing so rising to an estimated 5.1 million.
More than 70 per cent of Australia’s population growth was accounted for by Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
Sydney’s population growth climbed dramatically to +101,600 (+2 per cent), while Melbourne remained extremely strong at +125,400 (+2.7 per cent).
Melbourne’s population has increased by well over ¼ million in only two financial years to hit 4.9 million.
Read the full article here
Demand for Australian real estate workers is starting to fall
What was once considered the most in wanted job to have – seems to be taking a downturn.
An article on Business Insider looks at the fall of real estate workers.
Australia has added jobs in each of the past 17 months, the longest stretch on record.
In just the past 12 months alone, employment has surged by over 420,000, near the highest level on record over a comparable period.
Given the trends in job advertisements, a lead indicator for employment growth, it looks like there may be further gains to come.
According to SEEK’s latest Employment Report, job advertisements placed on its platform surged by 16.2% in the year to March, led by strong worker demand across most individual sectors.
The year-on-year percentage growth in advertisements by individual sector is shown in the chart below.
“The sectors that experienced the largest growth are mining, resources and energy — up 35% compared to twelve months ago — and science and technology which saw an increase of 20% over the same period,” said Kendra Banks, Managing Director of SEEK Australia and New Zealand.
However, while total growth in advertisements points to strong hiring in the period ahead, Banks cautions that positing are now starting to fall in a growing number of industries, something that she says “could be an early warning sign of a number of sectors cooling down”.
“Once again, the sector that saw the most significant decrease in job ads this month was advertising, arts and media with a drop of 20% from a year earlier,” she says.
“Real Estate also saw a decrease in job ads of 12% when compared with this time last year.”
Banks says weaker demand for real estate workers likely reflects cooling housing market conditions and tighter lending restrictions implemented by financial regulators.
Read the full article here
More homes for sale weakens auction clearance rates
The increase of home for sales – prove to be mad new for auction results.
In this article for Switzer, John McGrath looks at what’s really going on.
Sydney’s weekly auction clearance rates have fallen this year and are now pretty consistently in the 60% band.
This is happening because the market is plateauing, with more stock for sale and therefore a dilution of buyer interest per property.
According to SQM Research, total listings for sale in Sydney has increased to its highest level since late 2011 (pre-boom).
There’s a few reasons why we’re seeing more stock on the market:
- There is a consensus that the boom is over, so home owners who have been waiting for full value growth for their homes during the boom are putting out the For Sale board now, in an effort to beat the market slow down
- Stock was very tight last year, with many would-be sellers holding off listing out of fear of not being able to buy back in. Today, every new listing is encouraging more new listings because home owners are finally feeling confident that they’ll be able to find a new home
- Some investors are cashing in on their boom time growth. Part of their motivation to sell is the banks’ decision to increase interest rates on investor loans, particularly those on interest only terms which is the preferred loan type for investors
- The property boom initiated a construction boom, with thousands of new apartments still in the pipeline or rolling out onto the market now
While it’s clear the market is cooling, on the ground we are seeing patches of strength and weakness.
Desirable properties in sought-after and tightly-held suburbs close to the city and beaches are still selling very well and often above reserve.
Softening market conditions don’t tend to hurt these types of A grade roperties at auction.
For the rest of the market, things do change.
I asked Kon Stathopoulos, Head of Sales for McGrath’s company owned offices to give us a snapshot of what he is seeing on the ground.
Kon says: “Many people are realising that it’s a great time to buy, especially buyers who have been looking for 12-18 months and have been forced to compete at auctions with double digit registration numbers.
“There is more choice for buyers in certain price and geographical sectors of the Sydney market, however it is not across the board as specific pockets are still tightly-held.
“Where increased stock levels exist, open home numbers are lower and therefore auction registration numbers are somewhat diluted.
“New supply is more of an issue in the apartment market.
There is noticeably more choice for apartment buyers around the $1M mark but the volume of house listings is still pretty low in many areas of the city, which creates scarcity and competition.
“A further tightening in lending practices has resulted in many buyers (mainly investors) struggling to achieve formal finance approval by the auction date.
Lenders are requesting additional documentation and the approval process is taking longer.
“This is creating frustration for buyers and many only receive notification literally the evening prior to the auction.
If they don’t get it in time, they can’t bid and this reduces competition and can impact the likelihood of a sale, especially on properties with only a few interested parties.”
With more stock available, buyers have got a bit of power back and this has made them more discerning.
The urgency has been removed from the market and some buyers are avoiding auctions altogether.
So, I asked Kon the question that is on many buyers’ minds. Why should they still compete at auction when there is plenty of other stock to choose from?
“Auction is the most effective and efficient method to secure a property for a buyer,” Kon says.
Read the full article here
12 Jobs That Make People Most Satisfied
What are the most satisfying jobs according to workers?
This article on spring.org.uk looks at the top 12 most satisfying jobs, and the top 12 least satisfying jobs around.
…and the 12 linked to the least satisfaction with life.
The clergy are the happiest and most satisfied workers in America, a large US survey finds.
87% of them reported being very satisfied with their work.
They are closely followed by physical therapists, 80% of whom were very satisfied with their work and firefighters, 78% of whom were very satisfied.
Dr Tom W. Smith, the study’s author, explained the common thread in these different jobs:
“The most satisfying jobs are mostly professions, especially those involving caring for, teaching, and protecting others and creative pursuits.”
Here is the full list of the top 12 most satisfying jobs:
2. Physical Therapists
4. Education Administrators
5. Painter, Sculptors, Related
9. Special Education Teachers
10. Operating Engineers
11. Office Supervisors
12. Security & Financial Services Salespersons
Rev. Cynthia Lindner, Director of Ministry Studies at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School, said:
“Persons engaged in ministry have great opportunity to live and work out of their deepest convictions, oftentimes in the midst of communities of faith who share their concern for meaning, compassion and justice.
This congruence of belief, values, and actions in one’s daily work can be immensely satisfying.”
Across all the occupations, 47% of people reported being very satisfied with their jobs and 33% said they were very happy with their lives in general.
Down at the bottom of the list, the 12 least satisfying jobs were:
3. Laborers, Except Construction
5. Hand Packers and Packagers
6. Freight, Stock, & Material Handlers
7. Apparel Clothing Salespersons
9. Food Preparers
11. Butchers & Meat Cutters
12. Furniture/Home Furnishing Salespersons
These jobs are generally low-paid and often involve manual labour.
Customer service and food/beverage preparation was also particularly unsatisfying, according to the survey.
Read the full article here
Weekend Video: The Science of Motivation
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