The Blogs that appear on this page may be sourced from outdated material so please seek appropriate professional advice. The blog material is in no way intended to be personal financial planning advice.

Catherine's Chat

Wholistic Financial Solutions provides information and updates regarding the property investment industry. Learn more from Catherine's chat here.

Record Population Growth Forecasts

Friday, June 28, 2013

At the same time that building starts were dropping Australia’s population was growing at the fastest rate in 200 yrs*. In fact, our population is predicted to grow by 350,000 people per annum*.

(* Australian Bureau of Statistics)        

Australia is predicted to grow at a rate of 65% well above the global average, a survey by the Washington based private research body, the Population Reference Bureau. 

This puts Australia’s growth rate at second only to India.  

Why is this?

1. Migration:

I am no economic expert but many I have talked to have commented that the GFC has rapidly escalated the number of people wanting to migrate to Australia.  The old adage of Australia being the ‘lucky country’ has become a ‘world wide’ slogan.  Australia was one of the only countries to escape a recessions.  Actually, oops I think Prime Minister Rudd announced a recession for only a few days.  During the GFC that crippled many countries, Australia continued to grow at a rapid rate.  In addition, a factor that strikes at the heart of many Australians is that Australia is coined to become ‘the resource hub’ of the new world.  Australia’s natural resources are in ample supply and whether we like it or not, we are a target for a continued resource boom. 

The final verse of Australia’s Anthem makes it clear that migration is a fundamental part of Australia’s mindset.

For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.

(Advance Australia Fair)

2. Increasing birth rate:

Australia’s birth rate is on the increase for the first time since the post-war migration baby boom saw it explode in the 50’ and 60’s. 

According to (Reuters – Aug 6, 2010 (Canberra)) - Australia's birth rate has hit a 25-year high, and government has urged "have one for mum, one for dad, and one for the country".

And further increases in the birth rate could worsen the problems of an ageing population, driving new mothers out of the workforce and reducing the tax base, the nation's productivity watchdog said.

"Much of the recent increase in the fertility rate is likely to reflect the fact that over the last few decades, younger women postponed childbearing and many are now having those postponed babies," Productivity Commission author Ralph Lattimore said.

Australia's 21 million population was boosted by 285,000 births in 2007, the highest level in 25 years, and up from 261,400 births in 2005.

The population is expected to hit 31.6 million by 2050, driven to a small extent by the higher birthrate and almost 10 million new immigrants.

3. Increasing health and longevity:

Australia is well known for it’s healthy and active lifestyle, clean living and fresh, open air spaces.  Coupled with our reasonably good health system and we have Australian’s living longer. 

According to

More Good News for the Property Market

Monday, June 24, 2013

Investors have increased their borrowing rate to more than $70 billion pa
for home loans - ABS

Growing confidence in the Australian property market is underlined by the
latest ABS lending figures which show a jump in borrowing activity by

Low interest rates and the expectation that interest rate will fall even
further has been a key issue that has encouraged investors to increase their
borrowings over the last year. Property investors in Australia are now
collectively borrowing on average more than $1 billion each week to purchase
investment properties.

Australians are eager to invest in properties: now - QBE
More than twice as many Australians are looking to buy in the next 12 months
compared with the number that bought in the last year.

According to QBE LMI's 2013 Mortgage Barometer report, more than 50% of
Australians believe now is a good time to buy. In addition, nearly 70% of
respondents said they intend to purchase property over the coming five years
- a significant increase on last year.

The perception that now is a good time to buy continues to exist. In 2013,
one in three think that the best time to buy is in the next six months, and
more than half believe the next 12 months is best.

This sentiment is in line with almost half of respondents' thinking that
property prices will increase strongly in the next three years, and more
than a third believing prices will be more than 10% higher in 2013.

Confidence in Housing Market Improves

Thursday, June 06, 2013

A new survey has revealed that 50 per cent of respondents believe house prices will increase in the coming months, while 80 per cent believe it’s a good time to buy.

The latest consumer sentiment survey by RP Data and Nine Rewards, released in May, saw more than 1000 participants answer a range of questions on what they expect from Australia’s property market over the next six to 12 months.

According to RP Data, the survey results reveal a substantial upward shift in consumer expectations for the housing market, but there have been distinctive differences from region to region.

In Perth, for example, 59 per cent of respondents expect house values to rise during the next six months, and 56 per cent of respondents in Sydney expect the same. In contrast, no survey participants in Tasmania expect house values to rise over the next six months.

When asked whether now is a good time to be buying property, 80 per cent of survey participants agreed, compared with 76 per cent of respondents in the October 2012 survey. When asked whether now is a good time to sell, 37 per cent of participants said yes, compared with 29 per cent in October last year.

When asked what are the most important factors when choosing a property, almost half of survey respondents said their personal financial situation is the most important, followed by prospects for capital growth (20 per cent) and interest rates (12 per cent).

RP Data says that as consumer confidence in housing market conditions rises, there are likely to be a larger number of sales as the year progresses. The number of buyers has already risen by about 4.3 per cent compared to the same time last year.

EVENT CANCELLED - SMSF Seminar, Thursday 6th June

Friday, May 31, 2013

Self Managed Superannuation Funds

Do you want the Simple Truth?


Is a SMSF right for you and your circumstances?

Exactly how much will it cost?

Why you should consider an SMSF?

What is all the hype about?  What are the benefits?

Should I set one up and if so, how do I do it?


Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF’s) are now the fastest growing segment of the Superannuation industry.  Latest reports are showing that 4 new SMSF’s are set up per hour. Come along to a seminar and find out the truth about SMSF’s and whether they are suitable for your circumstances.


EVENT CANCELLED -  However, we are offering a FREE half an hour session with Catherine to discuss SMSF for anyone who is interested. Just contact Laura on OR call 6162 4546 to book an appointment.


FREE Seminar – SMSF – The Simple Truth

When:6th June 2013
Time: 6:00 pm
Where: Ainslie Football Club

RSVP by emailing or call 02 6162 4546


If you can’t make this seminar please register your interest by emailing and we will keep you informed about upcoming sessions

Sharp Fall in House Prices 'Very Remote'

Friday, May 31, 2013

Subsequent to dwelling values having gained a solid 2.8% over the first three months of 2013 according to RP Data's capital city dwelling index, the month of May indicates a softening in values. RP Data national research director Tim Lawless confirmed it is likely to be down nearly 1% for the month.   Business Spectator economist Stephen Koukoulas from consultancy Market Economics, believes that the ‘possibility of a sharp fall in house prices is very remote’, saying that protective factors that will prevent this happening are 'weakness in new housing construction, strong population growth, and the ability for the RBA  to cut the cash rate even further'.

In February, he had predicted house prices to rise 10% over 2013 as part of an 'upward trend' after dwelling values rose 1.2% in January according to the RP Data-Rismark index. 

Koukoulas said if the price decline gathered momentum, the cash rate could fall to around 2% or even 1% in a 'worse case scenario'.  He believes that while it’s not clear what is behind the recent house price dip, he points to the recent fall in consumer sentiment and an 'updrift' in the unemployment rate as to possible factors.

However, he draws a clear distinction between Australia and the house price collapses in the US, the UK, Ireland, and Spain, and says the Australian housing market is 'fundamentally different' because the house price bubbles in these countries were accompanied by a housing construction boom, while housing construction in Australia is slow. 'Perversely, perhaps, this weakness in new housing construction is good news for now as it means there is little risk of a glut of property coming on to the market should there be a more worrying house price fall in the months ahead,' he adds.

Look Beyond Population Growth to Supply Side Criteria

Friday, May 24, 2013

Some advisers recommend the PIE buying formula – P.I.E. being Population growth, Infrastructure and investment, and Employment opportunity and diversity.  

The theory is that a location with those three elements at work will deliver real estate growth. As a method of reducing principles down to a digestible and easily-understood formula, it’s a reasonable approach.  

But some base their investment strategies on the P only. They believe that following population growth is the key to successful property buying. That is not only simplistic, it’s dangerous.  

I often receive emails from investors questioning why certain high population growth areas don’t feature is my hotspotting reports. They’re bemused because someone has advised them to buy in the population boom locations.  

They're making the mistake of looking at only one side of the equation - demand. The other side of that equation is supply - and that's where the problem lies.  

Developers invade the high-population-growth places - and often build too much new product. No matter how high the population growth rate, it won’t create capital growth if developers generate an over-supply.

That’s why many of Australia’s leading population growth areas have some of the worst-performing property markets. You could almost argue that rampant growth in resident numbers is a signal for property buyers to stay away.

The Gold Coast is the most obvious example. It has been a national leader on population growth for 20 or more years, but is a habitual under-achiever on capital growth thanks to over-building by developers. It is currently showing glimmers of recovery, after five dreadful years, but I would hesitate to recommend it to investors because we can be confident developers will do it all over again, as they have many times in the past.  

Five years ago I was interested in the Wyndham and Melton municipalities in Melbourne, because they had many of the growth-generating factors I look for in a hotspot. After initially delivering good real estate performance, they declined as developers moved in and over-supplied those markets with house-and-land packages.  

Today, both those locations have poor capital growth rates, well below city averages. Over-building has meant vacancy rates have been 6% or 7% or higher for much of the past three years (although more recently vacancies have come down to more acceptable levels in both Melton and Wyndham).  

The same syndrome is now impacting a couple of Queensland’s boom cities. Both Gladstone and Mackay have sharply rising vacancies, despite their myriad growth factors, because developers have overshot again.  

Both places have strong futures, thanks to their links to the resources sector and their expanding export facilities, but right now investors need to be cautious and selective.  

The overall message for investors is that they need to look beyond population growth and ask deeper questions – including questions about vacancy factors and the amount of new housing supply in planning.


Author: Terry Ryder  

Interest Rates are at an All Time Low

Monday, May 20, 2013

Interest rates are at an all-time low.  This provides borrowing rates of less than 5% from many banks. Property enquiry rates are continuing to escalate, converting into a rising rate of sales Australia wide.


And many experts are predicting a further 0.25% interest rate cut over the next two months


This month’s Your Investment Property magazine has revealed its National Top 50 Hotspots which include Mackay, Ipswich, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Townsville, Emerald and Bowen.


And in the Queensland Overview, the major focus is on Mackay and Brisbane, with Gladstone, Bowen, Townsville, Rockhampton and Townsville rating a mention.


If you are interested in knowing more, email for the latest property research material and gossip.

How to Buy Property in Your Super Safely

Friday, May 17, 2013

The ATO recently released a statement about their concern over people investing into property with their super without fully understanding their obligations under the law.

Their concern is based on real life examples where incorrect structures or lending arrangements have been setup by the individuals.

This has resulted in a number of funds becoming non-complying and penalties being issued for the breaches. This problem is caused by trustees trying to implement the complete strategy without getting the appropriate advice and having so many parties involved in the process.

Here is a short list of some common mistakes;

- Incorrect entity name on the front page of the contract

- Purchasing the property directly in super without setting up the Bare Trust arrangement

- Incorrect lending arrangements where the name of the lender is the incorrect entity

- Rental income and Interest expenses coming or going into the wrong bank account

- Using the same Corporate Trustee for both the super and the bare trust to reduce the costs

- Using the property for personal use (including related parties)

- Lack of liquidity within the Self Managed Superannuation Fund

Buying property in super can be a very valuable strategy if it is implemented correctly and it is appropriate for your situation. WFS Canberra has been providing advice on implementing Super and Property strategies for over ten years and has experience in all aspects of buying property in super including;

  • Establishing an SMSF
  • Obtaining loan approval for an SMSF to buy property
  • Establishing a Bare Trust
  • Sourcing Property for an SMSF
  • Ensuring your Investment Strategy is sound and acceptable to the ATO
  • Holding your hand through all aspects of the transaction to ensure it progresses smoothly and avoids all ATO scrutiny.

Independant Professionals Agree with WFS Strategies and Advice

Monday, May 13, 2013

An investment journey begins for Wholistic Financial Solution clients - Glen and Natalie Dickie. These two clients have made it into a 4 page article in the Australian Property Investor Magazine where professionals have agreed with Catherine’s advice and strategies!

Click here to read the full article!

Latest Statics Show Huge Undersupply of Housing

Friday, May 10, 2013

Latest statistics (2010) show that there is a housing shortfall of around 32% across the nation. Developers simply cannot keep up with the demand.  Why is this?

For a long time Australia has had a housing shortfall.  Put very simply we don’t have enough developers building houses to keep up with the number of Australians wanting housing.  However, the chronic shortfall we are now seeing has been greatly exacerbated by the Global Financial Crises (GFC).  The GFC saw finance approvals plummet.  Finance became very hard to get.  Finance Approval rejection rates went up by 30% and the hoops that lenders were making finance applicants jump through simply made the finance process untenable.  Many developers simply could not get finance to commence their projects so they stopped building.  And this was at a time when our population was growing at an extremely high rate.  So dropping building starts and a growing population has created a huge undersupply of housing which is only predicted to get worse.

Discover How to Build A Property Portfolio The Right Way Right From The Start

Recent Posts