Pete Wargent blogspot

Co-founder & CEO of AllenWargent property advisory, 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

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Population growth materially underestimated (400,000+)

Population growth underestimated

Some interesting demographics news!

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that I've been suggesting since last year that the slowing population growth narrative is likely to be misguided.

You'll know that because I've mentioned it ad nauseam for months, and indeed every month at the time that the Overseas Arrivals and Departures figures have been released!

My basic contention was explained in more detail here last year - although student visa issuance and uptake had initially been slower than expected, I argued that this was likely just a lag, and eventually a flood of international students would lead to a resurgence in population growth. 


The demographic statistics lag a little, but recent figures have suggested that the collapsing population growth narrative hasn't been quite right in any case.

Annualised population growth

Year to March 2015 - 316,000

Year to June 2015 - 317,100

Year to September 2015 - 313,200

Year to December 2015 - 326,100

Enrolments booming

In May this year I wrote at Business Insider how Chinese and Indian international student enrolments in Australia have boomed. 


Particularly into Sydney, Melbourne, and south-east Queensland.


And every month, I make the point that short term education arrivals have been increasing at a year-on-year pace of about 20 per cent.


A key point of note is that those arriving for courses of one year or less are not recorded in the immigration figures, only as short term arrivals. 

But as a Brit that arrived on a one year visa myself in Australia back in the 1990s, I know from experience that many short term arrivals either end up staying on a new or extended visa, or finding a different way to return to Australia soon after their departure. 

I've floated these theories with everyone from senior economists to taxi drivers and shoe-shine boys over the past year, mostly gaining underwhelming traction.

UBS weighs in

But wait! 

Scuttman over at Business Insider reports that UBS have put out a research note arguing that ABS population growth figures have failed to capture international students on shorter term courses, while record tourism arrivals have also bolstered the number of people in the country at any one time:

"UBS suggests that population growth - essentially the number of people in the country at any one time - has actually accelerated in recent quarters, rising at around 1.7 per cent per annum in the past 12 months."

Bingo! My point exactly. 

The UBS estimates imply an actual increase in headcount of well over 400,000 over the past year. 

One thing I'd add though is not to take my word for it. Take a look around you in the capital cities at the number of Asian students and tourists. Does it look to you like population growth is really slowing up?

The wrap

A final point to note is that these trends are likely just at their beginning. 

As I explained in more detail here, effective 1 July visa rules were relaxed to allow primary school students and their guardians to apply to study in Australia.

Early indications suggest the uptake in time could be massive.