Archive for September, 2010

Boom or bust?

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

There is plenty of data around to be considered when looking at which way house prices will head in next. Interest rates, land supply, immigration levels, employment levels and economic growth all have an impact.

One important figure which doesn’t get much attention is the ratio of average incomes to average house prices. Historically in Australia, over the long term, this figure has been between 3 and 4 (meaning the average house is is 3-4 times the average income). Currently it’s around 7.5!

At what point would you say “I simply can’t afford to buy that house”? And what do you reckon happens when people, on mass, say the same thing? I don’t know when the downturn in house prices will occur, but average prices simply can’t continue to rise if wages can’t keep up. In reality, a fall in house prices is much more likely than a massive increase in people’s income.

Lazy bill paying

Monday, September 13th, 2010

I grew up in a household where we always had a dishwasher (the earliest one I can remember was louder than a vacuum cleaner!) and I hate doing the washing up. As a result, I will put anything, everything into the dishwasher. Pots, wine glasses the good crockery with the fancy gold rim (yes, it was a gift), undies – you name it, it goes into the dishwasher. What can I say, I’m bloody lazy.

I’m also lazy when it comes to paying bills. Every regular bill we get is paid by direct debit. It’s a really easy way to pay bills. You do have to make sure that you have the available funds in your bank account for those bills and you must check your bank statements and bills so you know what you are paying for. But the time and effort saved is well worth it. And you never wake in the middle of the night worried that the electricity is about to be cut ’cause you’ve forgotten to pay it.