Thursday, 2 May 2013

Guidance


Time is beautiful. Given enough time you can get fat, bald and start to sprout hair from your ears. Suffering those indignities is worth it because time also builds something else - an artillery. As Sun Tzu said, "while you sweat an imprint into your couch, your enemies sow the seeds of their destruction."


Predictions have been made and forgotten by most. Those without shame and something to sell can forever make those predictions without fear of second guessing. Welcome to Tasmania, where the print media is a contemptible landscape of irrelevant whiskey-nosed boozers and their fresh faced, empty headed underlings. You know the type, tweeting while watching Q&A on Monday night allows them to believe they're the state's intelligentsia.

Luckily there's me. Thoroughly lazy, yet occasionally motivated by the chance any of Tasmania's lamentable journalistic stock will rip me off and highlight something original.

The odds aren't good. The Mercury's pumped four positive real estate stories over the past week. With the latest came the revelation (from the most reliable REIT prez, Adrian Kelly) that first home buyers are the current market bright spot. Increasing as a percentage apparently. And you know the way this works - sales fall but one segment maintains its position, thus increases its percentage. Voila, they're on a comeback! They're not, check the ABS.

The Examiner managed to cut the fairy floss, but offered the following from Mr Kelly...
Institute president Adrian Kelly said low interest rates and affordable housing stock should be prompting people to invest in real estate, but without the economic confidence or job security people were reluctant to take the plunge.
Why would people be reluctant to invest in Tasmanian housing? Apart from the obvious economic woe and inevitable prospect of more to come, there's the fact Tasmanian full-time incomes increased by 55% over the ten years from 2002 to 2012, while the average mortgage bloated by 165% for first home buyers and 141% for the rest.

Then there's the hair whitening prospect of following anything Adrian Kelly says about real estate...
REIT president Adrian Kelly said yesterday the market had bottomed out - 3 May 2011
13 months later...
 RP Data-Rismarck (sic) recorded an 8.9 per cent fall in the median sale price - 5 June 2012
And never to be discouraged from a spruik, Kelly followed up with...
"Now is a fantastic time to buy," he said.
Imagine the noob home-buyer who bought on such an assurance and sometime later lost their job. Fortunately they'd always have a tight market to sell into so they could be assured of losing no more than their deposit and closing costs...
Tasmania's population grew by just 0.2 per cent (832 people) between June 30, 2011 and June 30, 2012
And the other piece of important data this week?
TASMANIAN home building approvals have slumped to their lowest levels in 12 years.
In March, just 108 new dwellings were approved, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Which sounds bad, but what were they for the 2011-12 financial year? 2099. That's right, Tasmania built 1267 more residential dwellings than people added to its population for the 2011-12 financial year. One for every 0.396 people added.

Not a new theme either, as I'd previously highlighted when I was a little more prolific, Tasmania had been building a new dwelling for about every 1.6 people added to the population over the last decade. These were the good old days the HIA pines for every time it calls for stimulus or bemoans the coldest state now has regulations about insulating new houses. The time when lime green XR8 utes prowled new Tasmanian subdivisions as Hotondo's finest were erected block upon vacant block.
 
Yet as population growth slows we're still covering green space with ever more blue-board and grey render. And at an unheard of ballistic level - a new dwelling for every 0.39 people added to the population! And not a question anywhere, just print what the HIA wants. Builders are lucky a few clueless miners are still building new palaces. Wait till that gravy train dries up.

How's it gonna end? Well we would have never seen it coming. Then we'll all suffer, as economic cripples argue on Facebook that it's the fault of the political party they despise. Itchy 63 year olds will still gear into property until the bitter end. Accountant said he should set up a SMSF, plus he saw a property opportunity. Let them do this.

A heads up would have been nice, but there's more important things to do #QANDA.

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