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September 28, 2012

State-by-state property market overview

Where are we in the property cycle and what’s ahead for our real estate markets? That’s one of the most common question I’ve been asked lately.


My many years as a property investor have taught me not to try too hard to read our markets year by year, but instead to take a long term view, allow for cycles and be prepared for uncertainty and surprises.

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September 26, 2012

The perks and pitfalls of cohabitation

Opening your home to lodgers and making a few bucks from those otherwise unutilised rooms can be a great way to improve your personal cash flow. But there are legal, taxation and personal hurdles involved.


When I moved out of home after high school, I spent a few months living with my brother in a house he shared with four of his air force mates. It was a bit of fun while I got myself sorted. Plus, it was cheap.

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September 21, 2012

Six reasons most people will never get rich… and how to make sure you do

I’ve worked with thousands of property investors over the years and during that time I’ve discovered those who are successful do things in a particular way. It helps them get rich.


When you do what most successful investors do, you get to become one of them. If you don’t, you won’t. Let’s look at six simple reasons most people will never get rich and how to make sure you do.

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September 19, 2012

Campbell Newman kicks the property market in the guts while it’s still down

Politics and stupid, ill-timed decisions go together like macaroni and cheese, but occasionally a government makes a move so frustratingly unhelpful you could cry.


I’ve bleated often about the overwhelming feeling that fortunes are starting to turn. After years of inactivity and declines in property markets across the country, it seemed like we might be finally getting our mojo back.

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September 17, 2012

Does bank familiarity breed financial contempt?

Last year the Australian government attempted to up the ante when it came to competition among lenders, abolishing early termination fees to make it easier for borrowers to shop around for a better deal.


Interestingly, a national survey released by Canstar Blue indicates that even without the threat of hefty exit fees, borrowers have failed to heed the call from politicians and industry insiders to change lenders.

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September 14, 2012

The four major risks to the global economy

There seems to be a continuing conveyor belt of economic concerns confronting us on a daily basis. Despite all the problems overseas, Australia’s economy is performing well – in fact, it’s the envy of most developed nations.


There’s no doubt our economic future is linked to what’s happening overseas, so it was interesting to hear Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive of global investment firm PIMCO, list the four major risks facing the global economy.

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September 12, 2012

The hard-partying, knife-wielding neighbour that almost sent me insane

It was nearing five o’clock in the morning and I hadn’t been to sleep. Screeching, indistinguishable death metal poured out across our normally peaceful inner-city suburb. Fed up, I marched up the street and knocked on the door of the offending house, only to be met by a mad man brandishing a knife.


The night I confronted my neighbour, who’d been slowly sending me batty for close to three weeks, was one of the scariest of my adult life. It also served as an important lesson to leave late night visits to party houses to the boys and girls in blue.

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September 7, 2012

Baby boomers, how are you going to retire?

A recent report revealed the Australian superannuation industry lost $18.5 billion of their clients’ money in the last financial year. It’s been a tough year for all types of investments, so let’s look at the returns over the longer term. Unfortunately, they’re not much better.


Apparently the average rate of return from the superannuation industry over the last 15 years (between 1997 and June 2012) was 4.9 per cent per annum, and this came with a volatility of 8.4 per cent.

That’s not a very good result, considering for most of that time you could have invested in government bonds with minimum risk and received a divided five per cent. Even the average return from the All Ordinaries accumulation index for the past 15 years has been seven per cent per annum.

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September 5, 2012

Defect with your new unit? A tough situation could get worse

Those who fork out for a newly built apartment reasonably expect it’ll be free of defects. If there are issues, it’s equally rational to assume they’ll be promptly fixed. Yet that’s rarely the case, and another review of legislation in New South Wales could further erode owners’ rights.


I’m not a naïve guy by nature. It’s not like I spend my time trapped inside a utopian daydream, set to a looped Daryl Braithwaite soundtrack, where people are inherently good and the world is fair. However I expect that ordinary folks have a certain level of legal protection against dodgy behaviour.

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September 4, 2012

Are we about to see a spring in the market’s step?

While it’s been a long and cold winter, there’s a feeling of optimism in the air as spring arrives. Spring is traditionally the major sales period of the year, when the volume of new listings rises sharply. What will happen this year?


The market is patchy at the moment to say the least. Some buyers are taking their time, researching and watching the market cautiously… or just sitting on their hands. Some vendors are holding off listing their properties until activity increases. Overall there’s a subdued sentiment coupled with a lack of urgency.

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