Thursday, January 18, 2018

Why every generation feels entitled

Weekly economic update: Jobs may be increasing but the real test is whether we get a pay rise this year

The number of jobs might be going up but the real test will be whether wages rise too, writes…

Richard Holden, UNSW

This week: explaining why the number of jobs increased while the unemployment rate rose too and a bump in housing finance due to state government incentives.

The most consequential Australian data this week were Thursday’s labour force figures.

The ABS announced that employment grew by 34,700, well ahead of market expectations of around 15,000. Economy

It was the first calendar year in which employment grew every month since the ABS recorded monthly data in 1978.

The trend toward full-time employment continued to be the key contributor.

In 2017 full-time employment increased by 322,000 out of the 393,000 total increase.

As often happens, the rosier employment numbers were accompanied by a seemingly confusing increase in the unemployment rate to 5.5%.

This occurs because a better labour market leads to more people looking for work. On that point, the participation rate stood at 65.5% – the highest rate since early 2011.

Importantly, female labour-force participation was at a record high 60.4%.

Regular readers of Vital Signs will know what’s coming next. 

Despite this strong employment growth, wages remain stagnant in real terms. 

  Perhaps they key economic variable in 2018 – and surely the key political variable – is whether we start to see stronger wage growth.

The government’s “jobs and growth” slogan doesn’t sound so great if the jobs involve declines in real wages and still modest per capita GDP growth.

With a lag in statistics, economic data for the new year began with what happened toward the end of 2017.

Last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released building approvals data for November 2017 showing that approvals jumped 11.7% for the month to 21,055 on a seasonally adjusted basis.

That was almost solely driven by a 30.6% jump in apartments – with the bulk of this coming from Melbourne.

These figures caused many of us to do a double take. Either there are some very lumpy high-rise apartment projects in Melbourne (possible) or there is something odd about the ABS’s seasonal adjustment of the statistics (possible, too, but less likely).

Any revisions next month will be revealing.

Australian new motor vehicle sales were more or less as expected, with national sales up 6.7% on the year.

Victoria led the charge, with an annual increase of 19.3%, while NSW was essentially flat, recording a 0.2% increase.

Housing finance was up in November, with the total amount rising by 2.3% in seasonally adjusted terms. Economic growth

This was a solid result, with much of it attributable to owner occupier growth of 2.7% (compared to 1.5% for investors).

This reflects the prudent, if rather too late, measures put in place by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to curb investor lending.

In part, it also reflects the silly first home owner grants reintroduced by state governments relatively recently.

As every economist knows (and 50 years of Australian economic history shows) this just inflates housing prices by the amount of the grant, making sellers better off, but not buyers.

A somewhat more leading indicator of trends in the housing market is construction, since it speaks to what new properties will be on the market in coming months.

The Australian Industry Group’s widely watched Performance of Construction Index fell sharply, by 4.7 points to 52.8, again in seasonally adjusted terms in December 2017.

This is down from the all-time high of 60.5 in July 2017. For these types of indices 50 is the “breakeven” point, so another drop like last month would essentially show construction in reverse gear.

The Australian economy begins 2018 exactly where it ended 2017, with a mixture of positive and troubling signs.

There is reason to be optimistic, but also reason to be cautious.

Next week the focus will be more global, as the World Economic Forum meets in Davos to discuss the theme: “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”.

United States President Donald Trump is expected to speak on the final day. globe-economy-growth-health-world-heart-decline-map

With French President Emmanuel Macron expected to attend, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel looking reasonably likely to make it, there is the potential for some fireworks.

Macron and Merkel could well suggest the US President has done a fair bit of fracturing of the world in his first year in office.

And based on my reading of Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury, President Trump doesn’t deal too well with criticism.

Meanwhile, it would be remiss of me not to note that one of the key figures in that book, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a Grand Jury.

Those who have read Fire and Fury know that Bannon reportedly said a lot of things, but a notable one was that only morons lie to a Grand Jury. And say what you will about Bannon, he is no moron.

The ConversationTrump may end up copping it both at home and abroad next week.

Richard Holden, Professor of Economics and PLuS Alliance Fellow, UNSW

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

from Property UpdateProperty Update

Can You Really Buy Off Market Properties?

“Off market” properties – what are they?

Why would anyone sell this way?

Are they really around in this hot market and why should you consider buying one?

Firstly let me explain what I’m talking about…

The team at Metropole come across two types of what I would call “off market” transactions.

Most are really “pre market” opportunities.Pre market opportunities.

We get the opportunity to inspect and make an offer on a property before it hits the Internet.

And then there are the true “off market” opportunities where for various reasons the vendor doesn’t want to make the sale of their property public knowledge.

And yes they do occur!

Last week the team at Metropole bought four separate properties off market (no one else knew about them) and currently, despite the hot market conditions, a significant portion of the properties we buy for clients at  are bought this way.

So let’s look into this in a little bit more detail…

Why do pre-market opportunities occur?

It works a bit this way…

A selling agent lists a new property and then there’s about two weeks before it hits the Internet. 


During this time photographs are taken, floor plans are drawn, the seller must approve the marketing and all this must be loaded on the Internet.

If you think about it…most selling agents would prefer to keep their whole selling commission for themselves rather than sharing it with other agents in the office.

So what do they do?

Well…they don’t tell the others in their office about it for a few days and instead they ring their “A grade” clients and offer them this great new property they have just listed for sale.

And then they call their “B” clients and then they ring anyone else they think may be interested.

A few days later they have to tell the other selling agents in their office about the property and these agents do the same – they call their top clients.

And if it doesn’t sell, eventually the property gets listed on the Internet and you find out about it.

How do you get on the speed dial of these estate agents?

Estate agents

This is tough when you are a “normal” property investor or home buyer.

You’re probably only going to deal with selling agents a few times in your life on the other hand the team at Metropole was involved in close to a quarter of billion dollars worth of property transactions last financial year alone.

Do you think this puts us on the speed dial of most selling agents in the areas where we are active in the  Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne property markets?

So while it may be difficult for you to get the call, you can still benefit from this special treatment by having the team at Metropole on your side.

By the way that’s the easy bit!

If you’re interested in starting or growing your existing property portfolio just click here and organize a free strategy session with Metropole.

Why do some vendors request an off market sale?

Of course, at times there are genuine reasons why some sellers request an “off market” sale.

Some of the one’s I have come across include:

  • To save on marketing and advertising cost – while it might do this, the lack of open competition often lowers the selling price
  • The need for privacy including not wanting the neighbours or family to know until the move happens
  • Financial pressure and the need for a quick sale
  •  Divorce, death or change in personal circumstances and the need for a quick but private sale
  • Nervous about auctions or lot’s of potential buyers tramping through their property.

Let’s look at some case studies…

Last week we were notified by a selling agent (one that usually loves conducting auctions) that he had just listed a great property for sale in a prime spot with water views in the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda.

This well looked after, fabulously positioned apartment would suit a large range of owner-occupiers or investors yet we were offered first opportunity to look at it, and the seller didn’t want an active marketing campaign.  Melbourne suburb of St Kilda

Why would this be so?

Despite the property having wide appeal, it was tenanted and the tenants made access very difficult – they were very private people and made inspections very difficult.

Unfortunately the vendor was in financial problems and wanted a quick sale and couldn’t wait for the lease to expire and then sell then auction the property and achieve the maximum price.

The selling agent rang us to see if we had a client who would be interested in this property and we certainly did.

Now Peter (one of our property investor clients) has purchased a fantastic investment off market, without competition at auction and at a very fair price.

Here’s another case study:

We’re always looking for development sites for our clients to build small residential townhouse projects to keep as a long-term investment.

Local selling agents (in the suburbs where the team at Metropole are actively looking for properties) know that we are always in the market for our clients and one rang telling us of a property he had just listed that was a deceased estate.

The sellers were two elderly gentlemen who lived in different parts of regional Australia (brothers of the deceased owner) and had inherited this substantial property that would have given them a considerable windfall. Property buyer

Interestingly, despite their seven-figure inheritance, they weren’t keen to spend the required $15- $20,000 on marketing costs and were bit nervous about taking the property to auction.

Instead, they were happy with the certainty of an unconditional sale.

We were the only buyer notified about this opportunity, our clients made an unconditional offer within 48 hours and now own another great development site.

(They’ve just completed another development using Metropole’s project management team.)

The sellers are happy, the agent got a quick sale (and didn’t have to share his commission with anyone else in the office) and we got a great deal for our client.

In fact I would call it a bargain.

We get these opportunities all the time at our offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

As I said, we did 4 of these off market or pre market deals last week.

The most  common reason we are offered these opportunities is that there are tenants in place who make it difficult for potential buyers to inspect the property or maybe don’t keep the property in a presentable condition.

However as buyers’ agents we can see the potential opportunity through the clutter.

But it’s not always so easy…

Most pre-market and off market opportunities aren’t great deals

You see…many agents list the properties they have for sale by “buying the listing”.

In other words they entice the seller with an inflated price to get the listing and then slowly condition them to the real market price. 


This means that many of these opportunities we’re offered are not suitable for us, but that’s okay.

That’s the way the property market works.

Here’s my recommendation to you…

If you’re in the market for an investment property please give the team at Metropole a call on 1300 20 30 30 or click here now and organise an obligation free strategy session.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned property investor, we would love to help you formulate an investment strategy or do a review of your existing portfolio, and then help you acquire your investment property.

When you attend our offices you will receive a free copy of my latest 2 x DVD program Building Wealth through Property Investment valued at $49.

from Property UpdateProperty Update

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How much do you need in super to retire comfortably?

The majority of Australian baby boomers don’t have enough superannuation for a comfortable retirement and that’s a worry!

So how much do you need in your super to retire comfortably?

It may not surprise you that a research paper  released by REST Industry Super showed that 74% of baby boomers have no idea how much money they will need in retirement and the majority believe they will have to rely on the age pension.

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

The big problem for baby boomers

The Australian Bureau of Statistics tells us there are nearly three million Australians aged over 50 in the labour force, accounting for about 28% of the current work force.

As this group transition to retirement, the old-age dependency ratio in Australia is predicted to rise from 20 per 100 working population in 2010 to as high as 36 per 100 working population by 2030.super

The ABS expected the most rapid rise in the dependency rate will occur between 2011 and 2031 – in other words, it’s already here.

A key challenge for these over 50s is that the broad- based compulsory superannuation system only started in 1992.

This means that those approaching retirement have not had the benefit of accumulating superannuation savings to the same extent as younger employees, who will have more years in the labour force under the system by the time they retire.

This means that most baby boomers will need to find alternative income sources.

Sure they could rely on the pension, but more and more are taking their financial future in their hands and investing in property.

So how much do you really need to retire comfortably?

I recently read an article suggesting that financial planners often recommend that, based on current average annual returns, a couple would need close to $1,000,000 in superannuation when they retire to live modestly.  


In my opinion that would only give them a very modest lifestyle since they would in general live off the $40,000 or so interest they receive on this, or on dividends from the shares in the super fund.

Apparently a single person would need about $800,000, once again to live modestly.

By the way… I think you will need much, much more than this to fund a comfortable retirement.

Either way this means millions of Australians will struggle in retirement, because only 10% of Australians have more than $100,000 in their super accounts.

A while ago the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia reported:

“On the basis of the current average superannuation balance and average income of those aged 35 to 44 and the assumption of only compulsory superannuation contributions being made, the average retirement superannuation payout at age 60 for a male currently aged 35 to 44 would be $183,000, while for a female it would only be $93,000.”

That’s scary stuff…

Most Gen Xer’s will also fall far short of being able to retire on their superannuation.

Little wonder that more and more Australians are looking at taking control of their financial future and setting up Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF.)

With all those Baby Boomers transitioning into retirement over the next fifteen years or so, I see properties bought in a SMSF as a major driver of property values over the next decade.

How much super is enough?

So, the big question remains: how much money do you really need for your retirement?  super retirement superannuation saving elderly old

Well…lifestyle is a very personal thing —luxury living for one person is a modest existence for someone else.

While you’re in your working years choosing a lifestyle is simple — most of us live the life we can afford.

If we want a fancier lifestyle, we need to earn more, win the lottery, marry someone rich or inherit money from a rich relative.

However if you want a comfortable life in retirement, then you better start working on your financial independence now.

Super alone is unlikely to get you there, but growing a substantial property portfolio just may.

The 4-step formula to financial independence:

Here are four timeless rules for achieving financial freedom.

Please don’t dismiss them because they sound so simple:

  1. Spend less than you earn. This maxim may seem obvious, but many people have difficulty following it. If you’re spending more than you earn, you will never become financially growing from coins You will be paying money to others for the rest of your life. The earlier you start living by this rule, the better. It is never too late to start.
  2. Invest the difference wisely. It may surprise you but the average Australian will earn somewhere between $4 – $5 million during their working life. Yet most of them will retire poor. Clearly the level of your income has no bearing on the level of wealth you achieve, what is critical is the amount you save and invest wisely.
  3. Reinvest your investment income so you get compounding growth. As you are beginning to understand, you will never become financially independent on your earnings alone. You need to keep reinvesting. In fact, by the time you become financially free almost all your assets will have come from compounding capital growth, not from your income, your savings or your rent.
  4. Keep doing steps 1 and 2 until your asset base reaches a critical mass so that you have the Cash Machine that gives you the income you desire.

If you’ve been following my blogs you’d know I advocate growing a multi-million dollar property portfolio as your Cash Machine.

In fact I’ve written a best selling book on that topic – How To Grow A Multi-Million Dollar Property Portfolio – in your spare time.

This book is about helping you build your own Cash Machine.

So how many properties do you need to retire?

Do you know?Different Size Houses

Well… it’s a trick question.

And this probably needs to be a lot bigger than you think.

It’s not really how many properties you own that’s important.

I’d rather own one Westfield Shopping Centre than 35 small regional properties.

In other words what’s really important is the size of the asset base you build – the size of your Cash Machine.

Over the last few years more and more property investors are considering setting up a self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) as a vehicle to buy their properties and increase their asset base.

So what are the main advantages and disadvantages of taking this tact when it comes to building your own retirement nest egg?

The good

Control – you have control over your SMSF rather than entrusting your future financial well-being to a complete stranger, who will take your hard earned cash and invest it in shares and managed funds that may or may not perform.

Leverage – You can make the money in your SMSF work harder by using it as a deposit and borrowing to investment properties that grow in value.

Tax savings –owning property in super may be very tax effective for you.

• You will have a diversified super portfolio that is not reliant on just one investment vehicle, meaning you will have better financial security for the future.

The bad


The cost! This usually involves thousands of dollars in establishment costs and sometimes there will be higher fees involved in borrowing to buy property through your SMSF.

The confusion. There’s no denying that managing your own super fund can be a minefield of complicated rules and regulations.
Get something wrong and you could end up paying hefty penalties.
Of course, you can pay a professional to manage it on your behalf and this is something I would strongly advise anyone with a SMSF to do – whether they’re buying real estate or not!

You have to have the cash to do it. This is not a strategy for someone with a small amount of cash in his or her super fund.

Basically, unless you have over $150,000 of available funds in your SMSF and are still contributing to your SMSF, the banks may not be willing to lend money for you to buy property in your SMSF.

If you’re at all concerned about financial independence in retirement, put some plans in place, review your finances, do something now and don’t leave it until it’s too late.

Be careful

Of course before you go down the route of setting up your own SMSF, it is critical to seek independent advice from a properly qualified financial planner to ensure that it is appropriate for your circumstances and that you set up things correctly and don’t fall foul of the tax man.

Also …make sure you get advice from independent professionals – not sales people pushing products or property

One more thing…

If you’re interested in securing your financial future through property investment, now may be a good time to buy property either outside or inside your super fund. 


And if you’re looking for independent advice, no one can help you quite like the independent property investment strategists at Metropole.

Remember the multi award winning team of property investment strategists at Metropole have no properties to sell, so their advice is unbiased.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned property investor, we would love to help you formulate an investment strategy or do a review of your existing portfolio, and help you take your property investment to the next level.

Please click here to organise a time for a chat. Or call us on 1300 20 30 30.

When you attend our offices you will receive a free copy of my latest 2 x DVD program Building Wealth through Property Investment in the new Economy valued at $49.

from Property UpdateProperty Update

Where should I buy an investment property?

Where should I buy my next investment property? House and money

If I had a dollar for every time I was asked that question, I’d retire a rich man…never mind the property portfolio!

But when it comes to purchasing residential real estate investments, there are generally two different approaches.

One will succeed at all stages of the property cycle, as long as you stick to some age old rules of asset selection and acquisition, while the other is a lot more risky due to its highly speculative nature.

It all comes back to…

The fundamentals or the fads

As a property investment strategist, I’m frequently quizzed at dinner parties and backyard BBQs about how to select THE perfect location in which to buy.

Now everyone seems to know that ‘location, location, location’ is key when it comes to purchasing real estate. 


Yet interestingly, many people who ask me about ‘good locations’ often already have some preconceived ideas of their own about what these are.

I find when I start to discuss the enduring fundamentals that innately underpin all housing markets (it’s just a question of how and to what extent), they’ll start rattling off things like…

  • What about areas where a lot of people can’t afford their mortgages and have to sell up? i.e. a lot of distressed sales?
  • What about areas where a lot of new infrastructure is being built for a big event, like the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast?
  • What about all the tax I can save with depreciation benefits if I buy a new house and land package in the outer suburbs?

My response to these would-be investors is usually something like…

What about those towns that sprang up virtually overnight on the back of a resources boom that was, according to the predictions of numerous experts, going to last for decades?

What about the investors who thought they’d cash in on soaring rental yields in outback communities that were built on one single industry, almost entirely reliant on the emerging Chinese economy?

Unfortunately I’ve heard stories of people edging close to retirement, who’ve lost their entire property portfolios because they purchased an Off The Plan residence in one of these regional towns.

When the inevitable recently happened and mining industry mania started to slow, or falter completely in some locations, many property investors found that the shiny new build they’d acquired only five years ago was now worth much less than the mortgage on it.

No magic bullet

The problem is, a lot of the latest fads and fashions that exert these quick bursts of upward pressure on property market pockets are the ones that generally receive the most airplay and attention.

That’s because large construction companies and consortiums are often involved and sudden spurts of infrastructure development usually create a bit of a fuss, particularly if it’s around an industry that’s essentially propping up the economy at the time. 25504740_s

The fact is though, the price growth we tend to see as a result of these magic bullet type approaches – where frenzied investors end up driving markets beyond all sustainability – reflects the abrupt ascent of property values on the back of this speculative activity.

In other words, it’s likely that these locations will produce disproportionate gains for a short period of time.

Because these ‘one hit wonders’ tend to exert a significant amount of influence on the local economic, employment and housing markets within such a concentrated timespan, the impact they have on investors is often to the same kind of extreme.

The question then becomes, will you get out at the right moment or linger that little bit too long and possibly lose the lot?

This is far too risky for my liking.

While it might not make headlines or represent the thrill ride some investors seemingly chase, for my money you can’t go past the…

Enduring fundamentals

Investors who fancy themselves as high rolling, buy low and sell high real estate moguls are really missing the point in my opinion.

The Trumps of this world didn’t make it to the top by speculating.

They followed a formula, based on their own investment strategy and financial objectives.

There was nothing sexy about it.

But look where it can lead.

When it comes to successfully identifying a prime investment location, the enduring fundamentals are where the sustainable capital growth is really at.

Supply and demand

The amount of developable land available in any given area, versus the appeal that area holds for owner-occupiers, is the key fundamental that underpins all else when it comes to what makes a location superior in terms of its long term growth potential. 39653963_l

Note that it’s owner-occupier activity you need to be aware of, rather than following a wave of unsuspecting investors into the latest fashionable product being spruiked by a clever developer.

That’s because the wealthy live where they want to live.

Owner-occupiers drive demand and therefore prices, based on their emotional response to housing.

People will pay more to be in a good school catchment area or a nice lifestyle location with low crime rates.

In other words, it’s about the depth of the market.

When there’s greater demand from buyers than there are sellers – usually because the area is multi-dimensional in terms of industry, employment and infrastructure – you find constant pressure on house price growth.

Don’t settle for a fad property investment

Remarkably, even though history demonstrates that house prices will always go up (give or take a few sideways or downward correction phases) across investment grade locations, a lot of people think there’s a ceiling of some sort on price rises and that they’ve ‘missed the boat’ in a particular postcode.

Often they’ll seek out these fad products in secondary or inferior catchments, thinking they need to make a quick buck elsewhere.

But what if they had it right the first time?

Are you not more likely to realise far greater capital growth in an area where you might have to enter into a few bidding wars with eager homebuyers, rather than walk away with a bargain because no one else is biting?

Sure, it can be difficult to identify prime locations where stock is limited but buyer demand is plentiful, because often they’re not making the same type of headlines as ‘flash in the pan’ property investments.

But it’s a test of patience. And when it all works out, you’ll be thankful to have such a proven performer in your property portfolio.

The end is your beginning

The first rule of investing is to not lose your money.

As such, research is essential in order to understand how a property you’re considering has performed not just in the good times, but importantly, in previous down turns.House shop buy property

This is relatively easy to assess when you select a location with a strong, established owner-occupier base, where there are more family homes than rental properties.

Importantly, you should always have the end buyer in mind when searching for that proven property investment performer.

Remember, your asset needs to hold enduring appeal for the people who’ll own it after you (or buy similar properties to you pushing up the value) and can afford to pay emotionally to satisfy their heart’s desire.

Sticking to this basic principle of property acquisition means you can expect less volatility in your investment endeavours.

On the other hand, the more discretionary properties you hold – those without that enduring, underlying appeal – the more volatile your portfolio will be.


As signs point to softer growth conditions for Australian property over the coming months, independent professional advice and careful consideration will be as important as ever in navigating Australia’s varied market conditions. 


If you’re looking for independent advice, no one can help you quite like the independent property investment strategists at Metropole.

Remember the multi award winning team of property investment strategists at Metropole have no properties to sell, so their advice is unbiased.Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned property investor, we would love to help you formulate an investment strategy or do a review of your existing portfolio, and help you take your property investment to the next level.

Please click here to organise a time for a chat. Or call us on 1300 20 30 30.

When you attend our offices in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane you will receive a free copy of my latest 2 x DVD program Building Wealth through Property Investment in the new Economy valued at $49.

from Property UpdateProperty Update

Vacancy Rates Increase in Most Cities in December

Data released by SQM Research this week has revealed the national residential vacancy rate was 2.5% in December 2017, with the number of vacancies Australia-wide increasing to 80,092 — an increase on the month of November. 

All capital cities have increased their vacancy rates in December however, Hobart’s vacancy rate continues to remain at a record low of 0.3% since October 2017. Sqm Research2 300x245

Canberra and Adelaide’s vacancy rate also remains tight at 1.3% and 1.5% respectively.

Perth’s vacancy rate rose to 4.6% from 4.5% in November, and remains the highest of any capital city.

In the bigger cities, vacancies increased materially in Sydney to 2.6% in December, up from 2.1% in November.

Melbourne also recorded increases with the vacancy rate now at 2.1%, up from 1.8%, however Melbourne’s vacancy rate was lower than recorded in December 2016.

Brisbane’s vacancy rate rose from 3.4% to 3.8% over the month.


Tthe rise in vacancies continue into December due to seasonality and those in Hobart and Canberra continue to face ongoing tight rental conditions and higher rents.

However, the rise in Sydney was larger than expected, if these current vacancy rate levels hold in January and February, Sydney will be a tenant’s market in 2018.

Key Points: 


  • Nationally, vacancies rose marginally in December to 80,092, recording a vacancy rate of 2.5%, up from 2.2% in November.
  • Hobart’s vacancy rate continues to remain at a record low of 0.3% since October 2017.
  • Canberra and Adelaide’s vacancy rate also remains tight at 1.3% and 1.5% respectively.
  • Perth recorded the highest vacancy rate of the capital cities at 4.6% in December, down from 5.5% a year ago.
  • Capital City asking rents over the month to 12 January rose 0.9% to $555 a week for houses. Unit asking rents also rose marginally to 0.7% to $440 a week.
  • Adelaide was the only city to record a decrease, with its house asking rents declining marginally by 0.1% over the month.

Asking Rents

Capital City asking rents over the month to 12 January rose 0.9% to $555 a week for houses.

Unit asking rents also rose marginally to 0.7% to $440 a week.

Adelaide was the only city to record a decrease, with its house asking rents declining marginally by 0.1% over the month.

Unit asking rents however, increased by 1.1% over the month. Hispanic Family Outside Home For Rent

The highest increase for houses was recorded in Darwin at 2.5% over the month, while asking rents for units jumped the most in Hobart by 6.7%.

Compare this to Hobart’s asking rents for units in November which actually had the largest drop at 3.6% in that month.

Sydney continues to record the highest asking rent in the nation for a three-bedroom house at $730.60 a week and also for units at $520.80.

Canberra follows at $606.10 a week for houses, with no change over the month.

Units however, increased by 1.9% to $442.20.

Asking rents for houses rose in Melbourne, up 1.4% over the month to $522.30 while unit asking rents also rose 0.2% over the month to $396.70 a week.



from Property UpdateProperty Update

Your Brain Loves These 3 Habits

Bad habits impair your brain.

You can tell when your habits are impairing you brain.Good-Or-Bad-habit

This impairment manifests itself in bad choices, poor memory, lack of willpower, trouble sleeping, feeling lethargic during the day, uncontrolled anger, depression, poor health, and strained relationships.

But, not to worry, I’m here to help.

I’ve spent the past eleven years studying the daily habits of those who succeed in life and those who do not.

Those who succeed in life all share certain habits that improve brain function, increase their IQs, physically grow their brains by adding and strengthening brain cells, improve memory and accelerate their thinking.

In my study of the brains of those who succeed and those who struggle in life, I uncovered some very interesting facts about how successful individuals are able to improve brain function.

Neuroplasticity is the process in which the brain changes over time.

Our brains have stunning powers of neuroplasticity well into adulthood.  


When we form a new habit, neuroplasticity occurs.

Our brains become re-wired.

By changing our behavior or by changing the way we think, we change our brains. 

None of us are locked into life’s circumstances due to our DNA.

We can change.

We can become smarter, better and a much improved person well into our senior years.

Neuroplasticity can enable the poorest and least educated the ability to change their circumstances in life by simply changing their behaviors and their thinking.

We all have the capacity for success, no matter our age.

Below are three habits I uncovered in my study of successful individuals that will act like fertilizer for your brain:

Read to Learn 30 Minutes Each Day

88% of the successful individuals in my study read at least 30 minutes a day to learn. coffee reading weekend

Not talking about entertainment reading here.

This is focused study intended to gain knowledge in either your career, your life, your business or something you are passionate about.

This reading included current events (94%), educational material (79%), biographies of other successful people (58%), history (51%) or self-help (55%).

Eighty-six percent read two or more educational books per month and 63% listened to audio books. Conversely, 98% of those who were struggling in life did no educational reading at all.

Here are some more reading-related stats of those struggling in life:

  • 74% said that they hated reading.
  • 85% said they did not read books.
  • 89% said they did not read about current events.
  • 94% said they did not read anything educational.
  • 79% of those who did read, read strictly for entertainment.
  • 84% never read anything historical in nature,
  • 93% never picked up a self-improvement book.

What happens to your brain when you engage in daily self-education reading?

When we learn anything new, our brain releases a protein called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).

The release of BDNF has the effect of turning on a part of the brain called the Nucleus Basalis.

When the nucleus basalis is turned on it releases a chemical called acetylcholine.

The purpose of acetylcholine is to excite neurons to talk to each other.

When neurons start talking to each other, a new synapse is created. girl-reading-a-book-at-home-picjumbo-com

The nucleus basalis is then turned off by this same protein (BDNF) and this new neural connection is locked in (sealed, so to speak) and the new learning then becomes a memory.

The more we review the new learning, the stronger this new neural connection becomes and the easier it is to recall that information.

BDNF is fertilizer for the brain.

It’s purpose is to help nerve cells (i.e. neurons – also known as brain cells) grow.

When we make learning a daily habit (i.e. reading every day to learn) we turn on this nucleus basalis, create more neural connections (synapses) and, thus, our brains grow bigger and we become more intelligent.

There is another side benefit of daily learning that is only now being studied by neuroscientists – the more synapses we have, the less likely it is that we will fall prey to Alzheimer’s disease, particularly if we continue to engage in daily learning after age sixty-five.

Exercise Aerobically Every Day

You’re probably sick of hearing about the benefits of aerobic exercise (running, jogging, jumping rope, StairMaster, elliptical, biking, etc.).

But I don’t care.

Here are some of the benefits of exercise that you need to know:

  • Aerobic exercise stimulates the production of Erythopoietin (EPO). sport exercise
    EPO is responsible for the creation of new red blood cells in bone marrow.
    New red blood cells have more hemoglobin, which enables them to carry more oxygen to the body.
    Oxygen = fuel for the brain, tissues and muscles.
    Exercise increases the ability of red blood cells to fuel your brain.
  • Aerobic exercise activates an enzyme called Telomerase. Telomerase protects telomeres.
    Telomeres are like caps at the end of every chromosome.
    Telomeres control the number of times a cell can divide. Cells that lose their telomeres die.
    When cells die it’s called aging. Exercise, therefore, increases the life span of cells, allowing brain cells to live longer, keeping your brain young.
  • Aerobic exercise increases the volume of nerve tissue in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
    Exercise increases your ability to remember and to learn.
  • Aerobic exercise increases neurogenesis. Neurogenesis = the growth of brain cells and synapses (brain cells that talk to one another).
    Exercise increases the growth of brain cells and the number of synapses you have inside your brain..

In my Rich Habits Study , those who succeeded in life exercised aerobically on average 30 minutes a day, four days a week.

Those who struggled in life did not.

In fact, 77% of those struggling in life did no exercise at all.

Because successful people exercised, they had more brain fuel (glucose and oxygen), better memories, were able to learn more, had more brain cells and had more synapses (brain cells that talk to one another).

When we exercise aerobically, we increase blood flow throughout the body.

The more you exercise, the greater the blood flow. running-1705716_1280

Blood’s major purpose in the body is to carry nutrients (glucose and oxygen) to the cells and to carry waste out through our lungs in the form of carbon dioxide.

This means more nutrients to the brain and more waste removal from the brain.

Aerobic exercise also increases blood flow into the Dentrate Gyrus.

The Dentrate Gyrus is part of our brain’s Hippocampus, a region involved in memory formation and neurogenesis (birth of new neurons).

Aerobic exercise also stimulates the production of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDFN).

BDFN is miracle grow for the neurons inside our brain.

Aerobic exercise is, in many respects, like candy for the brain.

Learn a New Skill Every Six Months

Every time you engage in a new activity and then practice it, you grow your brain. learn

Every repeated activity requires the creation of a neural pathway.

Neural pathways are a series of neurons (brain cells) called into action to communicate with each other.

When we repeat new activities, these neurons communicating with each other begin to form a permanent neural pathway, thus growing the size of our brains.

It is critical for older people to engage in new activities in order to keep their brains active and prevent shrinkage, which usually accompanies retirement.

Those who want to grow their brains should engage in a new activity every six months and repeat it until it becomes a new skill.

This can take anywhere from 18 days to 254 days.

Each new activity that becomes a skill creates brain mass and keeps our minds active and healthy.

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