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

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Aussie population to be 10% higher in only 5 years time?

At 9.07am today, Australia's population clock ticked up to 23,262,710 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and by the time I get around to posting this blog it will be around 25 persons higher still.

Source: ABS

If you're thinking quietly to yourself that it wasn't so very long ago that we welcomed our 23 millionth Aussie, you'd be absolutely right. The population is increasing on average by 1 person every 79 seconds which is more than 1,000 extra persons each day. Annually Australia is adding close to 400,000 persons each year to its population, a growth rate of somewhere in the region of 1.8% per annum.

The Reserve Banks's Philip Lowe noted in a speech that the "steady growth in the Australian population...remains considerably faster than in almost all other advanced countries."

Tempting though it is to think of all of the increase as being related to immigration, there are of course a range of factors at play, including:
  • one birth every 1 minute and 42 seconds;
  • one death every 3 minutes and 31 seconds; and
  • a net gain of one international migration every 2 minutes and 12 seconds.
The sum of which means that we have one extra member of the Australian population every one minute and nineteen seconds.

Population growth can lead to economic growth, although GDP per capita may slide. The demographic shifts are not all good news for the Australian economy, however. Far from it, in fact. Indeed, the very reason Australia aims to persist with this super-strong level of population growth is that we have an ageing population, and lately a declining employment participation rate.

For this reason, our work visas and permanent residency criteria are skewed towards those aged between 20 and 40. It's not that Australia simply wants more younger people, we actually need more younger people who will remain in the workforce and be taxpayers for 25 or more years.

A couple of articles at the weekend touched some of the major reasons why, which include spiralling medical and social security/pension costs. It is now expected that we might live for nearly two full decades in retirement and some of us live for far longer still. Without a new generation of taxpayers to continue to fill government coffers, our budgets would buckle.

You can call it 'Ponzi finance' or indeed whatever you like, but that is where Australia is at. When you start to thing of the building, construction, dwelling, public transport and infrastructure challenges facing the country right now, the mind begins to boggle. Michael Pascoe had a game stab at doing so in this article in the Sydney Morning Herald:

"Despite all the headlines, it's not the boat people we need to worry about – it's the other 2.3 million arriving tomorrow just when public investment in the nation is at an all-time low. That's the investment necessary to accommodate the increased population and maintain our quality of life. Or not.

OK, it's a slight exaggeration to say they're turning up tomorrow, but it's a bit like that from a historical perspective. And it may as well be tomorrow as far as our public preparedness goes. The nation's infrastructure, especially public transport, is groaning under its present load yet we're adding 2.3 million over the next five years, roughly 40 per cent by birth, 60 per cent by immigration. (The actual new arrivals figure is bigger than that – this is the net population growth after some of us shuffle off.)

That's far from a shocking discovery, but the reality of our population base and growth rate has crept up on us. It's just mathematics that a population of 23 million growing at our present rate of 1.8 per cent means about 10 per cent more people in five years – 2.3 million."

These are awesome statistics and it is very, very difficult to visualise today how the Australia of tomorrow will look. 2.3 million people over the next five years: that is one heck of a challenge. Are we prepared?