Stop the boats!

Building homes is restricted mainly by planning red (and green) tape, high taxation, government munificence, and not being able to easily build what the market wants and/or can afford. Now that is off my chest – hopefully for the last time for a while – let me outline why stopping overseas migration isn’t really a…

Australia will have 400,000 new millionaires by 2028

Key takeaways

Australia’s average wealth-per-adult increased by nearly 10% in 2023, more than twice the growth-rate of UBS’ sample of 56 countries.

Australia ranked second in terms of median wealth behind Luxembourg, and fifth in terms of average wealth in 2023.

Wealth inequality has worsened between 2008 and 2023, with the gap between the haves and have-nots increasing 5.4% in that time.

Australian currently has fewer than 2 million millionaires, but it expects to see an increase of 21% – or 400,000 – by 2028.

There will be a 21 per cent jump in the number of millionaires in Australia over the next four years, mirroring a trend in developed and developing nations, according to the latest UBS Global Wealth Report.

The number of adults worth $US1 million ($1.48 million) or more is expected to grow in 52 out of 56 countries surveyed between 2023 and 2028.

The report says the number of Australian millionaires will grow from just under 2 million today to about 2.3 million in four years.

This forecast increase is being driven by soaring property prices, inherited wealth and substantial superannuation balances.

Global Wealth

Average wealth in Australian has grown 150% between 2008 and 2023, to US$546,184 (AU$807,898) and median growth isn’t far behind, up 110%  to  US$261,805  (AU$387,254).

Median wealth estimates are regarded as a more precise measure than the average because it is not so easily distorted by the few ultra-rich people.

Andrew McAuley, managing director at UBS Wealth Management Australia said:
“This growing wealth, and the wealth transfers now occurring as the baby boomer generation ages, reinforces the need for investors to build a long term wealth plan and to get the correct advice.”

The rate of growth in wealth is slowing.

In 2023, Australia’s average wealth-per-adult increased by nearly 10%, but median wealth only increased about half as much. which suggests wealth in the lower brackets rose slower than those in higher ones.

That made us the second-wealthiest in the world, with a median wealth of $388,192, behind the $551,967 of adults in Luxembourg.

Australia is currently home to 1.9 million US-dollar millionaires, with a collective $US5.4 trillion ($8 trillion).

Screenshot 2024 07 13 At 5.27.54 pm

The great Wealth Transfer

Australia, along with the rest of the world, is on the cusp of the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history.

Termed as the “great wealth transfer,” we’re looking at an eye-watering US$68 trillion (A$100.2 trillion) moving hands globally over the next 20-30 years.

This shift, predominantly from the baby boomer generation, is not just significant in its magnitude but also in its potential economic and social impacts.

Australian baby boomers are set to transfer $4.9 trillion in wealth to the next generation, in the largest wealth transfer in history.

About Michael Yardney
Michael is the founder 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 one of Australia’s 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media.
What does success look like?

What does success look like?

It’s fair to say that we’re living in some interesting times.

People are launching lucrative careers through video platforms, such as YouTube, and making money from the number of social media followers they have.

Good luck to those who are doing it, of course, but in this celebrity-driven era it’s also important not to lose sight of what success really means.

Instant success is easier to achieve than long-lasting success, and the last thing you want is to be a flash-in-the-pan success story.

When I teach people the fundamentals of achieving success, it’s always based on a long-term vision.

Success that doesn’t last isn’t really a success.

So I thought I would take some time today to discuss what success looks like.

LET’S START WITH WHAT IT’S NOT…

Success is not about showing off.

While financial freedom is a big part of success, the truly well-off don’t flaunt it.

Having a lot of money is a reflection of how hard you’ve worked and you should be proud of it, but using it to show off with displays of wealth is just tacky.

Success is not about buying more things.

Once you start to achieve financial freedom, it’s tempting to go and buy more things.

My advice is always to be very careful about what you spend money on.

Pick a few luxuries that you will enjoy and spend your money on those.  Then save the rest.

Success is not about keeping up with others.

One of the main barriers to financial freedom is our human tendency to want to “keep up with the Joneses”.

We start earning more money, so we move into a higher “wealth echelon” with nicer cars and appliances.

But keeping up with wealthy friends is expensive, and many people don’t stop to ask themselves if they even need a new car every other year.

They’re just doing it because everyone else is and this gets expensive.

Success is not about winning.

If you’re striving for something just to prove a point to someone else, then you’re not really chasing your own success story.

Forget about equating success with beating the opposition; it’s about your own measure of achievement.

So what is success?

Top 6 things that make property valuable

Key takeaways

Property taps into some of our strongest needs and desires, and as with any asset, when demand outstrips supply, prices go up. There are a number of key factors that will always play a part in the value of property, in the most buoyant or subdued of markets.

The new Coronavirus normal world is based on the ability to work, live and play all within 20 minutes reach. This makes properties in aspirational lifestyle locations or in gentrifying suburbs more in demand and more valuable moving forward.

Increased investor demand for properties in prime locations is part of what has been helping to drive prices in many locations around Australia. And with interest rates being at historic lows, more investors are turning their minds to property.

Value… it’s such a tricky concept to unpack and define.

We all know that gold, diamonds, oil and even saffron are high-value commodities thanks to their scarcity, desirability, or the fact that we need them to go about our lives.

Value

It’s the delicate balance between supply and demand that drives up the value of these goods – the illegal drug market is the perfect example of how a highly-coveted, yet hard-to-come-by item can become inflated several times over its original worth because if people want it badly enough, they’ll pay the price.

But what makes real estate so valuable?

We live in a country with vast expanses of space, yet we cling to the major coastal cities for dear life and treat the inner-ring suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane like hallowed turf that we can only hope to be worthy of residing on.

Property taps into some of our strongest needs and desires – security, safety, prestige, status, a sense of success, and something to leave behind for our children.

We all need somewhere to live, or somewhere to operate a business, and as with any asset, when demand outstrips supply, prices go up – as we’ve clearly seen over the past few months.

Having said this, there are a number of key factors that will always play a part in the value of property, in the most buoyant or subdued of markets.

So let’s take a look at why some properties are more valuable than others…

1. Where we want to live

Prior to Covid Australia’s population grew by around 1.4 per cent a year – we were adding the equivalent of one new Darwin every 20 weeks or a new Tasmania has to be squeezed in somewhere every 18 months.

Sure population growth has stopped at present, but once the borders reopen and the government allows immigrants back into the country to help bolster our economy, it’s likely that her population growth is going to surge once again.

Location

And it is likely that the bulk of the new immigrants will come where the jobs are – to Melbourne Sydney and Brisbane making property more valuable there.

But there’s another significant trend that will make some properties much more valuable than others.

The fact is that in the new Coronavirus normal world the ability to work, live and play all within 20 minutes reach is the new gold standard desirable lifestyle.

People love the thought that most of the things needed for a good life are within a 20-minute public transport trip, bike ride or walk from home.

Things such as shopping, business services, education, community facilities, recreational and sporting resources, and some jobs.

Many inner suburbs of Australia’s capital cities and parts of their middle suburbs already meet a 20-minute neighbourhood test.

However, very few of the outer suburbs would do so.

So properties in aspirational lifestyle locations or in gentrifying suburbs will be more in demand and more valuable moving forward.

The insider’s guide to real estate lingo

Today’s online real estate listings are much more sophisticated than in years gone by.

There are plenty of pretty pictures, floor plans and even walk-through videos designed to attract oodles of potential buyers.

But just because there are more visuals than there used to be, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the words that go with the listing are any more insightful.

Real estate lingo has always been difficult to understand because agents generally adopt unique terminologies to help “promote” their listings.

So, how does the average buyer or investor, decipher their words from reality?

Why use this insider’s guide to real estate lingo of course!

Quirky

Quirky can often mean bad — that is, a “would-be” renovator or interior decorator was the previous owner and they liked things their way so you have dark cupboards masquerading as bedrooms and feature walls festooned with pink flamingos.

Cosy

Let’s fact is, cosy can mean tiny or minuscule or you can’t even swing a kitten in it.

Snug

Ditto above, but imagine a property or rooms that are even smaller than that.

Adorable

The previous owner LOVED orange and that’s why every room (even the loo) is painted their favourite colour.

Potential study or second bedroom

While there is legislation to prevent misleading advertising, sometimes a potential study or second bedroom is actually just the broom cupboard trying to be something else (and failing!)

Must-see 

‘Must-see’ is one of the most overused terms in real estate, because you’ve often seen most of the property via the online listing — that is, unless the agent is trying to create some excitement by only featuring the exterior of the property in the listing … which rarely works as a marketing tool, by the way.

Sunny  

In some states of Australia, sunny is not necessarily a good thing — in fact, the cooler the better during our regular summer heatwaves.

What makes an “investment grade” property?

Key takeaways

There are 11 million dwellings in Australia with a total value of around $10.3 trillion, but not all properties make good investments.

And what makes an investment grade property for me may not be a suitable investment for you – we’re probably playing different “investment games.”

However there is a severe shortage of quality “investment grade” properties on the market.

Property investors make money in four ways: capital growth, rental returns, accelerated or forced growth, and tax benefits.
Capital growth is a much more important driver of your wealth creation than cash flow, so you must have a financial buffer to see you through the lean times.

Too many investors don’t recognise that property investment is a game of finance, and leave themselves open to financial woes by not having rainy day money.

Many beginning investors are looking for cash flow, but they need to build an asset base first. Then they can “buy” cash flow.

Capital growth is the most important factor of all in the performance of your investment property, even though cash flow is the ultimate end goal. But you can only turn to cash flow once you’ve built a sufficiently large asset base of “investment grade” properties.

In the asset accumulation stage, you borrow and gear to build a large asset base of income-producing properties, then eventually you slowly lower your Loan to Value Ratio so you can live off the Cash Flow from your property portfolio.

We spend a lot of time researching locations that deliver wealth-producing rates of capital growth, and we only buy properties that would appeal to owner-occupiers. We avoid new and off-the-plan properties which come at a premium price.

Not all properties are “investment grade” – many high-rise new developments are built specifically for the investor market and are not “investment grade” because they lack owner-occupier appeal, scarcity, and opportunity to add value.

Off-the-plan apartments make terrible investments! Two out of three Melbourne apartments have made no price gains, or have lost money upon resale, and about half of apartments bought off the plan in Brisbane are selling at a loss, or at no profit.

Investment-grade properties appeal to a wide range of affluent owner-occupiers, are in the right location and are close to lifestyle amenities such as cafes, shops, restaurants and parks.

There are 11.1 million dwellings in Australia with a total value of around $10.3 trillion and at any time there are over one hundred thousand properties for sale.

And now that the markets have moved to the next phase of the property cycle, strategic investors are back in the market actively purchasing properties knowing the market has passed its trough and we’re at the beginning of a new property cycle.

But here is a word of caution…

Don’t just run out and buy any property.

Not all properties make good investments!

Residential Real Estate

In fact, in my mind, less than 4% of the properties currently on the market are what I call “investment grade.”

You see…currently, there are fewer properties on the market than there have been for a long time, and while there are still many properties on offer, there is now a real shortage of A-grade homes or quality “investment-grade” properties.

Of course, any property can become an investment property.

Just move the owner out, put in a tenant and it’s an investment, but that doesn’t make it “investment grade”.

To help you understand what I consider an investment-grade property, let’s first look at the characteristics of a great investment, and then let’s see what type of properties fit these criteria.

The things I look for in any investment (including property) are:

  • strong, stable rates of capital appreciation;
  • steady cash flow;
  • liquidity – the ability to take my money out by either selling or borrowing against my investment;
  • easy management;
  • a hedge against inflation; and
  • good tax benefits.

So how do you make money from an investment?

Well…property investors make their money in four ways:

  1. Capital growth – as the property appreciates in value over time
  2. Rental returns – the cash flow you get from your tenant
  3. Accelerated or forced growth – this is capital growth you “manufacture” by adding value through renovations or development, and
  4. Tax benefits – things like negative gearing or depreciation allowances

But not all returns are created equal.

Capital growth is not taxed while rental returns are, and as your property increases in value, the rent increase also generates more cash flow, meaning capital growth is a much more important driver of your wealth creation than cash flow.

Money Tree

Clearly, you need cash flow to allow you to hold your portfolio for long enough so that the power of compounding of capital growth kicks into gear, meaning you must have a financial buffer to see you through the lean times.

This means you need to be careful about your cash flow and your ability to service your debts.

Too many investors don’t recognise that property investment is a game of finance with some houses thrown in the middle, leaving themselves open to financial woes by not having rainy day money that they can draw on when needed, which often results in them selling at a bad time.

You see…Cash flow keeps you in the game, but it’s really capital growth that gets you out of the rat race.

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Note: You can’t afford to do what most investors do!

Let’s face it…statistics show that most property investors fail.

They never achieve the financial freedom they aspire to and this is, in part, due to the fact that they follow the wrong strategy – more often than not it’s because they chase cash flow.

Just look at these stats (from the ATO )…

  • There are 2,245,539 property investors in Australia.
  • This means around 20% of Australian households hold an investment property and 80% don’t.
  • Here’s how many properties investors hold
    • 1 investment property – 71.48%
    • 2 investment properties – 18.86%
    • 3 investment properties – 5.81%
    • 4 investment properties – 2.11%
    • 5 investment properties – 0.87%
    • 6 or more investment properties – 0.89 (19,920)

What property investment game are you playing?

Let me be clear…there is no one right way to invest, no one optimal strategy, no one universal goal.

Different investors have different time horizons, risk preferences, income levels, personal values, emotional biases, and expectations.

They also face different constraints, opportunities, and challenges in their lives and markets.

Therefore, they play different games with their money and what maybe make a great investment for one investor may not be the right property for another investor.

That’s why at Metropole, even before discussing the next property, we build each client a personalised, customised Strategic Property Property Plan taking into account their distinct goals, motivations, time frames and risk profiles.

There is no one size fits all.

We recognize that each investor has their own unique set of circumstances, priorities, and goals, which means the best course of action for one person may not be suitable for another.

At Metropole we have no properties for sale, but have access to time-tested frameworks I have personally fine-tuned over 5 decades and with which we have helped clients outperform the market for over 20 years, and by taking into account detailed research we can build personalised and flexible investment plans that account for the ever-changing dynamics of the property landscape.

So figure out your own game and stick to it: Clearly define your investing game and focus on playing it.

Be cautious of taking cues and advice from those playing different games, as this may lead to unintended risks and outcomes.

Property investment may be simple, but it’s not easy.

Now I say this because clearly, most property investors failed to build a sufficiently large property portfolio to provide them with a substantial retirement income.

Those looking for cash flow are thinking about the here and now, rather than the long-term and buying properties that may solve a short-term problem but won’t give them the long-term results they hope for – that only comes by building a substantial asset base.

I understand why investors are looking for cash flow – in general, they are looking for more choices in their life – they’re often looking for the choice of working because they want to, not because they have to.

But, in my mind, these investors need to build an asset base of investment-grade properties first and then can “buy” cashflow – maybe by lowering their loan-to-value ratio, maybe through commercial properties or possibly by buying shares. 

But investing must be done in the right order – asset growth first, then cash flow. 

 

Property Retire

Of course, the number of investment properties you own is not nearly as important as the quality of your assets and the amount of equity you have in them.

I’ve often said I’d prefer to own one Westfield shopping centre than 50 properties in regional Australia.

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Note: However, you can outperform these averages!

Examining these tax office statistics made me wonder how our clients at Metropole Property Strategists, who have been given strategic advice to guide their investing, have performed compared to the average property investor.

Currently, Metropole manages close to $2 billion worth of property assets on behalf of our clients and as you can see from the following chart, on the whole, clients of Metropole have significantly outperformed the averages:

  • Only around half of our clients own only one investment property – considerably below the Australian average, but that’s a good thing
  • 21% of our clients own two investment properties, and that’s more than the Australian average
  • Almost 10% of our clients own three investment properties, almost double the Australian average.
  • 6% of our clients own four investment properties, compared to 2% of typical property investors
  • 3% of our clients own five investment properties – three times the Australian average.
  • 7% of our clients own 6 or more investment properties – more than 7 times the number in the general property investment community.

1

We’ve only counted the properties we have bought for clients or that we manage for them.

This includes properties clients purchased prior to coming to us and naturally skews our figures to the conservative side.

It’s easy to buy the first property, but each additional property added is progressively more difficult.

We’d like to think our strategic approach to investing has contributed to our client’s outperformance, so I’ll explain that in more detail in a moment.

But first I’d like to explain that…

Capital growth is the most important factor of all

I’ve already explained my thoughts on this and I accept that not everyone agrees with me.

Now don’t misunderstand me, cash flow is the ultimate end goal.

But you only turn to cash flow only once you’ve built a sufficiently large asset base of “investment grade” properties, meaning your investment journey will comprise 5 stages:

  1. The education stage – learning what property investment is all about.
  2. In the savings stage – they spend less than they earn and trap this extra cash flow in a saving account, to up a deposit to invest.
  3. In the asset accumulation stage – it will take 2 or 3 property cycles to build a sufficiently large asset base of income-producing properties to move to the next stage…
  4. Lowering their Loan to Value Ratios – asset accumulation requires borrowing and gearing but eventually, your LVR must slowly come down so you can…
  5. Live off the Cash Flow from your property portfolio

The safest way through this journey, which will obviously take a number of property cycles, is to ensure you only buy properties that will outperform the market averages with regard to capital growth.

Of course, we have just come through a significant property downturn and we’re entering the next stage of the property cycle where capital growth will be subdued for a year or two but it’s important to keep a long-term perspective.

Here’s what’s has happened to property values in the long term.

Research by Metropole, based on data from the REA Group and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that Australia’s national median house value has risen by an enormous 540.1% over the past 42 years.

This is an average annual growth rate of 7.62%.

The numbers did, however, vary by state.

40 Year Growth By City By Period Chart Dec 22

 

Over the past 42 years, Melbourne had the highest average annual price growth for houses at 8.26%.

Sydney was the second-fastest-growing with a 7.98% average annual house price growth, only just ahead of Canberra which enjoyed a 7.9% increase.

The average annual house price grew 7.51% in Brisbane while Adelaide and Perth saw 6.94% and 6.26% increases respectively over the 42-year period.

There were no 40-year figures for Hobart and Darwin but the 30-year average annual house price growth was 7.29% and 5.84% respectively.

Of course, these are just overall averages and within each state here are some locations that have enjoyed significantly more capital growth than these averages, and other locations which have underperformed.

I guess that’s how averages work.

40 Year House Price Growth 1

And while we may be moving through the Winter of our property cycle at the moment, for over 2000 years Spring has followed Winter and I’m betting my money that the same will occur in the winter of this property cycle.

That’s why at Metropole we spend a lot of time researching locations that deliver wealth-producing rates of capital growth.

And once we find these locations, this is how we chose the right properties in those locations:

Our 6 Stranded Strategic Approach to my investing  

We would only buy a property:

  • That would appeal to owner-occupiers.
    Not that we plan to sell the property, but because owner-occupiers will buy similar properties pushing up local real estate values.
    This will be particularly important in the future as the percentage of investors in the market is likely to diminish
  • Below intrinsic value – that’s why we avoid new and off-the-plan properties which come at a premium price.
  • With a high land-to-asset ratio – this doesn’t necessarily mean a large block of land, but one where the land component makes up a significant part of the asset value.

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  • In an area that has a long history of strong capital growth and that will continue to outperform the averages because of the demographics in the area including gentrifying areas.
  • With a twist – something unique, or special, different or scarce about the property, and finally;
  • Where they can manufacture capital growth through refurbishment, renovations or redevelopment rather than waiting for the market to do the heavy lifting as we’re heading into a period of lower capital growth.

Not all properties are “investment grade”

O.K. back to my original comment that less than only 4% of properties on the market are investment grade.

Of course, there is plenty of investment stock out there, but don’t confuse the two.

These properties are built specifically built for the investor market – think of the many high-rise new developments that are littering our cities – yet most of these are not “investment grade.”

They are what the property marketers and developers sell in bulk to naïve investors – usually off the plan, but they are not “investment grade” because they have little owner-occupier appeal, they lack scarcity, they are usually bought at a premium and there is no opportunity to add value.

Off-the-plan apartments make terrible investments!

Analysis by BIS Oxford Economics a couple of years ago (when the markets were booming last time around) reported that of the apartments sold off the plan during the previous eight years:

  • Two out of three Melbourne apartments have made no price gains, or have lost money upon resale. And this is despite record immigration and a significant property boom.
  • In Brisbane, about half of these apartments bought off the plan are selling at a loss, or at no profit.
  • In Sydney, it is about one in four apartments bought since 2015 are selling at a loss, or at no profit.

In other words… more investors who bought off the plan high-rise apartments have lost money than have made money.

And of course, there are all those investors sitting on the apartments which are continuing to fall in value, but they haven’t crystallised their loss yet.

According to the BIS research, resales of apartments within three to five kilometres of central Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have realised consistently lower prices than established apartment resales.
 
And this is likely to get worse now considering people are very wary of buying new or off the plan apartment in the high-rise towers that are likely to become the slums of the future.
 
They recognise that many of these in the past have had structural issues and moving forward people are going to be concerned about living in cramped high-rise towers.
 
Similarly, houses in new estates and in first-home buyer suburbs also make poor investments – in part because of their lack of scarcity and partly because of the local demographics

On the other hand, investment-grade properties:

  • Appeal to a wide range of affluent owner-occupiers
  • Are in the right location. By this, I don’t just mean the right suburb –one with multiple drivers of capital growth – but they’re a short walking distance to lifestyle amenities such as cafes,  shops, restaurants and parks. And they’re close to public transport – a factor that will become more important in the future as our population grows, our roads become more congested and people will want to reduce commuting time.
  • Have street appeal as well as a favourable aspect or good views.

Location

  • Offer security – by being located in the right suburbs as well as having security features such as gates, intercoms and alarms.
  • Offers secure off-street car parking.
  • Have the potential to add value through renovations.
  • Have a high land-to-asset ratio – this is different to a large amount of land. I’d rather own a sixth of a block of land under my apartment building in a good inner suburb, than a large block of land in regional Australia.

The bottom line is buying the right ‘investment grade’ property is all about following a proven blueprint that successful investors follow.

Unpacking the true cost of vertical housing

The conversation around Australia’s housing crisis often circles back to a familiar refrain: we need to build more homes.  

However, the reality on the ground paints a more complex picture where the push for vertical housing solutions like apartments is increasingly seen as misaligned with market demands and affordability.

The high cost of high-rise living

The mismatch between what is being built and what the market can bear is stark.

Apartments, once touted as a solution to urban density, are proving to be both expensive and inadequate for the needs of most homebuyers and tenants.

The construction cost for entry-level apartments in many urban centres across Australia has skyrocketed to approximately $10,000 per square metre, pushing the price of a modest 100m² apartment to over a million dollars.

Price points over $15,000/m² for half-decent new apartments are now increasingly common and are even higher still for quality locations in Sydney, Melbourne and on the Gold Coast.

Regardless of price these apartments are often too small, lacking sufficient storage and parking, and do not align with consumer preferences, particularly when compared to the more spacious and cost-effective detached homes.

Consumer pushback and market realities

The market’s response has been unambiguous.

Potential buyers, already stretched thin by the current economic climate, are balking at these high apartment purchase costs.

This chart shows that a new ‘cheap and cheerful’ apartment will cost a punter just over $1 million in southeast Queensland.

New Housing Prices Southeast Queensland

This works out to be around $10,500/m².

Yet a new house and land package in a middle-ring suburban infill location will set a buyer back $995,000 or around $5,000/m².

So, half the price of a poxy new apartment.

And if the new house and land package is an outer suburb the purchase price drops to under $750,000 or around $3,250/m².

Here’s why units in Melbourne’s leafy Eastern Suburbs are surpassing house prices

In some of Melbourne’s prestigious eastern suburbs, units are fetching higher prices than typical homes.

This trend is fueled by demand from downsizers seeking high-specification yet low-maintenance living, alongside families who find houses financially out of reach.

Recent data from Domain reveals that the median prices in the four most expensive suburbs for units exceed Melbourne’s overall median dwelling price of $885,328 by up to $250,000.

Notably, Brighton and Toorak are at the forefront, with median unit prices of $1,135,000 and $927,550, respectively.

The appeal is particularly strong in Melbourne’s inner and outer east.

For instance, Mount Waverley ranks second with a median unit price of $960,000, while Surrey Hills follows closely with $906,000.

Six of the ten highest-priced unit suburbs are nestled in these leafy areas.

In an article from The Age, Dr Nicola Powell, Domain’s Chief of Research and Economics, explains that units and townhouses in these locales often boast superior quality.

She explains:

“Purchasing a unit in Toorak, for example, means expecting high-level inclusions that justify a significant price premium.

These properties typically attract downsizers who’ve profited from selling their large-family homes in the same region.”

These townhouses, often resembling high-quality builds with additional features such as butler’s pantries and multiple bathrooms, also attract international buyers seeking hassle-free living.

The Age article also highlighted that the market dynamics are similar in the northern suburbs of Balwyn and Surrey Hills, where young professionals without children and dual-income households are active buyers.

Australia’s population growth hits another record but may be slowing

The new figures for the Australian and state population in December 2023 are out and make for interesting reading.

The population stood at 26,966,789 people on 31 December 2023.

This was an increase of 651,200 people over the calendar year 2023.

That’s the highest calendar-year growth ever recorded in numerical terms.

In percentage terms it was 2.5%, which is high, but not a record – it’s harder to record a record percentage growth as the population gets larger.

The growth to the end of the calendar year was even a little higher than the 644,500 recorded for the financial year ended June 30th 2023 (also revised up slightly in this edition).

The financial year is the most important figure as we normally record all the local populations on June 30th.

However, state, territory and national populations are updated quarterly.

December quarterly estimate suggests overseas migration may be slowing

The last quarterly estimate shows just a slight indication of a slowing down of the prodigious growth.

Over the year, there was a natural increase (births minus deaths) of 103,947, and a net overseas migration (NOM; in-migration minus out-migration) of 547,267.

So in the last year, Australia’s population growth was 84% due to overseas migration.

In the last quarter of the year, migration fell to 107,261 people – that would be an annualised rate of about 430,000, or around 100,000 below the annual figure.

That would still be enough to make it the highest migration year recorded before 2023, so it’s still very high – just not quite as high as the previous quarters.

Overseas migration has been playing “catch-up” for the last couple of years since the borders reopened, following low migration in 2020 and negative migration in 2021.

We think the long-term migration trend will be closer to 300,000 p.a. (still historically high).

7 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in 2024

Purchasing a first home is one of the most joyful moments in people’s lives, but it is also a rather challenging experience.

In this case, there are various factors that you should take into consideration including your budget, the location and the state of the house.

Below are eight tips that can assist you in this major decision if you are a first-time home buyer.

1. Establish Your Budget

The first thing a home seeker should do before setting out to look for a house is to determine his or her budget. This will assist in ruling out some of the available homes and avoiding falling for a home that you cannot comfortably pay for.

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Tips: First of all, you should determine your monthly income and expenditure.

It is recommended to use a mortgage calculator to calculate the monthly payments to be made for a given home price, down payment, and interest rate. This will give you a clear picture of what you can afford as you avoid unrealistic expectations about what you can comfortably afford.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

The next step that you are going to take is to get pre-approved for a mortgage once you have a budget in mind.

A pre-approval letter from a lender is evidence to the seller that you are a serious buyer and have the financial muscle to go through with the purchase.

The pre-approval stage entails a credit check, an assessment of your income, and the credit-to-income ratio among other factors. It helps to have pre-approval in your pocket when competing with other buyers in a highly competitive market as well as when purchasing a home.

Mortgage Defaults

3. Research the Area Thoroughly

The selection of the location is one of the most important factors that have to be considered while purchasing a house. Depending on the area that you choose, your lifestyle and even the value of your property will be greatly influenced. Take some time to browse through various areas to discover which one can be considered the most appropriate for you.

It is crucial to know the community and services when buying a home in another country. Check local newspapers and forums to get an idea of the atmosphere of the neighbourhood and crime rates. It is recommended to visit these sources from time to time to be aware of any problems or new trends in the field.