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.

Victorian state election 2018: What’s been promised for housing and liveability

With the Victorian state election just around the corner – one of the biggest questions remains …

What can we expect for housing and livability?

This article from Domain.com.au looks at what each party promises to deliver.

Victoria’s state election is less than a month away and the pledges and promises from the major and minor parties are gaining momentum.

It’s set to be a tough battle for votes, and an even tougher one in the planning, property and general liveability stakes with promises for new ministerial positions, new hospitals and even separating the suburb of Sunbury from the City of Hume to become its own local government area. 13844871 L1 300x300

So here’s what you need to know:

The big issues:

Liveability: Melbourne’s liveability has become a hotly discussed topic, not only because Melburnians are feeling the squeeze of urban congestion, but also because the city’s rating as the world’s most liveable city dropped to second behind Vienna for the first time in seven years in 2018.

It’s becoming part of the political vernacular.

Population growth: Victoria (and Melbourne’s) population is booming, the state recently topped more than 6.3 million people.

How the state and its capital will cope with this rate of growth is something all political parties are looking closely at.

Public transport: Perhaps the most complained-about service in Melbourne and surrounds (apart from road congestion) is public transport.

How will the next state government deal with the congestion not only on roads but also on rail and trams? Flinders Station View From Flinders Street Melbourne Australia

The pledges (so far)


Among the government’s big ticket pledges are:

At their ‘official’ campaign launch at Monash University on Sunday, Premier Daniel Andrews pledged money for community hospitals to be built in Whittlesea, Eltham, Point Cook and Fisherman’s Bend.

Amongst his previous pledges, Mr Andrews has promised a $50 billion outer-suburban rail loop, which would include an underground service built between Cheltenham and Werribee – adding new stations and linking to Melbourne Airport. (A further pledge has also been made for money for a regional fast rail plan).

He has also promised a $1.24 billion solar power program, allowing Victorian home owners to install solar panels for half-price, paying the rest of the cost of the system over four years through an interest-free loan and a further investment in solar batteries for homes.


At the Coalition’s ‘official’ campaign launch in Ivanhoe, Opposition leader Matthew Guy promised to separate Sunbury from the City of Hume to make it the City of Sunbury. 


He also introduced his promise for a Minister for Geelong given the regional city’s huge growth.

Running on a “decentralisation ticket”, the Coalition will introduce a minister for decentralisation if elected.

In short, they’ll be looking to move jobs and people out of Melbourne into regional areas like Bendigo, Ballarat and Shepparton.

The Coalition is looking to make it quicker to travel to and from regional areas by train, pledging $19 billion for a regional fast rail.

They’ll also be looking to slow down population and development growth in Melbourne.

In a major policy announcement by Mr Guy, the Coalition would set up a population commission to oversee population growth, development of suburbs and towns and lock further development in these areas until enough teachers, doctors, health-care workers and police were working in the area. Melbourne

It follows a pledge earlier in the year to change Melbourne’s zoning laws to prevent over-development.

Mr Guy wants to see stricter rules for building on established streets in Melbourne if elected.

He has also pledged to release more land in outer Melbourne, in an effort to tackle housing affordability, and promised to extend the railway from Cranbourne to Clyde, one of Melbourne’s main growth areas.

The Coalition has also pledged:

  • $175 million for Hospital in the Home (better home care for the elderly and those with illness/disability who need extra care at home).
  • $650,000 for a rural students network to link students who have moved from rural areas to the CBD to study.

Greens melbourne-2262233_1920

The Greens have put together a plan promising to transform the urban planning system.

Leader Samantha Ratnam wants to mandate that a proportion of developments be dedicated to affordable homes.

The Greens also want to see new commercial and residential builds with 8-star energy ratings.

The Greens have a five-point plan to add solar power to rental homes and public housing, ensuring residents benefit from cost savings.

The plan would cost $377 million.

Read the full article here

Building work set to take a bath

What is the state of play for residential construction?

This Blog by Pete Wargent looks at the results.

Residential construction to fade

The lumpy unit approvals figures for Melbourne jumped back up from 1,333 to 2,841 in September, holding up the total building approvals result. Melbourne2

Sydney unit approvals for the month, on the other hand, were 45 per cent lower than a year earlier.

As I’ve written elsewhere previously, Melbourne is the one capital city with the potential to sustain high rates of apartment building over the next few years, though even this is now looking questionable in the current lending environment.

Approvals around the traps

Approvals for both units and houses in Sydney are now tailing off sharply.

For context, Sydney’s population grew by more than 100,000 for the first time ever last year, so any pockets of ‘oversupply’ will only be a temporary dynamic as supply slows.

Brisbane’s rapid rate of apartment construction has long since decelerated, and the market has rebalanced in the Queensland capital as interstate migration and population growth picks up.


Read the full article here

Here’s when markets think the RBA will start to hike rates

When will the RBA hike it’s rate?

That’s the question on everyone’s minds …

An article on Business Insider gives an insider look into what the markets think.

Australia’s September quarter consumer price inflation (CPI) report will be released today.  Reserve Bank Of Australia

It’s a data point that has often shifted expectations for official interest rate settings in the past, and today’s report will be no exception.

Ahead of this key release, it’s worthwhile having a quick look at market expectations for the RBA cash rate over the next couple of years.

This chart from Macquarie Bank shows current expectations based on overnight index swaps (OIS) pricing.

Weekend reads - Must read articles from the last weekMacquarie Bank

As things currently stand, markets are only 60% priced for a 25 basis point increase in the cash rate — taking it to 1.75% — by early 2020. Interest rate or cahs flow

Economists share a similar view with the median forecast offered to Bloomberg looking for a 25 basis point increase by the final quarter of next year.

The RBA has not increased its cash rate since late 2010.

The last movement down occurred in August 2016, coincidentally following the release of a weak CPI report for Q1 2016.

In recent years both markets and economists have continually pushed back the expected timing of rate hike, largely as a result of ongoing softness in inflationary pressures.

The RBA has talked a lot about the need for inflation to return to the midpoint of its 2-3% target in recent commentary.

Read the full article here

Sydney will sizzle in some suburbs

It’s no secret that the Sydney property market has experienced a bit of a slowdown – but is it all doom and gloom?

In this article for Switzer, John McGrath looks at why Sydney is still sizzling …

With Sydney’s market slowdown dominating the headlines and dinner time conversations, the focus has been on short-term price fluctuations, falling auction clearance rates and reduced buyer competition across the city. Sydney+suburbs

But Sydney has a much better story to tell, with once-in-a-generation change on its way in the biggest sub-market within our city – Western Sydney, where almost half of Sydney’s population currently lives and where a million more residents will settle by the early 2030s.

In our newly-released McGrath Report, we discuss what is actually the most important thing happening in Sydney today.

The 24-hour, curfew-free Western Sydney Airport and its world class Aerotropolis business precinct will be one of Australia’s biggest infrastructure projects undertaken in decades.

Tens of thousands of new jobs and billions in new investment are about to permeate our most affordable property market, where prices have the most room to grow.

It’s all about to start, with soil due to be turned at the 1,780 hectare Badgerys Creek site by Christmas 2018.

The airport is one of several infrastructure projects in Sydney that will re-rate local home values while the rest of the market is cooling. Sydney Suburbss

The Northern Beaches Hospital will open in October 2018, the Sydney Metro Northwest rail will be running in the first half of 2019 and the CBD and South East Light Rail and the second stage of WestConnex will follow in 2020.

There is much to be excited about!

As we all know, median prices have slipped in Sydney over the past year and demand is certainly down, particularly among investors and upgraders due to finance restrictions.

It’s therefore no surprise to see stronger activity amongst downsizers, who often buy without a loan; and first home buyers supported by the bank of mum and dad.

Stamp duty cuts have had a significant impact, with first home buyer activity in New South Wales peaking at 15% of the market early in 2018, the highest it has been since late 2012.

Young buyers are favouring Sydney’s West and South West, in particular Liverpool, Kingswood, Camden, Campbelltown and Riverstone, government figures show. Future Sydney Scenarios

A wave of downsizing across Australia is coming as more baby boomers hit retirement age.

Sydney downsizers have replenished superannuation lost in the GFC and the property boom has substantially lifted the value of their homes, putting them in a good position to buy as the market cools.

The Federal Government wants them on the move to free up desperately needed family homes for younger generations.

From July 1, 2018, downsizers are being incentivised with people aged 65 or over able to make a one-off $300,000 contribution from the sale proceeds of their home into super ($600,000 for couples).

Prestige property has had good price growth over the past few years, with some tapering off in 2018.

Strong share market gains, business confidence and an improving economy have encouraged people to invest more of their wealth in the tax-free haven of a trophy home in iconic harbourside and beachside locations.

Read the full article here

Eight tricks to being highly likeable

To be successful is not always about skills and drive – but about personality.

So what does it take to be likeable?

This article from Executivestyle.com.au looks at the 8 tricks you need to know.

Winning in today’s society is often more about getting caught up in the rat race than any meaningful attempt at being likeable, which often comes as an afterthought.

Being attractive, having a natural tendency to be a social and luck in the gene pool actually have little to do with being likeable. People Success Business

They help, but a UCLA study has found that likeability is often accounted to traits such as sincerity, transparency, and a capacity for understanding others.

1. Ask questions

People you converse with like to know you’re listening.

A major oversight in conversation is trying so hard to figure out what you’re going to say next that you forget to listen to the person talking.

By simply asking a clarification question, you show the speaker that you are engaged and care about the subject.

2. Don’t judge

Being likeable and open-minded go hand-in-hand. It all comes down to approachability, and having a trait of open-mindedness gives the impression that you’re more willing to listen, as opposed to someone who has formed an opinion once they’ve walked into a room. Talk To Real People

3. Don’t seek attention 

Braggers can be spotted from a mile away.

These type of people are usually compensating for something else so they need a big and extroverted personality to cover for it.

Simply speaking in a friendly and confident manner will give you all the attention you need, along with respect.

4. Practise consistency

Whether in the workplace or in relationships, always strive to be consistent.

Likeability comes from one’s ability to stay on top of things and it allows those who interact with you to know what kind of response to expect.

It’s all about reliability and ensuring your mood doesn’t affect how you treat others. Business Coach.

5. Be an expert storyteller

Being a storyteller doesn’t mean being an attention-seeker.

Everyone has a story to tell and when the time comes, make sure it’s told in a sophisticated and light-hearted manner.

As everyone loves a good story, the art of telling one calls for strong control of language and pace.

6. Greet people by name

Greeting people by name is often an overlooked practice in modern day conversation.

“Bro” and “mate” are fine amongst friends but in more formal settings, it’s important to ensure you use names.

Research has shown that those you’re talking to feel validated when you use their names in conversation. Agreement 2679506 1920

Again, this likeability aspect comes down to the fact that you care enough to remember.

7. Know when to be physical

Being physical can be a likeable trait if executed correctly.

We don’t mean giving your colleagues shoulder-rubs, but rather in acts like shaking hands and using the other hand to lightly touch another’s forearm (but never go the full Tony Abbott).

Use this when exiting a conversation with someone you won’t be seeing in a while.

8. Add some fun to passion  Happy Child Dreams Of Traveling And Playing With An Airplane

Passionate people often have crowds gravitating towards them and as per No.5, these types of people always have amazing stories to tell.

People see passion and are drawn to it.

Mind you, there’s a fine line.

Showing too much passion can come across as too serious or self-absorbed.

The key is to balance passion with a dose of lighthearted fun.

Read the full article here

Weekend videos: See If You Can Solve These 7 Riddles with a Twist


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