Pete Wargent blogspot

Co-founder & CEO of AllenWargent property advisory & buyer's agents, offices in Brisbane (Riverside) & Sydney (Martin Place) - clients include hedge funds, resi funds, & private investors.

4 x finance/investment author - 'Get a Financial Grip: a simple plan for financial freedom’ (2012) rated Top 10 finance books by Money Magazine & Dymocks.

"Unfortunately so much commentary is self-serving or sensationalist. Pete Wargent shines through with his clear, sober & dispassionate analysis of the housing market, which is so valuable. Pete drills into the facts & unlocks the details that others gloss over in their rush to get a headline. On housing Pete is a must read, must follow - he is one of the better property analysts in Australia" - Stephen Koukoulas, MD of Market Economics, former Senior Economics Adviser to Prime Minister Gillard.

"Pete Wargent is one of Australia's brightest financial minds - a must-follow for articulate, accurate & in-depth analysis." - David Scutt, Business Insider, leading Australian market analyst.

"I've been investing for over 40 years & read nearly every investment book ever written yet I still learned new concepts in his books. Pete Wargent is one of Australia's finest young financial commentators." - Michael Yardney, Australia's leading property expert, Amazon #1 best-selling author.

"The most knowledgeable person on Aussie real estate markets - Pete's work is great, loads of good data and charts, the most comprehensive analyst I follow in Australia. If you follow Australia, follow Pete Wargent" - Jonathan Tepper, Variant Perception, Global Macroeconomic Research, and author of the New York Times bestsellers 'End Game' and 'Code Red'.

"Pete's daily analysis is unputdownable" - Dr. Chris Caton, Chief Economist, BT Financial.

Invest in Sydney/Brisbane property markets, or for media/public speaking requests, email pete@allenwargent.com

Monday, 18 June 2012

Sydney expensive? Yes, we had noticed...

Another week, another article about pricey Australia.

Don’t forget to look beyond the headlines, though!

Six of the world's 30 most pricey cities for expats are in Australia, a survey has found. Sydney has claimed the title of Australia's most expensive city for expatriates, narrowly missing the top 10 globally but coming in 11th in the latest Mercer cost-of-living survey.

The home of the Opera House was followed closely by Melbourne at 15th most expensive and Perth sneaking in the top 20 at 19th.

All rose from their ranking the previous year, with Perth climbing 11 spots from number 30.Mercer principal Nathalie Constantin-Metral said Australian cities had experienced some of the biggest jumps as the Aussie dollar strengthened against its US counterpart.

"Demand for rental properties has also increased significantly in all the Australian cities we rank,'' she said in a statement.

"Coupled with very limited availability, the result has been very tight markets and increased prices.'' The survey took place in March when the Australian dollar hovered above parity with the greenback.

Sure, we know that Australia is expensive - nothing new there! - and some of our housing stock is seeing some easing in values, but sometimes these ‘affordability’ articles are actually in part a discussion of exchange rate movements – rather than actually being about affordability.

OK, so the strengthening of the Aussie dollar might be a nasty surprise for returning expats, but this is not quite the same discussion.

That’s not to say that affordability isn’t an issue in some areas, but one welcome consequence of the low inflation prints, weak retail figures and global uncertainty has been the affordability dividend delivered by the slashing of the cash rate from 4.75% to 3.50%.

There are some very competitive mortgage rates coming to the fore too. Variable mortgages at under 5.75%; nice work if you can get it.

I’ve only been back in Australia a week after an extended period of time travelling and it was absolutely fantastic to take a walk around Circular Quay and Darling Harbour yesterday.

It always amazes me to hear how much Sydneysiders criticise their own city!

As I mentioned in my blog post the other day, I was lucky enough to travel to 25 countries over the past year, which was an amazing experience, but I can tell you there is no better place to live (in my wildly biased opinion...) than Sydney.

Perhaps sometimes we shouldn’t be quite so surprised when Sydney and Melbourne are cited as among the 15 costliest world cities in which to live? Always causes some debate this one...

***

A pro-Euro win at the Greek election saw some bounce back into stocks today, the Aussie All Ords up more than 1.75% as I write this.

Also notable is that despite four interest rate cuts (one of which was a ‘double’ cut of 50bps or 0.50%) the Aussie dollar has snuck back above 101 cents today as a little confidence returns.

I discussed the reasons for the dollar’s resilience and the likely outcomes going forward in my post here.