Whilst the American dream is defined by the pursuit of prosperity through a vaguely defined sense of liberty our own national dream is a lot more concrete. Home ownership, plain and simple, is what came to define the image of Australian success in the post-war period. A dream made reality by a growing population and low unemployment. It’s an actualisation many see as the cause of our substantial urban sprawl and it’s a process that has made a lot of people a lot of money. In today’s Australia, one of greater social and cultural diversity and a property market of similar complexity, perhaps the great Australian dream needs a new lick of paint.
Whether you’re looking across the farthest seas, or perhaps just to the next state over, a pair of locally tuned eyes can be an indispensable tool in any successful investment plan. I’ve said it time and again, but it deserves specific emphasis. No matter how smart or perceptive an investor is, they aren’t omnipotent.
Strata living is a decidedly Australian phenomena, created half a century ago in order to make chasing the Australian dream just a tad easier. It’s since been adopted internationally as a means of giving those living in apartment blocks and shared sites greater ownership rights, freedoms and sort of self-governance. Of course though, cohabitation can easily breed conflict, and that Australian dream of ownership can devolve into a nightmare of internal squabbles and a feeling of powerlessness.
One look at a population distribution map of Australia and it’s obvious we are a people of the sea. Beaches, BBQs and a curling waves; icons of Australian culture the world over. We’re a nation of surfers, swimmers and sailors; with boat ownership experiencing a year on year rise that now sees 13% of Australian households having some sort of watercraft.
It seems an unlikely trend, but it’s one on the rise. The number of families inhabiting one dwelling remains relatively low in the grand scheme, but it’s jumped from 1% to nearly 2% in a very short period of time according to the latest census data. Younger generations are getting onto the property ladder later in life than their forebears, and baby boomers are more receptive to having their children live home for longer, or even return to live at home later in life.
Tourism is on an upswing, with foreign visitor numbers climbing steadily every year, with a particularly large surge in visitors coming over from China. When it comes to investing though, it always pays to get creative. Targeting deep-pocketed internationals in the old titans of Sydney, Cairns and the like may seem like the best bet, but of late interest has been growing amongst domestic tourists for more specific holiday destinations.
There’s a stigma about renting, but slowly yet surely we are (thankfully) shedding ourselves of this misguided view. Renting conjures an image of stagnation, of treading water, but it can provide a solid living option in a desirable area that in turn partners well with another investment (or several). Especially for those who are just getting started on their first investments. This act, of renting one’s own primary property whilst buying and investing in property elsewhere, is what has come to be known by the snappy moniker of ‘rentvesting’.
Isolation doesn’t always mean being alone. Here in Australia the Island life is closer at hand than you might expect, and it has the potential to tell us some interesting things about the way we live.
Self Managed Super Funds are perceived as a relatively straightforward means to make the golden years of retirement shine that little bit brighter. The set-up and upkeep however, can be an administrative nightmare plagued by fluctuating legal technicalities. So how do you ascertain the true benefits of SMSFs?