I have a lot of readers who ask me about the Australian bubble and when it will burst. I am not the person to ask – I have been wrong for ages – and (foolishly) have had much of my asset base either offshore or related to offshore – whereas the easiest thing to do was get long Australian high beta stocks. The AUD has kept going up and up and the Aussie market has been OK too.
So – as a service to my international readers – and in answer to Business Insider’s insistent real-estate-porn articles – I give you a few photos from www.domain.com.au (one of the two dominant real estate sites in Australia). For reference the Australian dollar is now trading at 97 and a bit US cents. These prices are in Aussie – but you can think of them as US dollars and you are not far wrong.
For 1.65 million you can have this house on the main road down to (fashionable) Clovelly beach – about 25 minutes drive from the CBD. The main selling point is that the house is about 250 meters from the beach.
You get off-street parking (pictured) which is essential that close to the beach (otherwise you can’t find a car park all summer).
If you like period features you will really love the main entertaining area:
If your taste is to hipper (and younger) Bondi you can have this house for $2.55 million – and its only 300 meters from the beach.
This strikes me as a better deal (!) because you actually get beach views from the front balcony
And from the functional (non-period) living room:
If you don’t want to hang around all the young and beautiful people at Bondi (and the druggies, gangs, and the like) you can buy a house in decidedly conservative Mosman. This is not waterfront – indeed is quite middle of the road for that suburb and will set you back $3.5 million.
But its nice out the back – your own piece of upper-middle-class and conservative suburbia:
And the main living room looks pretty cool too:
I am cheating a little here by choosing fashionable suburbs about 20 minutes from the city. But I am choosing ordinary homes in those suburbs.
It is hard to find the prices for most Sydney homes because they are mostly sold by auction. What happens is you crowd into the back garden or the living room or (quite often) just hang around on the street and bid in an open auction by winking at the auctioneer. People in t-shirts and shorts spend $1 million plus on small suburban homes at auction. Americans think of auctions as something that happens on the courtroom steps. This is more typical (though it is a real-estate agent’s self-promotion). In this case a large crowd (typical) squeeze into the back yard and the living room for an auction.
And when you have finished with that real-estate porn I encourage you to look at the Wentworth Courier – the most profitable low circulation free newspaper in the world. It is owned by News Corp – and is filled with over 200 pages of glossy real estate adverts weekly (billed at over $6000 a page and copied about 70 thousand times). Look at the online version and start somewhere in the middle. If you want to really understand the Sydney boom look at the adverts on page 277 and 278. [The recently reduced size of that section indicates the Sydney boom might be slowing – but I see few other indications.]
For the many readers who asked.