Weekend Reads – Must see 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.

Monday will be here before you know it, so enjoy some weekend reading…and please forward to your friends by clicking the social link buttons.

Election 2016: Real estate industry unleashes campaign against Labor’s negative gearing policy

The race is on!

It seems that no time has been wasted ahead of the July election, everyone has their opinion and the real estate market is no exception.

An article published on ABC News has revealed the real estate industry’s campaign against labor’s negative gearing policy.

The Federal Opposition insists it is not concerned about the real estate industry’s threat to unleash a campaign against Labor’s negative gearing policy.13844871_l

More than 20 real estate chains and industry groups have met in Sydney to plan their attack against Labor’s policy on negative gearing, which curbs tax breaks for some property investors.

Labor has defended its policy, saying it will help first- home buyers, and has questioned the motives of the real estate industry.

LJ Hooker CEO Grant Harrod, the co-ordinator of the campaign, said it was the first time the industry had ever come together as one.

“Really our focus is about educating first of all our respective agents and officers and in turn empowering them to educate their customers about what are the likely effects that will occur if there was a change to the current negative gearing legislation,” Mr Harrod said.

The group has produced pamphlets to be distributed during the election campaign that warn property prices will fall, rents will go up, unemployment will rise and the whol
e economy will be jeopardised.

Find the full article here

Why investing in property doesn’t make sense + Agent to the stars tells all + How to check a sellers motivation

Another great Real Estate Talk show produced by Kevin Turner.

Michael Yardney says most new property investors are going to fail over the next couple of years.   


Michael Pascoe finance and economics commentator tells us why, in his opinion, investing in property doesn’t add up. 

Patrick Bright explains that a person’s motivation to sell is rarely just about financial reasons according to buyers agent.

Josh Altman star of the hit American TV show ‘Million Dollar Listing LA’ shares some interesting stories.

Brad Beer from BMT Tax Depreciation explains how you can get the maximum deductions available from your investment properties.

Bernard Hickey from Hive News New Zealand has a waning for Australian investors looking to cash in on the hot market there.

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

Melbourne & Sydney vacancies down over year

The 2 cities that share the most rivalry also appear to leads the pack in vacancy declines as observed in this blog by Pete Wargent.

More interesting trends reported today by SQM Research for the month of April 2016. sydney-melbourne

Over the past year Melbourne’s reported vacancy rate declined from 2.2 per cent to 2.1 per cent, while in Sydney the reported vacancy rate has fallen from from 1.8 per cent to 1.7 per cent.

At the other end of the spectrum, Perth reached a new cyclical high of 4.6 per cent suggesting that the bottom for the Western Australian capital may not yet be in, although lower interest rates may well help to support prices.

In Perth both median house (-8.4 per cent) and unit (-9,3 per cent) asking rents have declined over the past year, although actual dwelling price declines have been modest.

Asking rents are also down for Darwin houses (-8.4 per cent) and units (-12.5 per cent).

On the other hand median asking unit rents increased year-on-year or both Sydney (+5 per cent) and Melbourne (+4.1 per cent), while in Brisbane the increase was more modest (+1.3 per cent).


Since month to month vacancy rates can move around a bit, I’ve smoothed the data below on a 4mMA basis (arguably I should also be applying a seasonal factor, but I haven’t so…shucks).

Read the full article here

Foreign Borrowers Buying Fake Bank Statements To Purchase Australian Property

The new foreign investor policy has consumed media headlines, and it’s not slowing down.

According to an article in Your Investment Property Magazine there have been reports of fraud when it comes to  mortgage application.

More light has been shed on the reasons behind the recent crackdown on foreign borrowers by Australian lenders, with reports of the buying and selling of fraudulent documents for the use in mortgage applications.

A report in the Australian Financial Review has claimed that foreign borrowers are purchasing fraudulent bank income and spending statements for as little as $200.

According to the AFR, recent instances of fraud include a “ludicrously obviously” fake loan application from Chinese investors hoping to borrow $960,000 to purchase an apartment in Sydney. 27938026_l

The revelation of the black market documents seemingly justifies the recent decisions from a range of Australian lenders to restrict their lending to foreign borrowers or people relying on foreign income or currency.

Major lenders ANZ and Westpac, among those who have pulled back their foreign lending, have also announced they are investigating mortgages they have written that were likely backed by fraudulent foreign-income documentation.

While the issue of mortgage fraud by foreign borrowers had been in the headlines already, Ken Sayer, chief executive of non-bank Mortgage House, told the AFR the latest developments likely mean the issue is more widespread than many first thought.

Click here for the full article

Google Translate now lets users turn Chinese characters into English at the pointing of a cameraphone

Technology has become like our right hand in all of our daily tasks.

It knows out schedule, it stores our memories, it even gets us from A to B without us having to stress about looking at a map.

Now the power of google will help ensure that we avoid all faux pas with it’s new translator application, as reported in an article on news.com.au .

GOOGLE has recruited artificial intelligence to translate languages faster but admits instant, conversational translations are still a long way off.

The company showcased its newest translation technology at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California, today in the lead up to its annual developers’ conference, adding visual

Chinese translations and ways to translate text messages in moments. 35831776_l

Google Translate engineer and Word Lens creator Otavio Good said the company introduced “machine learning” to speed up translations, and users could now transform Chinese characters into English simply by pointing a phone camera at them.

“The thing that made this possible is state-of-the-art machine-learning algorithms,” he said.

“It’s something called a convolutional neural network and it’s really good at recognising images. Google has had a big push lately on machine learning.”

Google’s Translate can now decipher both traditional and simplified Chinese, Mr Good said, and can transform words on a road sign, for example, to make them appear in English rather than Chinese when you look at them through a phone’s camera.

Click here for the full article

Weekend video: 8 Optical Illusions to Freak Out Your Brain


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