|New Zealand (North Island, countryside)|
The NZ property market is less appealing at the moment. The currency is consolidating around 0.70 USD and there is the prospect of rising interest rates constraining price growth. Equally problematic is the exodus of NZ'ers to Australia. NZ population growth is just 0.5%, with the exodus of NZ'ers balanced by Asian and other immigrants.
Some commentators are expecting a collapse in Australian property prices. Frankly, I don't see it when the economy is supported by a lot of commodity projects and immigration. Expect business investment in the mining & energy sectors to remain strong. The Resource Rent Tax interestingly will hurt, particularly if they talk about it, then decide to defer it, or not do it. It will leave investors in limbo.
Another positive is the tight housing supply. There is no doubt this is due to the hefty increase in immigration. Immigration to Australia has risen from 100,000 in 2004 to almost 300,000 today. It was doubled from 2007. Clearly the government saw immigration as a means of avoiding recession. It looks like the govt wants to use immigration and mining taxes to finance the retirement of babyboomers.....as opposed to doing what it ought to do....removing the cap on private sector activity. By cap I mean the excessive involvement of government in the economy...stupid arbitrary statutory law, subsidies, welfare transfer payments, etc. Sound idealistic? Well, you would be surprised how counterproductive these measures are at remedying problems. Government solutions are the problem.
1. Housing affordability a dream? Blame the arbitrary restrictions of government zoning which prevent land lot availability.
2. Can't get a job? Blame government cumbersome planning approvals, and most particularly public infrastructure funding and minimum wage limits.
3. Can't make money in a volatile investment climate? Blame government for distorting 'free' markets to ensure they get elected. They don't care if they channel billions into wasteful, unproductive investment, just as long as they get elected.
4. Can't find good workers? Blame the public education system which offers a low-standard for the private sector schools, which fake it, and sell their reputation.
5. Can't even make good friends? Blame a political culture which sets the standard in self-delusion, political correctness and subjective value judgements. Same for forging lifetime relationships. Divorce rates manifestly come from the same problem.