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canny man

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  1. It's certainly started and there's no doubt that Joe Public has cottoned on. I've been in Oz for 4 years and while the press still think that a bullish press release from a VI is a news article, the public have cottoned on. The comments sections under the articles has gone from supportive bull to tell it like it is realism. There is consensus that prices are down everywhere except for a small number of resource sector dominated towns, and that the plus $1m market is down by more than the average. Gold and Sunshine Coast markets were recently described by a VI as 'carnage,' 50% drops are not unusual.
  2. I've been in Oz since 08 and for most of the period it was like the UK in pre-peak mode. The press, the comments in articles the chat with people you meet. The sentiment seemed to shift 6 months ago. It is now generally accepted that 'hotspots' like the Sunshine and Gold Coasts have lost 25-50% of their peak values. This was reported in a number of newspapers at the weekend. It is well known that nominal prices have dropped in the big cities. Real prices are less discussed, but with inflation running at 4% please they are starting to get decent. When I happily report that we are renting and will hold off buying, the general response is now 'smart move' not 'you are crazy' The comments below any on-line property news article are now predominantly negative and bubble oriented. It is common knowledge that outside of mining, the regular Oz family is doing it tough and cutting back on expenditure. Yes, the crash is on, but is still in the phony war stage where vendors expect pre-peak prices and buyers refuse to meet them,.
  3. They might be advised to hold on. Oz prices are down in nominal and real terms (in aud at least) http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/breaking-news/housing-prices-fall-in-year-to-may/story-e6freonf-1226084988123 Down almost 6% in Brisbane and 7.9% in Perth The pace of falls is accelerating and the general public has at long last got it that the ponzi is over. Big falls to come across the board.
  4. An excellent article in today's Fin Rev Uncertainty moves in as rich ditch houses Australia’s wealthiest investors have lost interest in residential property, sparking a sell-down that could keep property markets weak for years. http://afr.com/p/business/property/uncertainty_moves_in_as_rich_ditch_dVVNJwSMDchIM0cfn0aMRP Unfortunately you have to be a subscriber to read the article, but the gist of it is Property keen boomers are seeking more liquid assets as they move toward retirement - especially after predictions that the property market could be weak for years making investment properties slow to sell Surveyed wealthy individuals are deleveraging - mostly by diluting property exposure. Down from 25% allocation to property in 2009 to 21% now - with a desire to get to 17%
  5. Looks like the penny is starting to drop with respect to landlord's pricing power. Rents lagging behind interest rates HARD times lie ahead for landlords as rent returns take a hit, writes Anthony Keane. Property investors are in line for more cash flow pain this year as improving rental incomes fail to keep up with rising interest rates. Last year's string of Reserve Bank rate increases and the controversial extra rate rises by the major banks lifted repayment costs on variable rate investment loans by 18 per cent, well above the growth in average rents. A typical $300,000 interest-only investment loan that cost $381 a week to service in February 2010 now costs $450 a week, while payments on a $400,000 loan have jumped from $508 to $600 a week. New research by RP Data shows Australia's median weekly rent rose 2.9 per cent last year to $350 a week, while capital city rents rose 4.2 per cent to $375. In Brisbane, house rents rose 1.4 per cent to $365 a week while units were flat at $350. "For the coming year, we expect rental markets to tighten further and rental growth during 2011 will likely eclipse that of 2010," RP Data analyst Cameron Kusher says. CommSec chief economist Craig James also expects rents to rise this year, by 3-5 per cent. "Rents will probably rise slightly ahead of the rate of inflation due to tight vacancy rates prevailing in most capital cities," he says. However, most economists are also tipping interest rates to rise further this year, starting in about May or June. "We think investors should be working on the assumption that rates will be higher at the end of the year," James says. "In the second half of the year, we expect that Queensland rebuilding work will be fully under way. The domestic job market will be tightening, consumers will be starting to spend again while the global economy will be motoring. "So the cash rate may be closer to 5.5 per cent at year end rather than the current rate of 4.75 per cent." A rate increase of 0.75 percentage points not taking into account any further separate rises the banks may impose would add $43 a week to the cost of a $300,000 interest-only loan, and $58 a week to a $400,000 loan. Rising rates reduce the lure of real estate investing, particularly at a time when growth in property values has stalled. Investors can get a negative-gearing tax deduction when their interest and other costs exceed their rental income, but they do not get 100 per cent of their money back, more like 15-45 per cent, depending on their marginal tax rate. And passing the higher costs on to tenants may be a bad idea, CommSec's James warns. "Landlords need to weigh up the advantages gained by modest rent increases and thus retaining good tenants, against larger rent hikes, potentially losing tenants and therefore having the property vacant for a period of time," he says. RP Data's research found rental growth in capital cities and nationally in 2010 was below their average annual growth of the past five years of 7.6 per cent and 7 per cent. "During the past five years, growth in weekly rents for units has outpaced growth for houses," Kusher says. "This result reflects changing lifestyle patterns and the fact that property value growth for units has been superior to that of detached houses during the last five years." http://www.couriermail.com.au/money/rents-lagging-behind-interest-rates/story-e6freqoo-1226001937710
  6. Oh Dear Gold Coast not travelling too well. Mansions glut on glitzy Gold Coast island LOOKING for a luxury mansion with waterfront views on the Gold Coast's exclusive Sovereign Islands? You don't have to look too far if you want to live like a king or queen. More than a quarter of the properties on the exclusive island are currently listed for sale with realestate.com.au figures revealing 193 individual properties - homes and land - currently on the market. http://www.couriermail.com.au/property/mansions-glut-on-glitzy-gold-coast-island/story-e6frequ6-1225945367545 Queensland property dream built on shifting sands The latest Midwood Report on property trends and prices shows that average sales volumes of houses on the Gold Coast declined 25 per cent in the September quarter compared with the June half year. Prices, however, rose by more than 8 per cent in the same period. Bill Morris, the principal of the Midwood Report says: "The Gold Cost market is severely down in sales volume in the November quarter". The volume of unit sales in the second half of last year was about 2500, half its long-term average. "It is due to a lack of credit generally and is not just a problem facing the Gold Coast," Mr Morris said. Gold Coast property is not travelling well. "There are questionable fundamentals that surround the Coast and questionable financial practices and questionable valuation practices," one property company director said. "The real question is, however, how did these developers get the money in the first place and get into trouble?" The global financial crisis, a string of major property financing company collapses and over-zealous promotions – particularly the spruiking of units to overseas buyers – has left the Coast reeling. Parts of the Ray Group were this week placed in receivership, joining a long list of developers and property financiers that have hit the wall over the past two years. City Pacific, MFS (later Octaviar), Resort Corp and Raptis are a few of those that no longer exist. Raptis went down owing almost $1 billion to creditors. Octaviar collapsed owing $1.8 billion. For Resort Corp the figure was about $300 million. In the case of City Pacific, $900 million in investors' savings was frozen at the time of the collapse. http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/queensland-property-dream-built-on-shifting-sands/story-e6freqmx-1225837502813
  7. Eerily like the UK in 2007 when the headlines were screaming about un-affordability. This at a time when the Reserve Bank is signalling loud and clear that a rate rise is on its way and Brisbane auction clearance rates are just over 20% Homebuyers struggle as study shows Queensland properties unaffordable NEARLY two-thirds of Queensland families would not be able to afford a median-priced home, a new housing industry study shows. The Urban Development Institute of Australia said Queensland was classed as substantially unaffordable and another small interest rate hike could close the door on another 20,000 homebuyers. The UDIA study said the current $434,000 median house price would need to fall to about $350,000 to be affordable to 50 per cent of Queensland families if they were entering the market for the first time. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/homebuyers-struggle-as-study-shows-queensland-properties-unaffordable/story-e6freon6-1225928071925
  8. You just cant keep a good man down: Failed property tycoon flees to tourist haven Oct 18 2009 Stephen Stewart, Sunday Mail A BUST property tycoon who left 20 unfinished sites in Scotland is now an investment guru for millionaires in Bermuda. Lawyer Chris Buchan, 44, lost every penny when his £250million Edinburgh-based firm, Heritor's, was put into administration. Now he's dishing out financial advice to wealthy clients at a prestigious law firm in the Atlantic tourist haven. Buchan joined Bermuda law firm Wakefield Quin in April as a specialist in investment funds after Heritor's collapsed. He said: "I went bankrupt over this - my entire personal wealth was invested. "We were having troubles along with the rest of the Scottish property market. "We were affected by events that were unforeseen and very dramatic. Our main investors - the banks - went bankrupt. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2009/10/18/failed-property-tycoon-flees-to-tourist-haven-78057-21756102/
  9. Spot on. This dates from 2003 and was merely the start of the press support Buchan got: http://living.scotsman.com/features/Mister-portfolio.2409937.jp Mister Portfolio Published Date: 13 March 2003 By Frank O’Donnell Walking into the New Town basement flat in the wake of an eager estate agent, his eyes scan the hallway for the smallest of details. Buchan, though he would profess otherwise, is the talk of the New Town. His presence on the Edinburgh property market has created a feeding frenzy among estate agents, solicitors, homeowners and prospective buyers even when, as in this case, he doesn’t always buy the properties he views. But then, the New Town chattering classes love a good tale - and what better than an ex-pat lawyer who has returned to his roots within the last year with the aim of buying up scores of homes in Edinburgh’s most exclusive area, and arguably the most expensive property market in Scotland? The truth about Chris Buchan is, however, hard to pin down. Listen to the excitable gossipings of a Great King Street resident, particularly one about to sell their flat, and they would have you believe that Buchan arrives on doorsteps brandishing a large suitcase full of money. He buys only in the New Town and then, only ground, first and second floor flats in excellent order, the story goes. If he likes your place he pays top dollar. The flats are then rented out as a long-term investment. Buchan recently secured a three-bedroomed flat in South East Circus Place for £600,000, even though the offers over price was around £450,000. Late last year he paid £400,000 for a three-bedroomed flat in Dundas Street. He is understood to have bought several other properties, all in the New Town, in the short time since he returned from Hong Kong where he was a partner in law firm Baker & McKenzie. Money from the former colony is believed to make up part of Buchan’s property purse. "People are hearing the prices that are happening and they can’t believe it," says one resident who recently sold her New Town property. "It’s causing panic because everyone is desperate for him to view their flat." The idea of an investor buying several properties in a single area is nothing new, but it is the size of Buchan’s war-chest that has caused local residents to splutter into their G&Ts. Buchan, originally from Alloa, is overseeing a property fund with a staggering £50 million to invest. Taking an average price of £500,000, this could buy the fund up to 100 properties over the next few years, a sizeable chunk of prestigious real estate. Some experts believe this could lead to a massive leap in prices for New Town properties, already among the highest in the UK. Others believe it could radically change the character of the area, built between 1776 and 1840, leading to a reduced number of owner-occupiers and a rise in renting. A fund source says: "Chris Buchan has come back to Edinburgh from Hong Kong to set up a property fund, which is basically a group of investors looking at a long-term return. They have been buying a number of units already. The fund has in the region of £50 million to put in the market over the next few years. As an asset class they reckon residential is the place to be. "They are looking solely at the New Town because they believe it is the only place to buy. They feel they will get good capital growth there and it is easier to rent there. They might look at other areas to put their money in the market, but primarily it is New Town stuff they are interested in." The concept of investment in the New Town from the Far East is not a new one. After Hong Kong was handed back to the Chinese in 1997, a number of ex-pats, their pockets bulging with the money they’d made in the Far Eastern money markets, bought into New Town property, hoping to provide a safe investment for the future and a possible place for retiral. A number of wealthy Chinese have also been buying properties in the New Town as far back as the 1980s, encouraged by Scots property agents who set about specifically targeting the region. A recent survey by Braemore Property Management found that the proportion of Edinburgh landlords who live abroad soared from 15 per cent in 2000 to 36 per cent in 2002. But whereas the majority of these were one-off, individual purchases, Buchan has entered the game at a higher level. The requirements of his fund are very specific. Not only is he focusing on the New Town but insiders say he is indeed avoiding basement and top floor flats. The fund source continues: "Chris Buchan is interested in the best. It’s not the case that if it has a blue door or an odd number he won’t go for it. It’s a case of putting our money in the market in the best possible way. "He might go for a basement, if he saw a particularly nice garden flat he would go for that. The bottom line is he is investing and he wants to buy the best because these will be sold ten years down the line."
  10. At one point Heritors boasted of a portfolio 'worth' $750m. A lot of the initial funding came out of Hong Kong, but then the Edinburgh bankers got on the bandwagon and the money flooded in. They were the market for a while - driving prices to ridiculous levels until the inevitable collapse.
  11. Ooer....lots of supply, and lot a not of demand http://www.couriermail.com.au/property/flood-of-house-listings-in-queensland-mean-a-buyers-market/story-e6frequ6-1225905044210 Flood of house listings in Queensland mean a buyer's market THE number of residential properties on the market is continuing to rise, with analysts warning some sellers will find it tough to achieve their asking price with so many homes to choose from. The latest figures reveal that every region in Queensland has more property on the market than it did this time last year. Instead of the expected winter slow down, the figures continued to rise over the past month, says SQM Research. There were 27,475 properties being offered for sale in the Brisbane region alone, up from 25,265 properties last month and 17,773 properties this time last year. The Sunshine Coast in July saw 11,333 properties on the market, a leap of 832 on the previous month and more than 3800 on that time last year. The Gold Coast picture was similar, with 12,117 properties listed, a rise of 1000 from June to July and a jump of 4834 on July 2009. Many regional areas of the state have experienced a surge in properties being offered for sale in the past year, with north Queensland listings jumping 196 per cent over the year, central coast 76 per cent and the far north coast 65 per cent. SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher says the figures show that the market is continuing to soften. He said it would normally be expected that, during the traditional winter slowdown from June to July, numbers would remain flat or drop slightly but in all regions of Queensland they had increased. "Vendors have been – more often than not – failing to get the price they're after," he said. "The old stock hanging on the market is competing with new stock coming on, resulting in an increase in overall supply." Mr Christopher said the slowdown in the state's property market was caused by a few factors, including increased interest rates at the end of last year and the start of this year.
  12. Worm seems to be turning a bit Housing market 'continues to deteriorate' HOUSING finance commitments for owner-occupied housing fell 3.9 per cent in June, almost twice the market forecast of 2 per cent. AMP Capital Investors chief economist Shane Oliver said the fall pointed to an ongoing deterioration of the housing sector. "It's basically telling us the housing recovery that we've seen over the last 18 months has come to an end," he said. "Going forward we can't rely on housing construction to continue pushing the economy ahead, we're going to be more reliant on the consumer and particularly business investment. "A weakness in housing finance will also continue the weakness we're starting to see in house prices, which was only evident towards the end of June. "It's another reason for the Reserve Bank to leave rates on hold," Dr Oliver said. . CommSec economist Craig James said the figures, which were now at nine year lows, were "a bit of a concern". "They show continued weakness in the housing market," Mr James said. "In the last couple of months, investors had served to prop up the overall market but that wasn't the case this time around. "It must be starting to come as a concern for the authorities." He said Australia was now seeing "the loss of momentum" in the housing market, with housing finance commitments at nine year lows. "Certainly, the rate hikes that have been applied late last year and early last year are continuing to bite." Weakness in retail spending,the housing market and manufacturing services and construction, were now revealing an economy that has "lost its way to some extent," he said. Australia was still paying for the government stimulus which kicked in late last year, he said. "It brought forward a lot of activity, but unfortunately in 2010 the market just dried up." Mr James said the poor construction finance figures would signal concerns about a lack of demand for projects in the second half of the year. http://www.couriermail.com.au/property/housing-market-continues-to-deteriorate/story-e6frequ6-1225902998180
  13. Oz gets more bearish by the day. Very interesting article in today's Sydeny Morning Herald Bubble Burst Fears Rise For the first time this year, most investors surveyed are expecting house prices to remain flat or fall. SENTIMENT among Australian property investors is turning increasingly bearish, according to the latest Investor Pulse poll of investors conducted by Colmar Brunton and BusinessDay. For the first time this year, the number of investors expecting house prices to remain flat or fall outweighs those who see prices rising. The fundamental reason for the shift in sentiment is a dawning belief that Australian housing is in a ''bubble'' that at some point will burst and return to historic levels of affordability When asked about recent comments by famed US fund manager and property bubble expert Jeremy Grantham - who described Australian and British property as the only two of 34 bubbles he had studied that had not yet burst - 43 per cent of investors agreed that reversion to the mean would involve considerable pain. Only 25 per cent of investors disagreed with the bubble diagnosis and 32 per cent were undecided http://www.smh.com.au/business/bubbleburst-fears-rise-20100714-10b6n.html?comments=21#comments
  14. Consumers may be confident, but: INVESTORS are the only source of growth in the housing market, and rising stocks of unsold houses suggest the price outlook is souring. The level of demand for housing by owner-occupiers remains weak, with the number of new mortgages taken out in May dropping by 0.7 per cent and now 26.9 per cent below the peak reached last September. The end of the stimulus boost to the first-home buyers grant accounted for much of this fall. With fewer first-home buyers in the market, fewer people were able to upgrade their homes. Investors are filling some of the gap, lifting their borrowing by 2.6 per cent in May and by 11.7 per cent since last September, but they are a relatively small section of the market. Mortgages for people buying new houses fell by 0.2 per cent in the month and are now down by 20 per cent over the past six months. Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar. Related Coverage Housing bubble deflates The Australian, 7 days ago Housing loans in decline Perth Now, 12 Apr 2010 Housing finance falls 8pc in January Adelaide Now, 10 Mar 2010 First-home buyers set record Adelaide Now, 17 Feb 2010 Housing hit by rate rises The Australian, 5 Jan 2010 End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar. While monthly figures for new mortgages are the best measure of demand in the housing market, a new series showing the number of houses on the market, compiled by property group SQM Research, shows the supply has risen sharply over the last two months in all capitals. It shows that, nationwide, there were 307,500 houses on the market in June, up from just 211,500 in April and 216,000 in June last year. "It is worrying for listings to increase so rapidly during the winter period when you normally expect a quiet period," the firm's research director, Louis Christopher, said. "It suggests that something more than just the cyclical changes in the market is going on. It is consistent with other indicators, such as auction clearance rates, which are getting worse." Auction clearance rates were sharply down last weekend. The housing finance figures show that the biggest falls in loans to owner-occupiers have been in Western Australia, while there have been modest declines over the last three months in Victoria and Queensland, and modest growth elsewhere. The rise in housing stock has been most acute in Melbourne and Brisbane. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/markets/sour-outlook-for-house-prices/story-e6frg926-1225890945209
  15. Now this is the sort of headline you don't often see in the Oz press: House prices 'out of whack, set for slump' From today's Courier Mail http://www.couriermail.com.au/money/house-prices-out-of-whack-set-for-slump/story-e6freqoo-1225872499475 Naturally, the text contains a rebuttal from a 'property expert.'
  16. Not looking particularly bullish in Brisbane Interest rises kick the stuffing out of auction clearance rates By Lauren Wilson May 24, 2010 6:38AM 25 \ Handbrake pulled on surging market Housing boom cools after rate rises THE handbrake has been pulled on the surging property market, with auction clearance rates slumping in some capital cities by up to 14 per cent at the weekend. The housing boom, which saw strong auction clearance rates throughout March and last month, has cooled significantly after six interest rate rises since October and a worsening European financial crisis. In Brisbane, only $6.5 million of property sold at auction over the weekend, about half of the $12.8m auctioned the previous weekend. The city's 21.7 per cent clearance rate was 14 percentage points lower this week. http://www.couriermail.com.au/property/interest-rises-kick-the-stuffing-out-of-auction-clearance-rates/comments-e6frequ6-1225870347816 Some interesting comments as well
  17. The feeling of deja vu is strong in Brisbane for someone who left the UK in 2008. Lots of for sale signs appear, stories of shortages in press. Lower and lower volumes, but rising average price More and more 'for sale' properties offered for rental as they remain unsold The word 'bubble' becoming more common in mainstream press - mostly preceeded by 'there is.....'
  18. Some interesting articles appearing today. Mortgage stress hits hundreds of tenants HUNDREDS of renters are being booted out of homes as landlords default on loans. Banks have been accused of breaking eviction laws by forcing some tenants out too soon. Some renters are getting just a fortnight's notice to shift and find a new roof over their heads - less than half the legal time limit. Tenants Union of Victoria spokesman Toby Archer said renters were the forgotten victims of mortgage stress and rising interest rates. "They are caught in the crossfire when a landlord defaults either because they've lost their job or entered the property market and taken too much on," Mr Archer said. http://www.couriermail.com.au/money/mortgage-stress-hits-hundreds-of-tenants/story-e6freqoo-1225865767971 Demand for mortgages continues to slump Smallest amount of loans granted in 9 years First home buyers dry up Experts say rate hikes taking their toll DEMAND for home loans dropped for a sixth straight month in March, suggesting rising interest rates were already biting prior to the last two rate increases. Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed that just 48,260 home loans were granted in March, a 3.4 per cent decline from February. This was the smallest amount of home loans granted in one month in nine years, and was roughly in line with the 3 per cent decline forecast by economists. The proportion of first home buyers taking up a loan dropped to 16.1 per cent in March, the smaller amount since April 2008. This was down from 18.1 per cent in February and a record 28.5 per cent set in May last year when the Federal Government's more generous first home owners grant was in full swing. The Reserve Bank has raised the official cash rate twice since March to 4.5 per cent - a total of six increases since October last year - and money markets are expecting further hikes to at least 5 per cent before the end of the year. http://www.couriermail.com.au/money/demand-for-mortgages-continues-to-slump/story-e6freqoo-1225865470317 Interesting to speculate whether the slump in loans is supply driven - banks aren't lending, or demand driven - buyers are going on strike
  19. It may just be a coincidence, but sincelast week I have been locked out of my UK bank account (Halifax) while trying to access from OZ. Been on the phone every day and getting the right run around, 'it's a security thing' it's a technical glitch, it'll be sorted tomorrow. Yesterday I was informed that I won't be able to do anything with the account for 14 days due to an unspecified technical problem. On its own, nothing to report, but then I find that my brother in NZ who banks with a different bank started having problems last week and is locked out as well. Then I hear that other brit friends in OZ that are trying to transfer a large sum before the GBP collapses have suddenly been locked out .... Coincidence maybe. But 3 different people, banking with 3 different banks (all state owned), having the same problem at the same time. I can't see how such small amounts make a difference vs the forex markets, but it seems like they are doing anything to prevent a run on the pound.... Anyone else?
  20. They know it was a bubble but didn't want less well informed people to know. 'As top Federal Reserve officials debated whether there was a housing bubble and what to do about it, then-Chairman Alan Greenspan argued that the dissent should be kept secret so that the Fed wouldn't lose control of the debate to people less well-informed than themselves' http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/03/greenspan-wanted-housing_n_560965.html
  21. Some more conradictory reporting. Today's Sydney Morning Herald Article 1 Home-ownership dream dims for gen Y More young Australians see themselves as lifelong renters as the dream of home ownership fades, a new survey has found. The prospect of onerous debt has soured the hopes of more than half of generation Y members surveyed in a poll of new home buyers and perspective purchasers this month. Data released by the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia and Commonwealth Bank-owned Bankwest show that the number is more than 10 percentage points higher than those in a similar survey carried out in November. Respondents who said they were worried about debt rose to 52.8 per cent from 39.9 per cent over that period, the data show. “We have never seen such pessimism amongst prospective first-time buyers throughout the past five indexes,” Vittoria Shortt, chief executive of Bankwest Retail said. “Seventy per cent of respondents were very concerned about the level of debt they will be committed to if they buy a property.” One in three generation Y respondents, those born between about 1980 and the early 1990s, said they expect to be permanently locked out of the housing market. Young Australians' fading home ownership hopes come amid a 12.7 per cent increase in home prices in the year to February, which has taken the national median home price to $455,000, according to RP Data/Rismark. The average income-to-loan size ratio today is almost six times, compared with 3.5 times in 1998 on Fujitsu Consulting calculations, as home-price rises outstrip gains in income. Young would-be buyers appear to be giving up on hopes of scratching together a deposit for a home loan, as well. “Of those delaying home purchases, fewer are asking families to help fund a home loan deposit,” said MFAA chief Phil Naylor, noting that the figure had dropped from 20.4 per cent in November to 14.7 per cent in April. Link http://www.smh.com.au/business/property/homeownership-dream-dims-for-gen-y-20100421-ssdp.html Article 2 First-home buyers set to join the fray again THE real estate surge that began on Sydney's fringe with first-home buyer acquisitions in 2008 and last year has waned, but BIS Shrapnel expects the first-timer numbers will start to recover in the second half of this year Link http://www.smh.com.au/business/property/firsthome-buyers-set-to-join-the-fray-again-20100420-srr1.html Article 1 sounds more like a replay of what happened in the UK in the last days of the boom. Article 2 could have come straight from the Daily Express at the same time.
  22. I like the big machines too. Escondida in Chile is also very impressive if you ever get a chance. Mighty big hole at serious altitude as well. No glacier though, it's a touch dry up there.
  23. You can do that and more as a teacher. Even better if you have a relevant trade or engineering degree an are prepared to work on a mine. A tyre fitter gets $115-$120k and works 8 on (flights accom and food all provided) 6 off, or a variety of other rosters. Unfortunately, this has the effect of sucking people out of non mining jobs, leading to shortages of people for work in other sectors (including teaching).
  24. It all comes down to whether you prefer the familiar or relish change. Stick with the bacon butties at the car boot sale, or find the equivalent somewhere else (right now it's the early morning breakfasts at one of the Brisbane farmers markets), love the smell of a fresh mowed lawn, or experience the scents and clear air after a tropical downpour.
  25. I have just bought a car in Queensland - I had to pay Compulsory Third Party insurance at the same time as Rego. Cost me $340 - Brisbane has a typical city's population density
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