Mini Market Watch
The market in the Northern Rivers seams steady as she goes. There has been a 6.1% decline in median house prices In Byron Bay since the highs of early last year. This softness looks like it is now plateauing and we could see some price increases as we head into the stronger selling season this spring.
The ANZ Bank has revised its forecast and sees the bottoming of the housing market “in the coming months” following the policy turnaround. ANZ economists have forecasted prices will rise modestly through to the end of 2019. They expect a three per cent growth in 2020. “After a period of significant weakness, house prices appear to be stabilising,” their latest Australian Housing Update read. “Sydney prices have fallen 15%, while Melbourne’s are down 11%”.
The bad news is in the report saying that Australians are saving at an all time low of just 1%. Couple this with the highest debt levels running at an impressive 189%. That means for every $100 an average Australian earns they save just $1 while spending $189. You don’t need to be an economist to be able to “do the maths” on that one.
Attached below is a graph showing the movement of Sydney and Melbourne monthly housing prices.
Bankrupted luxury real estate agent Nicolette Van Wijngaarden is back in the news. She is suspected of milking the database of Unique Estates, her defunct luxury real estate agency. In the digital age, contact details of what’s known as HNWI – High Net Worth Individuals – is worth money. Ms Wijngaarden, going under the name of Nicky Crawly (her husband’s name), has been selling the list to luxury brand marketers. One of the spammers left a note “Nicky’s List” at the bottom of emails and that was the reason it was able to be traced back to our Nicky.
Exploiting a database is a common occurrence – one reason why we get so many spam emails. An interesting example is entertainingly portrayed in Netflix’s recent documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. The culprit in this saga is a young man named Charley McFarland who hypes a festival in the Bahamas with the aid of supermodels and influencers. The festival goes pear-shaped and everyone gets duded. He is not content with fleecing thousands of people by ripping them off for the ticket price and leaving them without food or accommodation on an island without any infrastructure. He then sells the ticket holder’s contact details on to marketers. What would be called “exploiting every opportunity” in the annuls of extreme capitalism, but just extreme bad behaviour to most people?
National Tree Day
Last weekend was National Tree day. But it is still not too late to go out and plant a tree. A climate change ecologist at Swiss university has estimated that we can do a lot to solve climate change if we plant 1.2 trillion trees. Since its inception in 1996 Australian have planted over $25 million trees. A 5 per cent increase in tree cover can reduce nearby daytime temperatures by 2.3C. Time spent in nature lowers heart disease and diabetes, as well as improving happiness, wellbeing and productivity.
Mullum Sculpture Festival
BPS is a supporter and board member of Creative Mullumbimby. INGENUITY is a 3D sculpture festival auspices by Creative Mullumbimby and will be happening in November – aligned with the Mullum Music Festival. The long term vision is to complete a sculpture walk along Palm Park and along Riverside Drive in Mullum. There are already a number of installations there. You can find out more and an application form if you would like to submit a sculpture here. If you are not a visual artist, take some time to do the walk-thru Palm Park, on the western end of Mullumbimby, and watch as new installations are completed.
Many have seen the production vehicles parked around the shire, shooting the reboot of Sea Change. The popular series was on the ABC from 1998 – 2002. The new series is set to start Tuesday, August 6 at 8.45pm on Channel Nine. Local producer Deb Cox, co-creator from the original series, is still behind the scenes and many of the original cast are back playing the same characters 20 years older. Local support organisation NR ScreenWorks has done an excellent job helping film practitioners and locals get a gig on the crew or as extras.
Dust off ya Dustyesky
Local men’s choir Dustyesky had their album launch at the Brunswick Picture House. It was a big success and went over well to a capacity house. Our comrades from Mullumgrad have obviously been rehearsing and refining their act. It is now much more than a gimmick and a bit of fun. These guys can sing and hold an audience just with throaty Russian war songs. Comrade Swiv is also very humerous with the tops and tails. Worth another look of you have not seen them for a while.
Best of Sri Lanka Tour – September Special
Only a couple of places left for the September Sri Lanka tour. Twice a year I lead a small group tour to the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. After the terrible Easter attacks, I was unsure if this tour could go ahead. But DFAT relaxed the travel warning last month and my local support people requested that we keep going. I have a great trip planned and it is nearly half the price of the usual rate – $2,300 for 12 days. Have a look at the website here and feel free to call me if you have any interest – 0428 555501.