Weekend Reads – Must reads 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.

Online real estate agent Purplebricks launches in Australia offering $5.75b in savings15783496_l

Just when you thought there was on more room on the property playground – a new kid shows up, and brings along a whole new ballgame.

News.com.au has reported in an article that UK-based online real estate agent Purplebricks has set their sights on the Australian market.

If the catchy ad is anything to go by, things are about to heat up for the competition.

WILL this be the Aldi of Australian real estate?

Purplebricks, the UK-based online real estate agent that charges homeowners a flat fee to sell their property, is promising to shake up the local market and save Aussies neAdarly $6 billion in commissions.

Launched in the UK in 2014, Purplebricks charges homeowners a flat fee of $4500, including marketing costs, to sell their home.

The company claims on average, Aussie homeowners will save $11,500 under its model.

In 2015, around half a million dwellings were sold with an estimated value of $307 billion, putting the cost in fees to the homeowner at $6.75 billion.

According to a report by economist Stephen Koukoulas of Market Economics, commissioned by Purplebricks, Australians could save $5.75 billion by moving to a flat fee of $4500. AUSTRALIA REAL ESTATE PROPERTY

“Over the past 30 years the average Australian house price has risen by almost 600 per cent from just under $90,000 to around $614,000,” the report says.

“The real estate agent’s commission, at 2.2 per cent of the sale price, has risen from $1,970 to over $13,500.

“Average wages in Australia have risen by around 215 per cent from $19,000 a year to $60,000 a year.

This means that the average real estate agent commission paid by a home seller has doubled from just above 10 per cent of average annual wages to 23 per cent of annual income.”

Mr Koukoulas said the rapid increase in commission fees had occurred at exactly the same time as technology platforms made the selling process more efficient.

Find the full article here

What stops a lot of first and second time investors + Low interest rates are creating lots of opportunities

Another great Real Estate Talk show produced by Kevin Turner. 


Shannon Davis discusses the current low interest rate environment, which is opening up a number of opportunities for astute investors.

Ken Raiss gives some sound advise to a couple about asset protection and in particular transferring equity from a principal place of residence into a trust for investment purposes.

Mark McCrindle says ‘your first home isn’t likely to be your forever home’ but that doesn’t stop some people spending too much time worrying about their first purchase.

Nhan Nguyen talks through week 3 of his 30 day flipping exercise; buying and selling a property in 30 days to make a big profit with little or no outlay.

Stuart Wemyss from Pro Solutions Private Clients, shares his personal stories about investment in property.

If you don’t already subscribe to this excellent weekly internet based radio show do so now by clicking here.


Well it ‘didn’t happen over night but it did happen’ would be the words used when it comes to the the July building approvals.

According to this Blog by Pete Wargent, the result is something to be celebrated, as it is the highest in over a year.

Approvals rebound

“What a difference a day makes” in the words of Rod Stewart (and whoever it was that crooned it before him). 28638913 - 3d building activity

The July Building Approvals figures posted a strong rebound with nearly 21,000 dwellings approved in the month on a seasonally adjusted basis, spring-boarding back up from 18,863 in June to notch the highest monthly result since May 2015.

In fact, July’s result was the second strongest month on record for building approvals in Australia.

It rarely pays to get too aroused by one month of data, but it was another crunching month for total multi-unit approvals, which increased to a seasonally adjusted 11,513 from 9,928 in June (the result was driven by new flats and apartments, not townhouses).

The recent results for attached approvals have to a certain extent mirrored those of housing finance and prices, which were initially clonked by tighter macroprudential regulations but have posted a fairly spirited resurgence since.


The trend in detached house approvals still looks to be fading.

Looking at the annualised figures, the strong monthly result arrested the downtrend in total private sector approvals for now, totaling just shy of 235,000, which is still exceptionally high in historical terms.

Read the full article here

10-minute home styling tricks

Spring has sprung – and that means brand new ways to spruce up your home for the warmer new season.

But while the idea of major changes seems more than most of us can bare, this article on Domain.com.au has made the process much easier.

You spend time poring over gorgeous interiors, but then life gets in the way of you making your own place look perfect.

Sound familiar? bathroom

Lack of money, energy and time can mean you never quite get around to your spruce-up paint job, that new flooring gets put on hold, you’re still lounging on that unloved old sofa … I could go on.

However, while you wait, there are small things you can do to cheer up your space, and that don’t require entire weekends spent constructing flat-packs or prowling the DIY store.

Whether it’s a messy desk or a grubby hall, take 10 minutes out to subtly improve them and you’ll feel much better.

Reboot your coffee table  
Much of the art of creating a stylish home is about stopping to consider what you already have and how best to display it.

Try the power of three
Three objects arranged in a small cluster are instantly interpreted by the eye as a carefully edited group display, rather than a random concoction – be they on a mantelpiece or a table.

Space out your shelf display
It may be tempting to stuff your shelves full of books so you utilise every storage centimetre.

Frame your kids’ drawings 31819079_l
If you have a wall that’s looking dull or bare and you have young children, there’s really no need to spend a fortune on limited editions.

Declutter your study
Is your home office a mess of torn envelopes, half-forgotten bills and old supermarket discount vouchers? Take a few minutes out to tidy, clean and polish your desk.

Rearrange your cushions
Few things change the look of a living room so easily as a variety of interesting cushions.

Display a bright tea towel
Tea towels have become the cushions of the kitchen.

Read the full article here

World population living in extreme poverty, 1820-2015

Throughout history the world has faced some difficult times, and it doesn’t appear to be over.

Whilst we have come a long way, there is still an enormous amount of poverty around the world.

This interactive map from nyudri.org allows us to take a look back in time right to the present to see the state of the world’s poverty.

Click here for the full article

Weekend Video: Card Trick So Simple It’s Brilliant


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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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