“What sources would you go to for valued property information?” & “When looking for property advice, what three characteristics/sources from the list below are likely to engender your trust?”. Read more at


Two out of five houses sold to investors last year in Queensland. Investor interest in townhouses & apartments is much higher, with seven out of ten townhouses selling to investors & 85% of apartments being sold to non-residents. Sales to investors are up on 2012, by about 10%. During 2014 they will get even higher. Read more at


By Kevin Lee Property Investment Adviser & Buyers Agent Smart Property Adviser   What does the Commonwealth Bank's changing stance on mining towns mean for investors? We've all read those adverts in the industry magazines and publications. You know ... the ones touting super high rental yields on average houses or townhouses in a far. Read more at


Today's ABS figures suggest a construction boom in Australia. Tonight's TV & radio broadcasts, and tomorrow's print media, will highlight such. On the surface it sounds great. But dig a bit deeper & things - construction-wise - are far from booming. Read more at


Xenophobia rules. Buyers are rushing in from overseas. Heaps more are coming from interstate. Locals are being beaten at the post by out-of-state buyers. Really? Hmmm, the statistics show quite a different story. Read more at


Buying a property or car in Queensland just got whole lot easier thanks to new laws introduced in Parliament last week by the Newman Government. An overhaul of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act (PAMDA) has seen (amongst many things) the removal of Form 27c; agent’s commissions being deregulated & the sole/exclusive agency period extended. All... Read more at

UNDER $250,000

Here is a question for you. How many homes sell for under $250,000 across Queensland? The answer is many more than you probably think. Read more at


For every new sale settled, two sales are actually made. Often, more work goes into the ‘sale’ that falls over than the one that sticks. That is the nature of selling new property. It has always been the case. Selling something new – often off-plan - via a few simple tools like a building model; Read more at


By Mike Mortlock Director MCG Quantity Surveyors At MCG we occasionally see some astonishing tax depreciation deductions, like the penthouse in Cremorne Point which returned over $170,000 in its first full year of claim, but even an average house can return amazing, yet every-day deductions. Read more at


Housing bubble? Give me a break. I forewarned a few weeks back, that we might see an increasing detachment from reality as this residential market recovery takes hold. I was thinking it would start in earnest sometime next year. But it looks like I was wrong. The loopers are already at it & in force. Read more at


I am often asked about the latest hotspot. Last week I gave several presentations – and after every one – someone asked for my list of ‘hot suburbs or areas’. I generally reply, “I really don’t care about so-called hotspots.” And then I ask two important questions. Firstly, “Are you a property speculator?” Followed by... Read more at


By Dr. Alan Davies Transport and Urban Development Consultant Blogger for The Urbanist Australasian cities have taken out five of the top ten spots in the EIU’s bi-annual survey of the world’s most liveable cities. Trouble is, from the point of view of city policy-makers it’s meaningless. Melbourne is again the world’s most liveable city and ... Read more at


In recent weeks we have received several replies about how unaffordable housing is in Australia. Lots of ‘facts’ were dished up. More like urban myths, if you ask me. These included house prices being seven-plus times average earnings; the drop in net household wealth & overstretched borrowers. Bollocks. Read more at


By Imogen Brown Owner Home Staging Brisbane Home staging is simply the merchandising of a house to capture the hearts and offers of potential buyers, so that a house gets sold quickly, for the best price and with the least stress. It is a known and used strategy in America and is becoming more... Read more at


A happy spring to you & vote the right way this Saturday. Small things; incidental stuff; anecdotal evidence is what I like to look for. Data is nice too, but too much data bores. Stories, tell-tale signs, glimpses of change often mean much more. Several things in recent weeks have convinced me that things have... Read more at


By Karen Haworth Manager Planning Services Master Builders Association The Small Lot Code applies to lots smaller than 450m², lots with an average width less than 15 metres and rear lots smaller than 600m². The purpose of the Small Lot Code, as detailed in the Brisbane City Plan, is to ensure that: Amenity impacts... Read more at


Here is a good question for you. Which industry is Australia’s largest? One might think it would be mining, given the amount of airplay it gets. But with about 8,500 business operations you would be way, way off. Have another go. Public administration? Wrong. Professional services? Incorrect. Retail? No. Read more at


By Jack Dixon Director Dixon Family Estate Agents: Are home buyers turning to social media to find their next property? Is Facebook the sellers’ ‘friend’? And, are you a twit if you don’t tweet the irresistible features of your property? Or are traditional media channels still the most effective when selling your home? Read more at


Last week we wrote a positive piece suggesting the probable direction of the Australian residential housing market in the next period of time. Just as there are positives behind the market’s likely upward momentum, there are also negative influences applying a brake. The market – outside of Sydney – is very much stop-start. It is... Read more at


It astonishes me that we still keep on reading about Australia’s pending housing market crash. Moody’s is the latest commentator to join the chorus singing for caution on the Australia residential market. Sadly, most overseas commentators don’t understand the nuances of the Australia property cycle or how mortgages are granted & must be repaid in... Read more at


By Rob Honeycombe Managing Director Bees Nees City Realty In June and July 2013 Bees Nees City Realty conducted a survey of tenants living in Brisbane’s inner city, asking them to tell us how they chose their rental home. The surveyed tenants mostly live in apartments in our city’s CBD and surrounding 5k radius. Read more at


It's no rumour that renos are rising - we know for a fact that much more of the ‘new’ housing dollar is being spent on renovations. Some estimate that just over half of the money spent on residential construction is now spent renovating rather than on new builds. Others estimate that the Australian renovation market has... Read more at

POLLED – IF YOU HAD $400,000?

What would you buy? No sucky answers, like paying off the mortgage or funding the kids’ education or taking a year or two off and travelling the world. What would you actually buy? The answer, of course, is an investment property! Read more at


We like to ask questions. We ask five ‘pulse polls’ each quarter. We often don’t like the answers we receive. But our pulse polls, whilst not thousands’ strong, are filled in by property professionals & repeat investors. So what makes a better residential investment? Read more at


Confidence was given a bit of a stir this week in the face of mixed messages from two major reporting houses. One the one hand, the Westpac/Melbourne Institute reported a drop in its ‘good time to buy a dwelling’ index... Read more at


By Scott Keck Chairman Charter Keck Cramer. In the last Charter Insight we spoke about the prospect of lower growth rates, lower demand for higher-value properties and higher demand for lower-value properties in the residential sector in the next decade relative to the previous decade. We also spoke about the need for more cost-conscious ... Read more at


By Colleen Coyne Director Colleen Coyne Property Research Since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), property developers on the Gold Coast have experienced difficult times, with many companies in receivership and an oversupply of prestige properties and apartments. This has seen price falls of the order of 20% to 50% from the peak. Five years... Read more at


Another great forward indicator with regard to the future health of the residential market – and in particular new housing construction – is employment growth. Now, I used to say ‘full-time’ employment growth. There seems to be a disconnect between working full-time & housing demand. I think it has more to do with workplace transformation... Read more at


Well goodbye fiscal 2013. Business-wise, for most, you have been a real pain in the backside. Federal politics hasn’t helped business matters much either. Oh fcuk Matusik, that must the understatement of the year. I am trying to stay positive here & not touch on the uncertainty caused by announcing the election date so early; Read more at


By Mike Mortlock Director MCG Quantity Surveyors It’s that time of year again when accountants' offices are a hive of activity with shoe boxes of receipts being dumped on desks and excel sheets being deciphered and dutifully turned into tax deductions. For property investors, the tax season should be a time where a little... Read more at


Let’s start the new financial year with a bit of grain. This missive continues on from last week’s national sales volume wrap-up & focuses on the Queensland regional markets. So what is happening, sales volume-wise, across the Sunshine state? Read more at


Here’s what I will cover on “Your Home with Kevin Turner” at noon today on 4BC1116. My weekly segment is called ‘Market Update’ and each week we cover the real estate news items of the previous week. So this Saturday 29th June, here is what’s being discussed: Read more at


Matusik Property Insights started in 1998. I had worked in the property advisory sector for over ten years before starting MPI. I started the company, to be honest, because I got sick of being a ‘researcher’ in an environment that showed little respect for the type of work I did. I was told by many... Read more at


By Con Katsiouras Director Folio Finance Recently I had a discussion with a broker who specialises in construction funding and he advised me of some of the problems he was having placing several of his construction loans. After listening to his complaints, I found myself questioning his experience, as it contradicted my own experiences... Read more at


By Mike Mortlock Director MCG Quantity Surveyors In most instances a Quantity Surveyor will conduct a property inspection when preparing a tax depreciation schedule. Sometimes this is not required, for example - if a property has been built by the owner or the Quantity Surveyor has previously inspected a unit within the same complex... Read more at


One of the real bright spots in Queensland real estate so far this year is the reported sales of new inner Brisbane apartments – “reported” being key. Several proposed apartment projects – some with much fanfare & congratulatory press commentary, and others with little or no publicity – reported big sales volumes during the first... Read more at


By Rita Avdiev Managing Director Avdiev Group There is a great sense of impatience in the air on my return to Australia. When the taxi driver calls the upcoming election “clean up Australia day” it’s obvious what the people are thinking and waiting for... Read more at


By Jason Huljich Chief Executive Officer Centuria Property Funds With global investment markets starting to pick up and defensive assets such as cash and fixed interest struggling to perform as interest rates fall, growth sectors like property are becoming more attractive due to higher yields and their potential for capital growth. But with so... Read more at


The RBA will most likely leave the cash rate on hold at 2.75 per cent on Tuesday. Rates should fall another 0.25 per cent next week – as discussed as few weeks back – to make up for the federal ‘fiscal drag’. Read more at


By Dr. Alan Davies Transport and Urban Development Consultant Blogger for The Urbanist We recently wrote about Walk Score - see here - and this article by Alan Davies is a perfect follow-on & some great analysis. Read more at


Australia has moved from fifth to fourth most overvalued global property market but the overall risk of a housing bubble has subsided, according the very debatable The Economist magazine's 2013 global housing index. Read more at


So what exactly is happening with Australia’s housing finance? Last week’s official statistics – well, more importantly, the media hype & reporting that seems these days to accompany such data – leaves most of us shaking our heads. “Best increase in four years.” “May’s interest rate cut has immediate impact.” “Largest ever volume in loans ... Read more at


One of the more common investment questions that I get asked is, “What’s hot?” Now, I happen to think that is the wrong question. What the investor really should be asking is, “What should I buy?” And for mine, the answer comes down to understanding three simple concepts: Space versus place Density needs to be... Read more at


Your 3 minute weekend update… 1. Employment up Employment rose by 50,000 in April after falling by 31,000 jobs in March. Economists had expected a 12,000 lift in jobs in April, whereas full-time jobs rose by 34,000 & part-time jobs rose by 16,000 in April. The unemployment rate fell to 5.5%. Were more than 50,000... Read more at


By Kevin Turner Host & Presenter 4BC Real Estate Talk Radio. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Margaret Lomas from Destiny Financial Solutions and asked her about the worst property investment advice she’d been given. Margaret is also the star of Property Success on Sky TV. Here’s what we discussed. Read more at


Fast car driving - sleek and modern - public transit - photos waiting - blood and glass - three points of rain - carpet lining - seats reclining Clever words on smooth tongue talking - shove it brother - just keep walking Just Keep Walking, INXS 1980. Read more at


Your 3 minute weekend update…. 1. Auction clearance rates lift The future of housing looks a little brighter this week with yet another strong result in the Sydney & Melbourne markets & to a lesser degree in Adelaide & Perth. The significance of auction clearance figures is they provide an instant gauge of the market. Read more at


By Dr. Alan Davies Transport and Urban Development Consultant Blogger for The Urbanist According to a report in The Age (15th April 2013) City roads crowded with solo drivers, the Victorian government has “reprioritised” $5.4 million originally earmarked for setting up 110 car pooling schemes. That’s a pity in a city where around 85% of... Read more at


The national & state economic results are in. The Queensland economy – in our opinion – deserves a B-. Our report card comments would be…"Trying hard; is tentative most of the time; much more focused since 24 March last year but is capable of a better result. Continuation of the current work ethic will help... Read more at


Lots happened this week...let’s recap… Property cycle The national housing market peaked to its strongest point in the past three years, according to a report by Australian Property Monitors. Melbourne house prices surged 3.6% in the March quarter to a median of $538,922; Sydney 1.6% to $673,681; Brisbane 0.5% to $438,857; & Perth 1.3% to... Read more at


The ABS earlier this month – via their regular Australian Social Trends release – produced an article on mining towns. The print out was 16 pages long. Here is our 2 ½ page summary, including some observations... Read more at


New home sales fell by 5% in February with apartment sales down 11% & detached house sales down by 4%. Detached house sales fell by 14% in Victoria, 3% in New South Wales & 7% in South Australia but rose in Western Australia (+2%) & Queensland (+1%). Several commentators remarked that the drop in new... Read more at


By Michael Yardney Director Metropole Property Strategists When you look around and see some people enjoying their riches and others struggling just to pay the monthly mortgage, it becomes painfully clear that while some people have lots of cash flow (income), others don’t and while some have substantial assets, others don’t. Then there are... Read more at


While many of us spent recent time indulging in Easter eggs, camping or hiking in the bush, some serious stuff happened regarding the housing market. Here is your post-Easter market update.... Read more at


Rising residential construction is an important element in the RBA’s game plan for 2013 & beyond. As mining-related investment plateaus, residential construction will need to step into the breach. Housing construction has a big employment multiplier. Yet first home buyer interest – which does not surprise us in least – is in decline. Investors, when... Read more at


Your 3 minute weekend good news read. A moment with Mike…… How’s this for a speech title – Internal balance, structural change & monetary policy. Well before you start to yawn, it is worth reading what Philip Lowe the Deputy Governor has to say. Few in the media, with the exception of Michael Pascoe, have... Read more at


By Rob Honeycombe Managing Director Bees Nees City Realty We have sympathy for home owners looking for an estimate of their property’s current value. There’s a common concern that you’re not getting the full story from real estate agents, and it’s hard to judge the validity of the info you’re receiving. For the most ... Read more at


The residential property market does cycle. This time around isn’t that much different from the last time & the times before that. There is always talk about “how it will be different” this time around. But history shows that there is a set of certain variables which, when combined in the right way (like ingredients ... Read more at


Your weekend 3 minute good news read A Moment With Mike….. Recovery Cometh. Well thanks for all the reads. This week’s Tuesday post was the most read (so far) in the Matusik Missive’s short history. It even topped “Kochie” from a few years back. It seems like many want some direction…..or at the very least, ... Read more at


By Michael Yardney Director Metropole Property Strategists What most of us have been taught about risk is wrong, and it’s probably holding you back from obtaining real wealth. Conventionally we’re taught that there’s a continuum of risk starting with low risk investments at one end of the spectrum to highly speculative, risky investments at ... Read more at


OZ, The Great & Powerful. Now that should be the title of this missive. But we just don’t want to believe it. Most of the rest of the world does. But still we don’t see it. Read more at


Your weekend 3 minute good news read. A moment with Mike…….. So the RBA didn’t drop official interest rates this week. But the banks will lower rates. You can now get a three year loan at a cheaper rate than the vanilla variable rate; long bank bills offer lower returns than short ones. Hmmm, interest... Read more at


By Tony Lawrence Director Sound Images Have you seen the new QR barcodes? These are quick response scannable images in magazines that link to your website or directly to your video content. Your prospect sees your ad or an article, they’re invited to use their smart phone to scan an image and bingo, you’ve... Read more at


This follows on from last week's rental reality check. As competition hots up in the market, landlords will need to up the ante to compete for tenants. Increasing supply of rental property can leave owners sitting high and dry as tenants pick the eyes out of the market. Seasoned investors know that the longer property... Read more at


By Mike Mortlock Director MCG Quantity Surveyors The ATO allows two very different methods of calculating property tax depreciation deductions, the Diminishing Value Method and the Prime Cost Method. Most investors choose the Diminishing Value Method as it will return the greatest amount of deductions over the first few years of ownership. However it’s... Read more at


Your weekend 3 minute good news read. A moment with Mike..... Another week as gone by, it is nearly the end of February, yet it seems like Christmas was only yesterday. Easter looms large & before we know it, a quarter of the year will have passed us by. We like to use almost any... Read more at


Australians borrowed $200 billion last year to buy a residential property. Now despite the gloomy commentary last year, this volume is just $15 billion or 7% less than the 2007/08 market peak. The current level of annual residential mortgage borrowings has been consistent for many years. Sadly, ‘steady’ doesn't generate a headline or a tweet. But steady... Read more at


Your weekend 3 minute good news read. A moment with Mike..... Another encouraging set of numbers this week: The Westpac/Melbourne Institute index of consumer confidence rose in February & to the highest reading since late 2010. Consumer confidence rose sharply in NSW & Western Australia & also recorded healthy gains in Victoria & Queensland. Many... Read more at


We continue this week with an analysis of our recent Matusik Pulse Question – What influences your property’s performance the most over the medium to long-term? Tick your top two responses. The most frequent reply was – its location with 62% of the vote. The second most popular response was – supply versus demand with... Read more at


By John Trubicyn Dip FMBC Director and Financial Services Adviser Place Finance Solutions At Place Finance Solutions, we are constantly amazed that people can attend property investment/SMSF themed seminars that often promote the latest ‘hot spot’ investment properties, and usually provide little more than generic information on the benefits of setting up a self-managed. Read more at


Matusik Pulse Question – What influences your property’s performance the most over the medium to long-term? Pick your top two responses. 525 replies, thanks. The most frequent reply was – its location, with 62% of the vote. Read more at


Your weekend 3 minute good news read. A moment with Mike..... I don't read the newspapers any more - haven't for close to a year - but I relented this week and wished I hadn't. It was all doom and gloom, taking the worst situation regarding every aspect of the ex-cyclone whatever it was called... Read more at


By Ray Sweeney Director MONDO Architects “Townhouse” has become the generic name for multiple dwellings attached or detached, but usually attached, built on one piece of land, subdivided and managed under a community management scheme. When we started designing in this space in 1995, the townhouse was imagined or seen or defined as a... Read more at


Well thanks Demographia for rubbing our noses in it again. We just all love your annual reminder about how expensive our homes are down under. But is your analysis correct? Just because you have now done nine of these reports and they get international exposure doesn’t mean they are correct. I am coming to the... Read more at


Your weekend 3 minute good news read. 1. The shape we’re in Not waistlines – our economic shape. As we forge into a new year, this is our legacy at the end of 2012: - Growth 3.1% - that’s near trend and not a recession in sight - Unemployment 5.2% - Interest rates historically low. Read more at


By Michael Yardney Director Metropole Property Strategists Fact: most property investors never get past owning one or two properties. In my experience the two big things most property investors fail to do are: 1. Have a formulated property investment strategy, and 2. Regularly review their property portfolio’s performance. Read more at


Anyone claiming that the Australian resources economy is over had better think again. There are about 90 committed resource projects across Australia – greater than the average number of such projects recorded over the past decade. And the value of committed projects has hit new record highs. There is heaps of work to be done... Read more at


Your weekend 3 minute good news read. 1. Resilient job market It was good to finish up the year reading that the doomsters had got it wrong – again. Our end of year tally showed that there were more jobs created, more hours worked and fewer people unemployed. Employment rose by 13,900 in November after... Read more at


There are just over 9 million private dwellings across Australia. At any one time about 85% or 7.8 million of them are occupied on a full-time basis. A further 425,000 (5%) are used by visitors on a frequent basis, but for short periods of time, and 10% or 935,000 private dwellings are not used on... Read more at


There are just over 9 million private dwellings across Australia. At any one time about 85% or 7.8 million of them are occupied on a full-time basis. Of these 7.8 million occupied dwellings, around a third are owned outright (no mortgage); just over a third are held with a mortgage and just under 30% are... Read more at


Here’s the second instalment from the BMW Guggenheim Lab’s top 100 most talked-about trends in urban thinking. You can click here to catch up on what the Lab is and read Urban Trends #1 if you missed it. Read more at


Happy New Year! Let’s hope 2013 is better business-wise than 2012. But most of us still have our health, in various states of disrepair, so that is something to be thankful for. We Aussies also live in “the quiet slipstream” to quote Neil Young, whilst much of the world is in thunder. So that, too... Read more at


We run a tight ship here at Matusik, and it's a small one at that. Since we began the new Matusik Missive in mid-September this year, we have had 50,000 visits to this blog. Over the last three years or so, we have posted 300 missives. We now post three each week. Our reach has... Read more at


We wrap up our capital city overviews with a look at the state of play in the top end’s Darwin and our national seat, Canberra. Read more at


Your weekend 3 minute good news read. 1. Steady as she goes We liked Rich Harvey’s note this week highlighting a steady pick up in market confidence - Read more at


This is the third in our series that looks at the current state of play in each of our eight capital cities. Today we feature Perth and Hobart. Next week we wrap up the series with Darwin and Canberra. Read more at


Mackay is another of Australia’s regional centres that upon examination, surprises on the upside. Once known simply as the unofficial sugar capital of Australia, this relaxed tropical city has expanded rapidly on the back of a buoyant regional economy. Read more at


By Paul Broad Director Broad Property Research & Advisory Pty Ltd With a population of nearly 537,000 permanent residents, the Gold Coast is the largest city outside of the five mainland state capitals and one of the fastest growing major regions inAustralia, having gained an average of nearly 15,000 additional new permanent residents each... Read more at


This is the second in a series about the current state of play in each of our eight capital cities. Today we feature Brisbane and Adelaide, with Perth, Darwin, Canberra and Hobart to follow in coming weeks. Read more at


The Chelsea is the first of many new apartment projects proposed across inner Brisbane by Metro Property Development & Pearls Australasia. The Chelsea comprises 194 one and two bedroom apartments, of which, as at late last month,177 have settled. Official sales records are now available to scrutinise. Given that much of Brisbane’s pending apartment stock is ... Read more at



Your weekend 3 minute good news read. 1. Confidence returning Confidence in Australia's housing markets is gathering pace – an encouraging headline this week from RPData’s Tim Lawless. Confidence levels this month, as measured by the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index, have reached their highest level since April 2011. Read more at


"The little-known suburb of Murarrie has been Brisbane's best performing suburb for house prices over the past 12 months, according to REIQ. House prices in Murarrie have risen 9.6% over the year to September to a median of $509,500". What a load a BS! And read on to find out why at


The town of Gladstone has seen a dramatic transformation from sleepy hollow to major industrial city in just under 20 years. What was once little more than a charming coastal village is beginning to have all the trappings of a modern, dynamic municipality. Read more at


This is the first in a series about the current state of play in each of our eight capital cities. Today we feature Sydney and Melbourne; in early December we will cover Brisbane and Adelaide, with the other four to follow soon after. Read more at


What apartment type would get you the best gross rental yield? We asked and 545 people replied, and frankly whilst "perception is reality" usually applies, it doesn't in this case. The majority of apartment investors – reflecting maybe their status and mode of transportation – are way off when it comes to which product and accompanying number of cars shows the best rental returns and even capital growth. Read more at

Weekend 3

Good news weekend read in 3 minutes and you’re out the door. 1. Stock on market stagnant Figures released by SQM Research reveal that the level of residential property listings around the nation remained relatively unchanged once again during the month of October. Nationally, the figures confirm a drop of -2.7% since October 2011. Read more at

Down South

Many might not know, but I give several presentations each year. Well, one per week on average, so maybe that is more than several. In a good year, it might top 100.

Like these missives, my presentations try to be direct; are usually flippant in parts (there is usually a cheeky slide or two, well often more) and sometimes the audience doesn’t like what is being said. Leonard Cohen grumbles about himself in a tune called Going Home off his new album Old Ideas…”he does say what I tell him, although it isn’t welcome.” Not a bad mantra, if you ask me. Read more


Last month – yes it is February already! – the mainstream media ran headlines proclaiming that no jobs were created across Australia during 2011 and the result was the worst in 20 years. No arguments there. Our unemployment rate remains at 5.2%, but the participation rate fell as job seekers have given up the search for positions. Read more

Missive Monday – New Zealand

I subscribe to STRATFOR – which, for mine, offers the best publicly available international geopolitical analysis. Their 2012 world forecast is worth a read. Don’t expect Australia to get a mention in the 18 page doco, as we don’t rate too highly on the world stage. Read more

Cargo Cult

This Missive is likely to get me shot, and mostly likely with both barrels, especially given that tomorrow is Australia Day…… but the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games is likely to do more damage than good. It is an absolute waste of money and diverts attention away from the things that really need doing. But that, of course, is part of the government’s plan. Since the birth of Christ, at least, it has been that way. Read more


It is good to see – in an ever-increasingly uncertain world – that 2012 has started like most, with pundits making predictions about the coming year. Sadly, these forecasts are far from expert and are usually more erroneous rather than correct. Read more

Missive Extra – Poll #1 – GC 2018 GC

We all know that the Gold Coast won the right to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Congratulations to Mark Stockwell and his team.

This two-week event will be held in April 2018. Some amazing claims are already being made as to the impact of such an event on the Gold Coast market and economy. Whilst some statements seem to have gone through some rigour, others are just utter spruiking -“the Gold Coast will be exposed to billions of people around the world as preparations unfold in the lead-up to April 2018” and “property markets will reap rewards too” are two recent examples. Read more

Carbon tax (again)

The proliferation of information (spin really) about climate change and our own carbon tax doesn’t mean that it has become more understandable. In fact, the opposite rings true.

Who really knows what happened in Durban last month, except that the Kyoto Protocol has been taken out of its casket and put on critical life support; the Gillard government got a breath of fresh air; some carbon cutting decisions will be made in 2015 and then again in 2020; and $100 billion per year (yes $100b every year) will be spent on a Green Climate Fund. Our contribution – if financing is direct – towards this fund will be between $2b and $3b per year. Read more

Missive Extra – Numbers

After three weeks of zero tasking, it is finally time to kick off the New Year.

We’d like to wish you a very Happy 2012 and to share with you some of the stats from the Matusik Missive throughout 2011.

You may already have some sense that the Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. But what you won’t know is that the Matusik Missive was viewed around 89,000 times in 2011…..which means that, if it were an exhibit in the Louvre, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it. Read more

New vs Old

In spite of the battering that the residential market has taken of late, many Australians still aspire to own investment property.

When considering whether to buy new versus older property, price is only ever part of the equation.

And buying a new dwelling has numerous benefits over buying a second-hand property. Read more

Missive Extra - Boomer Bust

As we wrote last week, Australia is facing a demographic tsunami.

There are 5.3 million baby boomers (born between 1945 and 1964) and the oldest are now starting to retire. Read more


Housing affordability has been in the headlines again, but this time around some seriously good research is the cause.

A new study for AHURI (Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute) strongly suggests that the traditional method of calculating housing affordability is out-dated and should be considered in conjunction with other ways of weighing up whether people can afford their mortgage or rent. Read more

ol’ fifty-five

OPPPS, Wrong year! Another stuff up! The sooner 2011 is over with the better!

It was supposed to be set to play on the 18th Jan 2012! Well you got this one a bit earlier than planned. Read more

House of horrors?

According to the economic journal, there are two ways to track valuations: price-to-rent ratio and price-to-earnings ratio. Just as a share price reflects a company’s future profits, house prices should reflect expected return. If both measures are well above their long-term averages, then the property market is overvalued. Read more

Missive Extra – Shrinkage

So interest rates have fallen again.
Hmmm, my first reaction is to start quoting the “shrinkage” part from The Hamptons episode from Seinfeld.
For those who aren’t Seinfeld fans – yes it is hard to believe but they do exist – below is the relevant segment of the script. I have also included a synopsis of the complete episode for the unenlightened among you. Read more

3rd Home

Apparently – well according to Luke or Matthew (I get so confused as to who said what in the Bible these days) – Jesus said to Satan, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God!” Well, I don’t really know about the words from God either, but living on nothing much rings true. Read more

Off The Plan

There have been several short reports for public consumption of late, discussing off-the-plan buying. Most have been masquerading as buyer tips or advice, but they take a very pro-developer side of things. Read more


To my surprise, very few investors (and sadly fewer property gate-keepers) know about NRAS. And if they know something about it, then they are dismissive of it. And mostly – I feel – out of fear and/or ignorance. Read more

A Tale of Two Buildings

Children grab your note books and gather around, I am going to tell you a story.

There were once two identical buildings – building A and building B. They sat side-by-side and remember they were exactly the same.

They each had 50 nice little apartments in them. Read more

The Big Nothing

Judging from the reaction in the media and from the usual suspects spruiking property, last week’s interest rate drop is the biggest thing since sliced bread. It’s going to boost retail spending; lift house prices and make Christmas a real bundle of joy. It is bordering on medicinal; stopping just short of a miracle. Read more

Boosted? Extra

Several readers made contact with us yesterday, asking if we knew about the actual distribution of the Building Boost applications across the state.

We have had a hell of a time getting such information out of the Government, with more than the usual amount of storm walling. Read more


Several subscribers made contact with us a few weeks back in response to our Hogtied missive. Most who replied were of the impression that the Queensland building boost would lift demand and help get more new development underway. Read more

Boo Hoo

There is little doubt that a fall in interest rates would have a positive impact on new housing starts. But, despite calls from the development industry for rates to drop today, there really isn’t any real need to build more new dwellings at present. Read more

Dense about Dwellings

There are three things that drive me – I like to be a lonely voice; I enjoy being a stick in the mud (and grumpy about it) and I am always more interested in what people do rather than what they say.

This somewhat self-centred introduction is an attempt to explain why I keep banging on about the need to change our urban planning policies in this country.  We need to accept the fact that most don’t want to live in little air-conditioned boxes in the sky.  I am not against high-density development – God knows my business has helped many of them come to fruition; it is just that the argument for anything else is losing its voice. Read more


Get your minds out of the gutter; the title has nothing to do with bondage, but sums up nicely how we are suffocating what little life is left in the new housing market in this country.

All economic activity is fuelled (and limited) by the availability of three things: land, labour and capital. The term “demand” can be interchanged with “labour” in some instances. Without all three components, economic activity does not grow – well, not as fast as it could. Read more

The EU

have had the pleasure of spending three and a half weeks walking through central Italy.  Many have asked me since my return about what is happening over here in relation to the European Union (EU) and the euro.

The European condition (outside of Germany and maybe the Nordic block) can best be summed up in nine words – “the ruins proclaim that the city was once prosperous.” Read more

Amber Oz

Sadly, both parties, initially led by the Liberal Party and quickly followed by Labor under Julia Gillard, have opted for Little Australia. For generations, both political parties have done the right thing by Australia on population. They have strongly supported high immigration despite great reluctance from voters for it. Big Australia makes sense.

Cutting migration means higher interest rates in the short-term and higher taxes in the long-term as our population ages. As for house prices, well, don’t expect them to grow much, if at all. House price devaluation is a more likely outcome if we adopt Little Australia. Read more

Back In Black

Unfortunately, the title of this missive has nothing to do with the state of the residential market. It remains “dead, buried and cremated”. Remember this was originally written over a year ago. The Brisbane market, at least, is in a better position now. Read more

Big Homes

The boss and I are on a four-week break walking through Tuscany. Lucky us! Well it has been a long time coming…paid for years ago, but delayed twice over recent years due to work, or ironically the lack of it, and again with more than a touch of irony, we are now taking this trip just as our workload is increasing. In fact it is back to pre-GFC levels. A bellwether? Let’s hope so. Read more

Over, not undersupplied

Australia’s population growth has slowed by close to 150,000 in just two years, with a 100,000 drop in the actual growth rate over the last twelve months. As a result, the underlying demand for new housing has dropped from 180,000 starts per annum to around 125,000. Whilst dwelling starts are declining, we are now building too much stock. Read more

Out of context

The best measure of the data on residential prices, RPData-Rismark Hedonic Index, shows that Australian house prices fell just 0.2% last month.  This equates to an actual drop of $1,200 against a median dwelling value of about $525,000.  Even on a quarterly basis, the drop is just 0.9% or $4,700. Read more

Things have changed

I can outline many reasons why I think interest rates should have fallen earlier this year. These days, one's reasoning has the most cut through if summed up in pithy quips – "two-speed nation"; "gloom and boom"; "paradox of thrift"; "okay but not happy" or my current favourite, "RVO" – Real Versus Official – economy, that is. Read more

An independent opinion

Let’s face it, we don’t have expensive housing in Australia, we have expensive land.  The average cost of residential land overtook the median cost of constructing a dwelling, across all Australian capitals, about five years ago.  The difference between the two is now considerable and growing.  Volume builders in Queensland are constructing quality new detached homes for well under $1,000 per square metre. Read more

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