House Prices Always Go Structurally Higher in Australia

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What an uninspiring way to begin the new financial year. Aussie stocks started out the second half of the year down two percent, staggering home from the bender celebrating the end of the first half. Come on boys. Get it together.

But the task of today’s Daily Reckoning is not to figure out where stocks are headed in the second half of the calendar year. No one knows. Our strategies are focused on energy stocks-both the conventional and highly unconventional kind. We’re bearish on fixed income, a bit more bullish on cash, precious metals, and tangible assets.

What about housing? ANZ Bank published a report on the subject yesterday. Among other things, it declared that, “We expect dwelling prices to edge higher for much of the remainder of 2009 with upside risk presenting from intensification of strong fundamentals, a shift in price expectations and restoration of confidence.”

Pardon?

That is some seriously tortured syntax. What does “upside risk presenting from intensification of strong fundamentals” actually mean? Does that mean there is a risk prices could go up? Blah blah blah.

On the plane to Adelaide yesterday we had a much more down to earth conversation about property with the man sitting next to us in the exit row on our Boeing 737. He was reading a story in yesterday’s Australian about the new “boom in the bush.”

“According to RP Data-Rismark, the national median house price of $468,819 is just $520 shy of the record set in February last year, before the global economy sank into recession. Melbourne is leading the housing recovery, with a 6.1 per cent growth in prices between January 1 and May 31 and auction clearance rates in excess of 80 per cent for the past seven weeks. Sydney recorded 5.2 per cent growth in prices over the same period.”

Adelaide was not near the top of the list. And that had this passenger concerned.

“My wife and I decided to buy another property about 18 months ago. We thought the financial crisis was a good buying opportunity. You had a lot of people scared. But now, I just want to get rid of the thing. It’s keeping me up at night.”

“But I’ve heard Adelaide is a nice place to live.”

“It’s lovely. But I bought around $410k and already the median price is below that here. I don’t care what I get now. I’d be happy with $408. I’m going to call my agent and let him know. My wife tells me I’m being silly. But I just want out. I have my pay stubs from back when I bought my first house and I have the mortgage too. I made $8,000 a year and the house was $25,000. Today, though, we need that money for retirement…I don’t wanna be caught selling when everyone else is. I want out.”

It sounded like he wanted out of the market.

“I get worried when people saying prices always go up. I mean there must be some evidence to show that isn’t true. Wouldn’t people want to know that before they took out a big mortgage…especially with interest rates. They have to go up sometime don’t they?”

Your editor didn’t say much because he was nodding the whole time. Choir, meet preacher.

Of course this preacher and this choir may be excommunicated from the Church of Aussie Housing. Median home values are within shouting distance of their all-time highs, thanks for the first buyer’s grant. It’s a disaster in the making.

Demographics, immigration, the concentration of the population in urban centres, and the much ballyhooed supply gap are all trotted out as reasons why house prices always go structurally higher in Australia. This also explains, apparently, how Aussie house prices can defy household earnings gravity.

That is, people spend much larger multiples of their income on housing here than anywhere else in the world. How is that affordable? A reversion to the mean ratio (3:1) would mean a serious correction/crash. That seems impossible and psychologically impermissible to a lot of Aussies. But once you wrap your head around the idea that, historically, house prices don’t go up much faster than the rate of inflation, it begins to make sense.

There may be multi-year periods (we call them credit bubbles) when low interest rates create a boom in mortgage lending. This leads to house price inflation. But those booms always go bust.

Governments seek to avoid the bust by reigniting another round of inflation to keep household nominal wealth from utterly collapsing (or simply reverting to a more sensible mean). Hence, the Aussie government sparking a lending boom to those people in Australia with the most to lose from taking on huge mortgage at the low end of the interest rate cycle; young Aussies who are the most vulnerable workers in the job market and spend the highest percentage of their discretionary income (not much) on an asset they bought at the top of the boom.

Come to think of it, if you were deliberately trying to wipe out the financial prospects of an entire generation by saddling them with crushing debt, increasing the first buyer’s grant is probably exactly what you’d do. And you’d laugh along with your banker friends.

Incidentally, two of our confirmed panelists for the Debt Summit later this month will have a lot to say about Aussie property. Stay tuned.

Finally, some reader mail. It raises a problem that’s been growing in the back of our brain. Credit is not money. So what happens if the credit bubble deflates and the liquidity measures (which are not money) instituted by the Fed and other central banks never turn into new money supply. Does this invalidate our entire position on inflation, and the investment strategy that goes with it? No! More on why tomorrow.

–Dear DR,

I have just read today’s DR – good work as always – and refreshing to hear more analysis on the likelihood of deflation prior to potential (hyper-) inflation.

Two highly pertinent factors, it would seem to me, are invariably over-looked in this debate and I thought you might like to explore them for your DR readers.

1. Central bank’s ‘quantitative easing’ via the printing press certainly appears highly inflationary viewed against metrics such as M0, MZM etc. However, viewed against the scale of debt lurking in the ‘shadow money’ world of derivatives where the figures are a factor of 10 greater, it compares to a bit of loose change. As you point out, the coming tsunami of ALT-A et al. debt refinancing/default represents a huge deflationary force that will manifest significantly via the derivatives market.

2. Of course the banks are going to rebuild their capital base with bail-out funds and deposit such taxpayer largesse in the safest place possible: the Fed – they were always going to and I find it hard to believe that anyone thought otherwise. If the Government/Fed was serious about re-liquefying the credit markets all it basically has to do is start charging the banks for holding their reserves. The money-grubbers would soon have their funds out and lent where they could get a return – albeit at extortionate interest rates.

Best regards,

David W.

Dan Denning
for The Daily Reckoning Australia

Dan Denning
Dan Denning examines the geopolitical and economic events that can affect your investments domestically. He raises the questions you need to answer, in order to survive financially in these turbulent times.
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75 Comments on "House Prices Always Go Structurally Higher in Australia"

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Ross
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Dan, I will watch closely for “More on why tomorrow”. Two things from US bond market commentator The Market Ticker 1. Savings. Even the US households are saving now, but it isn’t saving in terms of creating lending capital for the real economy if households are paying back debt, even when that debt sits in securities exchanged with the fed. 2. Market making. We have all heard that the US merchant banks are back hogging the market with index trades again. They sell each others assets back and forward between each other and the rest of the world gets sucked… Read more »
Daniel
Guest
Nice article Dan. It is good to hear an alternative view about house prices in Australia – particularly a word on Adelaide. I do agree with the article to some extent – particularly the comment , “…thanks for the first buyer’s grant. It’s a disaster in the making, ” and the sentiment that house prices do not always go structurally higher in Australia. However, there are some issues that mean Australia is able to have a higher house price to income ratio that i think you have understated. – First is the relative inelasticity of supply of land in Australia.… Read more »
Joe
Guest
Old rule – Average family earning average wages can afford average house. This has been a mean with variations above and below depending on demand and supply. If the average family earnings in Australia are circa $130K that would imply the average house should cost $390K. Anything above that is expensive, below it is cheap. I believe that the average house is well above this amount (in capital areas) and as such a correction is on the cards. My suspicion is that there will be a wage inflationary push, the problem with this is that before that there will be… Read more »
Dan
Guest
Spot on Joe, what you say is true in the long run – people will only buy what they can afford, on average, over time. If they deviate from this (usually by being deceived), then a hangover inevitably follows. But house price deflation is a big bogey man for the Government, which seeks to stall any dip in the housing market through its FHBG and other forms of market manipulation. It’s not a guaranteed thing. I suspect that instead, housing prices will ‘fall’ by not rising in keeping with wages and other goods/services. Either way, houses won’t perform well anymore… Read more »
Erik @ Retire on Property
Guest
I am not convinced at all that Australian residential property will drop significantly apart from the top end of the market – which has already started to drop. As far as Australian property being unaffordable because of the high price/income ratio maybe you should have a look at what is considered an average property in Australia compared to say western Europe; my conclusion is that what is considered an Average property in Australia will in a decade or so be considered an above average property and average properties will have reduced land content and reduced internal sizes – driven by… Read more »
Ned S
Guest
Joe – New houses are certainly expensive – What does one expect when they are heaps bigger than they were in the past and every bloke who’s ever seen a nailing gun thinks he deserves big bucks to get out of bed in the morning and we’ve got lots of occ health and safety and other regs adding to the prices and people want ensuites and heaps of ceramic tiles and lots of other luxuries. But it is the land that is the real killer. And there are lots of vested interests playing a part in keeping those prices up.… Read more »
Greg Atkinson
Guest

Erik, I think the term “average” home is tossed around without a lot of thought. It is hard to compare “average” homes within a city let alone with other countries.

Ned S
Guest
Here we have government making light speed changes to legislation to lock people into property purchases they may otherwise have wanted to and previously been entitled to back out of: http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25694389-5011140,00.html The justification being things like “in an increasingly difficult market for securing credit, lenders who funded projects on the basis of off-the-plan sales were also concerned” and “Settlement of these contracts is essential to ensure the financial success of any residential project and the continued solvency of most developers and the continued employment of contractors and subcontractors” … continued solvency of MOST developers??? (That being a QLD state minister… Read more »
Biker Pete
Guest
All interesting comments on the ‘average house’… . We’ve come full circle, I think. Some areas will fall; others will rise. But as Ned and Greg state, defining the average house is difficult. Almost every house we now build, in a beach suburb with high growth, has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, home cinema, full, fast optic fibre, air conditioning, double garage, water tank plumbed in, landscaped gardens, high ceilings, etc, etc. This is fast becoming ‘the standard’ in WA…. tenants want it, buyers demand it. A solar HWS caps it off. These homes, which we construct in areas with water… Read more »
Yorkie
Guest
I think affordability to purchase might be a better way to compare Australian housing to other countries. What percentage of income must be used to provide shelter. This way you can measure the stress placed on household income. The more spent on housing the less you have for other expenditure. The other way to compare us to the rest of the world might be to look at rental yields. Finally you could even consider what percentage of wages are used to pay rent in other countries compared to Australia. Of course for Australia you may have to consider the $3… Read more »
Michael
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Ned S
“Technically council rates charges are supposed to reflect land valuations as I understand it??? And it would seem a bit rude to put rates up (which councils have) if land values had gone down”.

Councils here base the general rate at x cents per dollar of unimproved valuation. The cents per dollar is based on the overall budget requirement.

Falling land values has no bearing on the revenue they budget for – falling values has no bearing on council operations – ipso etc. the rate must rise if land values are revised downward.

Cyber Cynic
Guest
I’m still of the opinion that house prices will hold up or decline by 5%-10% at the most. The real killer will be the lack of growth for a few years which will effectively reduce house values as inflation and wage growth start to close the gap. With average incomes at around $60k and the average household income up over $100k, existing “average” houses (3/4 Bed, 2 Bath, Brick Veneer on a 500+m2 Block within 20-30km of CBD) priced around $450k are reasonable value in my opinion…. All the new blocks I see in the cities are tiny 400m2 “plots”… Read more »
bob
Guest

Why do us Aussies think that a house that costs say, $450,000 is actually worth it. The amount of net income to fully pay off a loan for that amount is way more than $450,000. Do we so undervalue our precious time on this planet. It just seems to me that we seem to be sleepwalking, just going along with what society tells us should be. Instead of changing society to be the way it should be.

Biker Pete
Guest
Yes, we could apply that logic to almost any commodity, Bob. Personally I fail to see why anyone would pay more than $20K for a _car_, which rapidly loses half its value. As Greg has noted, it costs around $500/ oz to produce gold. Why would anyone pay double that? The answer is, of course, that something is ‘worth’ what another will pay for it. Logically, in troubled times, gold provides some shelter. If you’re getting dividends, keep buying gold. I’m sure that in the the perfect society, we’d all have vaults full of the lovely stuff… . Imagine though… Read more »
Ned S
Guest
Thanks Michael – All too true – When push comes to shove, local, state and commonwealth government will all collect whatever tax they reckon they need. Although if they can make it look a bit less like a blatant tax grab I’d guess that is their preference. Just as a side note I read a while back that Ken Henry saw considerable merit in taxing land. It’s much easier than getting a handle on what business has really made what profit and what money has been hidden overseas and such things presumably. It’ll be interesting to see how the commonwealth… Read more »
Coffee Addict
Guest
There is a real estate crisis in every family, including mine. With her car driving days probably numbered my Mum needs to move into more suitable accom. The 4 bedroom house which we bought new in 1967 for $17K and with the big flight of stairs at the front isn’t that great any more. Of course she won’t move ……….. but even if she did, the financial implications would be quite daunting. OK she can get about $550K for what she’s in but she can’t get much for that in terms of retirement accommodation, particularly if she was to move… Read more »
Greg Atkinson
Guest

CA..of course it also works in reverse in some areas. Areas that were once downtrodden become hip, prices rise and they undergo an urban renewal. years ago everyone seemed to want a big backyard, not more people want to be closer to the city and amenities. Times change.

Biker Pete
Guest

Now, an educational administrator should know how to spell ‘they’re’ CA! :)

Yorkie
Guest
CA I think you are right the final straw for the housing ponzi scheme will probably be interest rates. What the house bulls seem to over look is the increased leverage required to buy a home. Most of us BB’s have seen 15% plus interest rates but when you owe 3 times income its hard but not impossible to make ends meet. Now days when young families have to spend 7 or 8 times income a small rise in interest rates really cuts into their income. Who would you rather be the fella in the 80s on 20K a year… Read more »
Shaun
Guest
Coffee Adict has a very good point. Similarly it seems every second person of a certain age owns rental property encouraged by previous government policy. What happens as these landlords age and it all becomes a bit too hard to be bothered by the problems of managing rentals? In my early twenties I watched as smart 30 year olds bought up the inner city rental stock of a previous generation at low prices, because no one wanted to live in those ageing, damp, cold, uncomfortable conjoined piles of rubble. Fashions change. The most immediate factor however, is unemployment. Once that… Read more »
Dan
Guest

I agree Shaun. Additionally I’d say that predicting the desirable residential locations for future wage earners is the big key, and is heavily dependent on future infrastructure plans (especially transportation). It’s a bit of a gamble, but assuming that peak oil does occur (even if it is artificial) then the only form of mass transportation that will survive reliably is rail (it will be back on the government’s agenda soon I am sure). After that it’s a question of which industries will survive or grow in the next few years and what class of worker is needed for them.

Annie
Guest
Talking of house prices and credit contraction….. I was listening to talk back radio the other day and a caller described how a bank (and i can’t for the life of me remember which one)called in the housing loan. The caller said the he wasn’t behind in his mortgage, which was just over $200,000, but that the bank had invoked a clause that said they could call in the loan at any time. He was able to refinance but had to pay out his loan. Now my rational brain thought, “Why would a bank do this? They make too much… Read more »
Dan
Guest

Wow, Annie. This is juicy news indeed!

Biker Pete
Guest

Annie, I have _huge_ faith in talk back radio. It’s very likely, based on the reliability of source, that this has actually happened… and will soon become commonplace… . Private home ownership is doomed. ;)

Ned S
Guest

Just a thought Annie, but maybe he was up to his ears in credit card debt or way behind on his child support payments or he hadn’t been so conchy in paying off his business loan or some other creditor and the move was really triggered/initiated by another party taking a lien over the property? Although I’m honestly not sure how such things might work.

Annie
Guest
Good points Ned S. The caller was silent on whether or not there were any other debts in his name and the interviewer did not ask either. Of course sometimes when the whole story is revealed it can put a different complexion on the matter. I was hoping however that someone on the forum that may have experience in the banking or finance industry could post about the legalities of this scenario. If it turns out to be true, every mortgage holder should feel very uncomfortable if the banking sector takes another hit (like some have prophesized)and they start scrambling… Read more »
Ned S
Guest
Property purchases for those interested in making a buck from them – The old location, location, location rule is good (transport infrastructure, schools, shops, hospitals, universties, jobs etc close by) plus potential, potential, potential (can you subdivide the block [although such blocks come at a premium nowadays], get an extra bedroom out of it at minimal cost, put a granny flat underneath … whatever). Get both of those right and one should fare better than most. Long term anyway – As in I suspect it is a bit like stocks in that when the bear raids the fridge he tends… Read more »
Nirvan
Guest

Guys , you cant have house prices and rental prices like Australia and also be globally competitive and productive country . Something has to eventually give. For all the talk about migration , I do not think Australia figures well by scientists , doctors , engineers etc. Cooks , tradesmen maybe. They are other places where highly skilled people can take their skills to get and get a better bang of bucks for their skills, instead of wasting wages in rent and taxes here.

Biker Pete
Guest
You think the talk-back-radio caller was genuine, Annie? There’s an empire built on talking down realty*… and much of that empire is built _Keenly_ on an academic’s generalisation: It happened there… it must happen here. It hasn’t happened here. Two years later, we’re _still_ waiting. Meanwhile we’ve seen super fall out-of the-sky…; sharemarkets fall from 6800+ to 3200… correcting to 3750; and a host of agroforesty tax schemes explode in flames. The ABC regularly broadcasts barefoot investor talkback horror stories, many of them the typical urban myths we’ve become used to… . For every one of these there are ten… Read more »
ram
Guest

That bit about the caller saying his loan was being ‘recalled’ is probably true. The bank quants call it ‘equity harvesting’ and is in fact quite widespread and very profitable for the banks and their mates as they get to load the ‘disposal’ of the property up with fees. The preferred targets are those people whose mortgages are almost paid off.

Biker Pete
Guest

A solicitor would have a field day with your description of ‘equity harvesting’, Ram. Ewes your head and think of the ramifications, son: Lawyers, Guns & Money… . The dung would most certainly hit the aerator… . Widespread? Name just _one_ citizen of our 22 million who has almost paid off a mortgage, to have it harvested in this ‘widespread’ fashion. There are many more believable myths than this one. It’s laughable! :)

Pete
Guest

Biker, Ned and Greg: Why do you hang out on this website if you disagree with the articles so much? This surely isn’t the most ideal place for real estate bulls to hang out.

For every single article that mentions real estate or gold you are all straight onto it with the same old spiels against gold or for real estate.

Why not wait and see what someone else has to say. You might learn something.

Greg Atkinson
Guest

Oh sorry Pete, I forgot that we all had to agree with everything that is posted. It seems you think a person is a real estate bull just because they do not think prices will fall 40%. I have never been bullish about real estate, I am just not gloomish.

On the subject of gold, is a debate about supply and demand facts such a bad thing? Or shall we all just nod our heads and blindly assume that gold prices are heading for the stars and there is no stopping it?

Debate is healthy. Censorship is not.

Biker Pete
Guest
Yes, I’ve checked again, Pete. REAL ESTATE is right up there on the menu bar. I may be the only property _bull_ in this forum. Both Ned and Greg have differed with my views at times… and I with theirs’. Your views and mine differ so markedly that there will always be conflict. You _need_ property to fall, to recoup major losses. It has failed you badly in the UK, by your own admission a 40% loss. But not all property has fallen in England, just as even in a worst case scenario, it won’t all fail back in Australia.… Read more »
Ned S
Guest

Pete – Re the current merits of gold and houses: I have a young niece and newphew – Should they happen to be orphaned tomorrow and I find myself with $750K to invest for their long term wellbeing, would I buy them 640 ounces of gold or a humble home each? I know what my answer is. Could I be wrong? Sure – But not to the point that they’d hate me forever for having destroyed their financial futures I suspect?

Dan
Guest
Gold is a hedge against cash. It’s reasonable to believe that its price will spike once the quantitative easing washes into the economies around the world, but even on this website we are hearing words of doubt. To me, it looked like a very good buy some years ago and in many respects gold has performed reasonably well since, but not as well as predicted. The problem I see with it is that the gold market is not transparent (I’d describe it as smoky at best) – it’s an international market and specific information on companies and personalities is difficult… Read more »
Yorkie
Guest

Dan you make a good point. The mega bears are questioning their stance those who have been a little cautious are getting more confident and the bulls are saying I told you so.

If history is any guide it’s time to get bearish again. The majority are such a poor judge of markets.

Did you hear Roubini and Shiller today on Bloomberg radio Aussie housing got a mention as one of the worlds bubbled RE markets.
Not to worry, we all know that’s not true, Glen told us there is no bubble in Australia.

Greg Atkinson
Guest
Dan, I think there are plenty of people around who have a similar view to you and I am one of them. I am fairly cautious on both gold and real estate simply because of the reasons you mention…these markets are very susceptible to tweaking by governments and banks. Anyway there is an awful lot of emotion in the markets now and we know that this can skew things either up or down. The dangerous thing is that during severe market corrections people can leap into a new investment in an attempt to cover losses they have had elsewhere….of course… Read more »
rag
Guest
comment – in many respects gold has performed reasonably well since, but not as well as predicted – is this a problem of gold or the prediction of the gold price action. Banking cartels feature so prominently as owners of the world’s bullion. Do you trust banks – No i dont as they are not your friends but if they own gold why would they want the proce to deteriorate of lose on thier investment – the banks bought gold for a reason and they know the profit principle backwards just a thought – why not view gold as an… Read more »
Dan
Guest
Rag, thanks for the good comments. Just some thoughts back: there is a problem with gold, actually, as there is a misapplication of gold’s usefulness historically to the current situation. It’s that gold’s value, above its use in jewellery (especially in India) and industry, is entirely the matter of subjective opinion (of banks). Nobody needs it to survive, and the banks know this. Banks could turn around and invent a use for gold, like returning to a gold standard, but, individually, they are as likely to turn to platinum, palladium or silver for that matter. Also, there are doubts as… Read more »
rag
Guest
there is an old saying though on houses – if you own 1 you are square, if you have 2 you only have 1 and if you rent you have negative asset – and another old chestnut is to rent and invest the difference in equities = like comedy this depends on timing – so it would be good to review the returns on assets since 1995 or 1998 when the stock market rose to housing, art and commodities. I basically put my wealth into property in 2007 – bought some gold [yes bid offer spread hurts for liquidation] but… Read more »
Dan
Guest
Getting off the grid in every possible respect is a very very good idea, and its wise to do it now (or better, years ago!) before everybody else gets the same urge. If you buy into metals, then at least they ought to be useful metals IMHO. Like tin or copper or iron is what I’d research. For example, I don’t hear of any ubiquitous alternatives to copper wiring just yet. Yes, information can travel through the air, but nobody is frying cockatoos by beaming megawatts of electricity through the humid atmosphere, nor is the moon yet being used to… Read more »
rag
Guest
king gee pants and old denium jackets – look like old Mr levi on the Gold fields but he made a killing in selling levi strauss jeans….yes couldnt get the rebate so bought big on solar cells on ebay from american company as with the turbines and want to build my own panel – next door neighbour is off the grid and loving it – but now there is a company that can give you a 1.4 kw off-the-grid solar panel for $4,000 and this can be paid-off over 5 years so savings made on electricity can pay the loan… Read more »
Annie
Guest
Tesla one of the most underated geniuses of all time!! While browsing through some treasury papers the other day, I found a little gem that is pointing to the preservation age for superannuation being pressed out to retirement age so people don’t spend their super and then go on the pension. Bet your sweet bippy the tax reform report will hail that one. Well, looks like we’ll all be little skeletons sitting at our desks before we can retire!! With the price of electricity, transport and water going up all the time, I too am looking to get a place… Read more »
rag
Guest

http://www.auzion.com is offering a solar pacjage of 1.4 kw off-the-grid – not means tested, you pay the loan off over 5 years on a no interest basis or you can build your own solar and wind turbines – any dummy can do it and I am no exception

I thought of some chooks but I heard they attract snakes – got a three year old and live in the blue mountains so worried about snales and funnel webs

Greg Atkinson
Guest

I avoided the snakes and funnel webs by relocating to Japan but of course I am very much on the grid. But there are advantages to living in the city and one is you do not need a car and that more than makes up for the cost of electricity. (which down where I am is most likely to be coming from a nuclear power plant)

rag just out of curiosity how much of the wind and solar power stuff is made in Oz?

Lachlan
Guest
Annie its always a thrill to eat your own home grown produce. This Spring Im going to plant some tomatoes called “Mortgage Lifter”. A fellow bred this variety (up to 1.6kg weight per fruit) in the great depression and sold enough of the fruit to pay off his mortgage. They taste terrific. Greg although I live rural and like the self sufficient thing, it is interesting how you can drive so little. To live in the rural areas I inevitably clock up zillions of kms in car (ute) travel which is at odds with my self suff. philosophy. Oh well… Read more »
Ned S
Guest
Hello Annie – The Ken Henry stuff re bringing access to super in line with retirement age got me snooping too. It is a very strong chance. But from what I can make of it for now, the late 40s and above just mightn’t get caught by it. Makes sense – They’d express great displeasure at the poles over having been suckered into making voluntary contributions/salary sacrificing to a black hole in the ground. While the younger ones just probably haven’t gotten so heavily into it yet – Not enmasse anyway??? But as I keep saying at the obvious risk… Read more »
Biker Pete
Guest
Why go ‘off the grid’ Annie? Smarter to put in a larger solar system, sell back to the grid… and enjoy another income stream. On our ten acres we can grow more than enough, even tho’ six acres are still dense forest: jarrah, marri, blackbutt and peppies. Yes, chooks bring rodents and thus snakes, but foxes are actually worse! Snakes and rodents are easily controlled. Foxes are an ongoing nuisance, unless you have a dog… . The English property we’re staying on at present is just a couple of acres, but our hosts are virtually self-sufficient; and no culinary experience… Read more »
Annie
Guest
Hi Rag I think in any rural areas snakes are always going to be around, and yes chooks attract them. With a littl’un may not be a good idea. I get brown snakes and had a black and white python crawling around the verandah the other night!! Lachlan, will be looking for those tomatoes. Maybe BOGI has some seeds. I too drive zillions of miles and would love not to have too. Ned S, I have just about written off my super. Even though I have defined benefit in the public service and luckily put the sacrifice stuff into cash… Read more »
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