Property

Google looking to future after 20 years of search

Google celebrated its 20th birthday Monday, marking two decades in which it has grown from simply a better way to explore the internet to a search engine so woven into daily life its name has become a verb.The company was set to mark its 20th anniversary with an event in San Francisco stgoted to the…

A slowly deflating property bubble, for now

By Richard Holden In a week that was fairly light on data releases, let’s return to Australia’s perennial favourite topic – house prices. Painful though it may be for existing property owners who are selling, we are witnessing what a bubble slowly deflating back to reality looks like. Data released Tuesday showed that across Australia’s…

Interest only loans could bust the property market

Australian taxpayers won’t face a rise in taxes now that Treasurer Scott Morrison announced the government will not increase the Medicare Levy by 0.5% as planned. This was to originally fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This is on the back of strong company tax receipts stemming from companies using up carry-forward losses…

The data is mixed but worrying signs from mortgagees

Data released this week in Australia and the United States showed continued strength – or at least a lack of weakness – in consumer spending and unemployment. New car sales in Australia – one measure of consumer sentiment and spending – declined slightly in September from the year before. However, new car sales are still…

How governments have widened the gap between generations in home ownership

Various government policies have fuelled the demand for housing over time, expanding the wealth of older home owners and pushing it further and further beyond the reach of young would-be home buyers. A new study highlights this divide between millennials and their boomer parents. The study is part of a Committee of Economic Development of…

Have we finally reached ‘peak’ house prices?

Richard Holden, UNSW House prices in Sydney and Melbourne are cooling, housing approvals are up, and everyone’s wondering if Australian banks have been lending too much. In 1956, US geophysicist M. King Hubbert predicted that the rate of petroleum production for a given geographic area follows a hump-shaped curve, and that the world would reach…

Regulators fiddle while house prices sizzle

It is ironic that at a time when so many young Australians are finding it so hard to break into the property market, commentators are finding it so hard to break out of discussing it. This week we saw three notable pieces of information. First, the CoreLogic home value index showed further rises in property…

A housing affordability crisis in regional Australia? Yes, and here’s why

The newly released annual Demographia report on housing affordability has found – once again – that Australia has some of the least affordable housing markets in the world. Sydney was ranked as the second-least-affordable housing market behind Hong Kong. This news came just a day after incoming NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that improving housing…

Only the banks know how low rates can go

Richard Holden, UNSW Australia The big, but completely unsurprising, news this week was the Reserve Bank of Australia cutting the cash rate to an historic low 1.50%. As Vital Signs has been saying for some time, this month was a likely candidate for a cut, once second-quarter inflation was confirmed to be disturbingly low –…

What is a garden city, and why is money being spent on building them?

The UK government is investing more than £300m in building the first “proper” garden city in nearly a century, near Kent. To understand what garden cities are, and why they should be invested in, we need to go back a bit – in fact, more than 100 years. At the turn of the 20th century,…