The Elephant in the Room Property Podcast | Australian real estate
The Elephant In The Room Property Podcast with Veronica Morgan & Chris Bates

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Episode 85 | Go up or go out - the ongoing density argument | Nicki Hutley, Partner Deloitte Access Economics

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Should we open the migration flood gates & ignore the NIMBY’s?

Nicki Hutley is a Partner at Deloitte Access Economics, where she leads the Urban Advisory practice.

Nikki’s worked for three decades in the field of urban economics addressing issues such as affordable housing, social & economic infrastructure investment, urban renewal, precinct planning, climate mitigation & social policies. 

Who better to help us tackle the question of whether Australia’s cities are full? We debate a wide range of topics, including:

  • Will technology profoundly change the way we work & will it help regional Australia to thrive?

  • Australian cities are among the least dense in the world so can we afford to go up?

  • What type of housing do we actually need to fill the ‘missing middle’?

  • How can population growth benefit the economy?

  • Busting 3 big myths: will robots take our jobs, is the workforce becoming too casualised & is remote working the answer?

  • How can density be done well & why is it necessary?

  • Can technology help us better manage climate risks?

WEBSITE LINKS:
Ep 1: Simon Russel  - Behavioural Scientist

GUEST WEBSITE:
Deloitte Access Economics - Nicki Hutley

Effects of youth unemployment on an ageing society

Future of Work - Download the report

Property Council of Australia - Good Growth Alliance

Work with Veronica? info@gooddeeds.com.au

Work with Chris? hello@wealthful.com.au

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT: 

Please note that this has been transcribed by half-human-half-robot, so brace yourself for typos and the odd bit of weirdness…

This episode was recorded on 22 August, 2019.

Please note that this has been transcribed by half-human-half-robot, so brace yourself for typos and the odd bit of weirdness…

This episode was recorded on 22 August, 2019.

Veronica: You're listening to the Elephant in the Room Property Podcast where the big things that never get talked about actually get talked about. I'm Veronica Morgan, real estate agent buyer's agent, cohost of Foxtel's Location, Location, Location Australia and author of a new book "Auction Ready How to Buy Property Even Though You Are Scared Shitless. "

Chris: And I'm Chris Bates, financial planner, mortgage broker, and together we're going to uncover who's really making the decisions when you buy a property.

Veronica: Don't forget that you can access the transcript for this episode on the website as well as download our free Fool or Forecaster Report. Which experts can you trust to get it right? www.theelephantintheroom.com.au

Chris: Please stick around for this week's elephant rider bootcamp and we have a cracking dumbo the week coming up!

Chris: Before we get started, everything we talk about on this podcast is general in nature and should never be considered to be personal financial advice. If you're looking to get advice, please seek the help of a licensed financial advisor or buyers agent. They will tailor and document their advice to your personal circumstances. Now let's get cracking.

Veronica: We've had a number of conversations recently about population growth and what this means for our cities and the people who own property within the cities. We've been exploring the impact of strained infrastructure, the need for more homes, the problems created by poor urban design and problems with the design, construction and certification of new apartment buildings. The ramifications of which are really starting to ramp up at the moment. And these conversations are important for existing apartment owners as well as future buyers. And as we know, population growth is one of the foundation's underpinning sustainable capital growth.

Veronica: However, it's important that the type of housing constructed to meet demand is also sustainable in the long term. And we're also getting our heads around the idea that densification is necessary. What are the benefits of higher density living and can they be quantified? And what about the future of work? Is it possible that we'll all end up being decentralized anyway? And so the arguments in favor of increasing density could soon be redundant. In this episode, we're looking to economist Nicki Hutley for the answers. Nicki is a partner at Deloitte Access Economics where she leads the Urban Advisory Practice. Her experience has been gained over nearly three decades working in the field of urban economics, addressing issues such as affordable housing, social and economic infrastructure investment, urban renewal, precinct planning, climate mitigation and social policies. Who better to help us tackle the question of whether Australia cities are full. Thank you for joining us Nicki.

Nicki: It's my pleasure to be here.

Chris: Thank you Nicki. I find myself on every episode now saying I'm looking forward to it and I am actually looking forward to this cause we had a bit of a misfire last time.

Veronica: So just for the listeners that means a diary conflict, a conflict that we sorted it out and here she is.

Chris: I guess one of the things that we'd love to talk today about is population growth. And I know you've been quoted in the past saying it's a bit of a tricky piece of policymaking. What's your thoughts around kind of population growth and all the challenges we have in doing it sustainably?

Nicki: Yeah, it is, um, a real tricky one and one that people get very emotional and emotion of about, um, particularly our politicians. You know, we as economists, we understand the benefits of population growth. If you just think about the sorts of skills that we import in, particularly in a, in an age where, um, it and technology is so important to our economy, we only create that 5,000 new graduates every year. We need something like 75. Right? So we need to import these skills. We also have an aging population and if we get skilled people who are younger that helps slow down the relative degree of aging and you can actually see its impact on Australia compared to other people. So, um, it is important if we get people in that we get the right sorts of skills and migration of, of those sorts of skilled workers.

Nicki: Um, along with obviously, you know, humanitarian, um, if it's as well are important, but that sort of combination actually gives us an economic benefit. But if we go too far then and too fast, rather than we do place pressure on our infrastructure. And you hear lots of people complaining about that. And then we get the prime minister saying, oh, we need our congestion busting infrastructure. Some of that is to do with the fact that we've had strong population growth compared to the rest of the world. Some of that is just to do with the fact that governments state and federal didn't have enough money to spend at the time and they fell behind. So you can't blame it all on population growth and just saying Sydney's full or you know, we're going to shut the gates. Is a blanket approach that is actually going to have disbenefits in a negative consequences for everyone.

Nicki: So I always say to people, look, think this through. Don't be emotive about it. Think through the full consequences. And you know, it brings out some nasty sides to people too when you have this sort of debate. And we really have to sit down and rationally think about all the benefits that come and particularly for regional areas, you know, that particularly, um, you know, refugee communities. We did some work at Access eeonomics around the, um, the benefits of in regional Victoria of the Korean refugees from Burma, Myanmar. Um, and you know, this adds to the population, um, of the regions, which actually is helping their growth. It's actually people coming in with skills creating jobs and creating more, um, better economic outcomes for, for local people. And if you ask people in Darwin or in Adelaide, you know, what they think about population, they'll say, just give us more, give us more. Because actually, yeah, they're at risk of their economies shrinking, uh, because they just losing too many people too. We're getting this agglomeration impact, which is of course very important.

Chris: Yeah, you made two really interesting points around it the first day that we've got a skill shortage in. Like, you know, it's very easy for people to understand technology, right? Only got 5,000 graduates, but we need, you know, 50 a hundred thousand of them. So we've got a shortage there. You second point though was around, um, we've got an aging population and what migration does is kind of fatness up with younger people cause that's genuine. People come here, which stops us, our economy kind of, you know, having not enough workers, younger workers to cover people getting older. Why is that actually a problem though? Why is it a problem if we don't keep filling our population? We have a lot of younger people.

Nicki: So at the moment we're heading to a situation where we are having increasingly fewer people in the workforce of workforce age for every person who is of retirement age. So if you think about it in the next sort of, I think it's 30 years, um, there will probably be only around three to four people working for every, um, person who's of retirement age compared to almost double that at the moment. Um, and that's already shrunk a heap.

Veronica: What's the optimum?

Nicki: So we'll, the more the merrier. Yeah. Basically because if you think about it when you're young, your tend to be healthier. You're out there in the workforce. If you can get a job, as you get older, you're less healthy, you're likely to need more support, you're less likely to be working or working full time. So the older you get, the more you cost the economy, the younger you are, the more you put in.

Nicki: So we need young coworkers to be able to support old workers. And if, you know, I've got three kids in their twenties, if they suddenly are in a situation in the next 10, 20 whatever years and their working life that they're supporting more and more aged population, well they gonna have to pay a lot more tax or else the standard of living for all the people and the standard of care that we have is going to go down an awful lot or some combination of the two is most likely.

Veronica: and are there other countries in the world that, that sort of demonstrate how that plays out.

Nicki: Yeah. Probably the best example is, is Japan whose population has been aging for much longer. Um, and we can see, you know, the level of government debt there is the highest in the world basically. Um, Japan is though very fortunate in that other countries are very willing and as, as are Japanese people to fund government debt.

Nicki: But it is a perennial problem for the, as how to rise enough revenue. Um, and you know, I mean the Japanese economy has all sorts of issues, but it's played out very, um, obviously there. And even though the community, there is much more family focused and there's much greater respect for older people that you know, you, you'd look after your, your parents no matter what, um, you know, basically you, you, you won't get to the next level of, of heaven basically if you don't do the right things by your parents as a cultural thing there as well. Whereas here we're kind of like, oh well, like, hey, a bit all a bit old, you know, off to the to the retirement village. Um, so there's a very big cultural difference there. So that actually takes some of the burden off. But even so, um, society pays, pays a strong price for that.

Veronica: Yeah. You mentioned about, and we will have to these through and I think culturally in Australia, you know, we're actually dumbing down so much of our lives at the moment. So we're actually going I think culturally in the opposite direction to where we need to be going or you know, to thoroughly think all of this stuff through for our greater good.

Nicki: Yeah. And one of the things that really worries me is talk about declining populations. We are now down to around 5,000 economics graduates a year from around 20,000 sort of 10 15 years ago. And the fewer people that have these skills, um, you know, the worst off are our policy environment, policy, decision making is going to be. Um, last night I was at a, at a talk, the secretary of the Department of Education, Mark Scott said it, economics makes better people. And I love that because you have this ability to look through what is the best decision for everybody.

Nicki: And obviously it's in our nature to say, well, what do I benefit? Where's, where's my tax cut? Where's this? Whereas economics helps you to look at what are the consequences for all society and what does it mean for those who are more well off? What does it mean for those who are struggling in society? How do we make things equitable? Not Saying we live in a socialist communist era at all, but I'm just saying, how do we make things so that the most people get the best benefit from things? And economics really helps us to look at problems in a very strategically and you know, I worry that we are, as you say, you know, um, yeah, as our Prime Minister, how good is this? How good is it? I mean, I'm sorry, but I just think I loved Paul Keating and I hated him in many ways, but I loved that he, you know, he's talked about the banana republic and suddenly, you know, this 30 years ago now when I was first starting out in my career, but people were talking about the current account deficit across the breakfast table.

Nicki: Now that was something that was good. It was people understanding we had problems in our economy and we needed to make some hard decisions to get the economy into a new frame of mind. Now we went through a lot of pain and you know, the expression, the, the recession we had to have was a terrible expression. Um, lots of people lost their livelihood through it. Um, and you know, permanent lifetime, uh, struggles as a result of it. But we did come out at the end of that with a much stronger economy, with a better industrial relations system, with low inflation, um, entrenched in, in this, in the cost of the economy and a better understanding of people of, of what the consequences were for not getting the economy right. And we often say Australia was, you know, rode on the sheeps back. Well, we've been now riding on the, the end of the, I'd say the tractor back, you know, for the mining sector for a long time now. And especially both before the global financial crisis. But more importantly, that helped us do much better after it. Then many, you know, most of the rest of the world basically. So, um, we do need to understand and we do need to educate people to say this isn't a simple problem and it's not something that you can fix or you can understand with a three slogan or a simple answer, you know, sometimes we have to do hard things to make things better.

Chris: In your view though, do you think that, you know, there was a lot of talk around the, you know, in the New South Wales election recently that we're going to cut population growth and we're going to slow down and we're going to reduce it for 190,000 a year to 160,000. Do you think the government really wants to do that or they're just trying to say that out to society to make people feel a little bit better? Things are going to slow down the reality is though. They do want to keep importing people.

Nicki: Yeah. Well that was interesting. I mean the target of 160 is where population growth had slowed to anyway for a number of reasons. So it wasn't really changing what was happening. It was just setting the target to match well what the numbers were showing us anyway. It wasn't saying, all right, we're gonna reduce it to reduce anything. Um, I do think New South Wales is worried and they do have obviously a lot of catching up to do. But if you look at the amount we are spending on infrastructure and some good things happening, you know, not just within the densest part of the city, but you know, spreading out, um, benefits to more, um, the outer metropolitan areas, um, investing in things like the, the third parkland city as it's called. Um, you know, that's gonna take an awful long time and whether the people will go, there is another question, but, you know, um,

Veronica: Do you want to talk a bit about that?

Nicki: Yeah, sure. Um, so I think it's quite interesting. You know, when we, when we think about what population we can sustain, we do either need to go out or go up. Hmm. And you know, a second day put for Sydney has been coming for a long, long time. Gosh, I can remember the first year I was in the workforce back in the dinosaur ages. You know, people looking at Badgerys Creek as it was then cold. Um, and it was such a tough political decision. So to get it up and running is great. The idea that we'll have a third whole city, there is something that's incredibly aspirational. But if you think about cities, they are this, it's a bit like a herd of cats. You know, you can't, you can't, um, herding cats, I shouldn't say, you know, you can't cities, they, they, they go over here and they go over there and you can plan them as beautifully as you like and you end up with Canberra.

Nicki: Um, or if you look to the UK Welling Garden City, you know, they're these beautiful things that have no soul. And I have to say, Canberra's come on huge way since I lived there at 30 odd years ago. Um, and it is starting now to get these quirky little areas that, uh, that are evolving.

Veronica: But it does take decades.

Nicki: It takes decades. Exactly. So this idea that we can get something up and running, um, around the airport, there will be jobs created and things, but it will take a long time. And if we think about just the central city around Parramatta think how long that has taken and it is taking, it's still in, in process and it's a long way from where it was even 10 years ago. But even the same, you know, the CBD and the, um, the eastern city, like we still have a long way to go.

Nicki: There's still renewal and new development. And you know, I guess is probably, I'm going to lead us into this path around density because population, you know, whatever governments say, the state government fights this battle against local governments who are under constant siege from the nimby movement. And it's very hard for them when there's this small but incredibly vocal bunch of people including the save our suburbs group. That drives me nuts because it's very misleading. And when, yes, I understand people who've lived in a, in an area and they are on a quarter Acre block, you know, and they're are only 20 minutes. Um, trip from the CBD, they are the lucky ones. But when you suddenly get to your older aging, you start to think about, well, you know, I've got three kids, as I said in my twenties, they want to buy a house.

Nicki: Eldest one got married not long ago. They want to buy somewhere. Well, you know what, you can imagine what they would you would know any two, two well, what they can afford, uh, in this part of the city where w I'm lucky to live in the lower north shore and they want to live near their family. And because we've said no, it's incredibly hard for them to get that first step because the deposit required is so high. So, you know, is it bad that they have to move away from their family and live a bit further out? Not necessarily, but it's not just about being new family, it's about being close to their jobs. It's about having all of the amenity. Um, and I worry about them, but not only the young ones trying to come in for whom affordability is such an issue. But if you want to encourage people like myself that my kids move have moved out of home, so I should be downsizing, you know, letting somebody else move into my place that's got a few extra rooms, but what is there in my area that I can actually downsize to?

Nicki: Now I'm lucky that I am in an area where they, there are a little bit more of a mix, uh, but you know, in a lot of parts of, of Sydney, the Nimbys have said no development here and then suddenly they want to downsize and there's nothing for them to downsize to because we don't have a good mix. And I don't mean by density put up millions and millions of high rise, 30 story buildings. I mean, lots of different mixes of apartments can be low rise as well as high rise. You can have town houses that middle, missing middle we talk about all the time. Yep. Um, yeah.

Chris: Yeah. So I'm in, I guess I'm with the, you know, the middle suburbs. Why do you think the Nimby movement actually wins against the council and what isn't account? So we'll kind of override that and say, no, we're going to change this to lots of townhouses rather than houses and we're going to change the rules around zoning. Why do you think that the Nimbys generally always win?

Nicki: I think because they have a very loud voice and I think you see at any level of election, whether it's local, state or federal, you do see that, you know, it's the squeaky wheel that makes the most noise and it might just be one wheel, but it's, it's the thing that, you know, sets everything else awry. Um, and I think it's about having the right conversations and educating as to why density, how tensity can be done well and why it needs to be done well. Because I think people, when they think of density, they tend to think of the absolute worst examples in the world.

Chris: And also in Sydney, you know, there's some really bad suburbs where they have, you know, changed density and zoning rules and you know, ride's going through this change at the moment. Right? They, you know, they did open up the zoning rules. Next thing. You know, they've got awful towers just coming up for fun and they've gone, this isn't working, the council can't sustain this. So I guess we haven't really, I don't, I'll find in Sydney there's lots of suburbs that have changed the rules that I haven't done it well. Do you agree or,

Nicki: well, I think, I think that's, that's an issue. So it's about, it's not about density, you know, whatever. Open slather, let it rip. As a friend of mine often says, I don't believe in following those rules. I think, I think we have planning regulations for good reason. Yeah. And we need to make sure that, you know, whether it's to make sure that our buildings are, are safe, uh, to make sure that we actually don't overcrowd and congest our, our areas that we don't create horrible dark wind tunnels and things. We need to be careful about that, but there's no reason why we can't do it. Well. Um, and I think there's a balance between the let it rip and just have whatever happen. Um, and, and there were plenty of people who would say that the market will deliver what people actually want. Uh, and ...

Veronica: I've got a real argument on that because the thing is that when you say the market delivers whatever people really want, and a lot of the worst examples of urban design, if I should use that word very, very loosely, the word design that is, um, look at Mascot for instance, um, Mascot, just, you know, you go out to the airport and I'm, I'm shocked at how it seemingly overnight, obviously not overnight, but very, very quickly, you've got this complete change from a very industrial, obviously, um, to very high density, uh, living very same, same, um, pretty soul-destroying looking place right now. I don't know the exact numbers on this, but I'm fairly confident that a lot of it was marketed to investors and overseas investors. So we're all sort of beyond the point where, you know, the, the Chinese for instance, and no longer buying here cause they can't get the money out of China and et Cetera, et cetera.

Veronica: And also the overseas investors, obviously the state government has made it a little bit more expensive for them. So there's less of them around. But yeah, back when they were all being built, I have very heavily marketed to investors now investors aren't really buying stock with a mind of well do I want to live in it or who really wants to live in it? What sort of community do you want to develop that is not in the mind of those individual investors that are likely to fall for the spruiker, you know, in the sales pitch to buy one of those properties. So that, so whenever anyone brings up that argument, I'm like, yeah, yes. You know, that is fundamental economics, isn't it? You develop what somebody wants and they'll pay for it. What people want there is and isn't actually a house or an apartment, what people want. There is a way, a vehicle to make money and it's, it's a false promise. It's a false dream. And on the back of that we've got at least crap has been built.

Nicki: Mmm. It's a look. It's a, it's a very good point. And I think things have got complicated in Sydney and Melbourne because of offshore investors and the degree to which they were coming into the market. Obviously changing regulations, not less from state governments on, on, on, on taxation have changed that. And it's a global phenomenon phenomenon that we see, um, because it was having an adverse impact on, on the market and on affordability apart from anything else. But you've got to kind of extrapolate from what, what's the problem that we're dealing with. It's that we've created a false market as you say. And if we deal with the problem of foreign investors who come in who wants to buy something, who aren't going to live in it, who don't necessarily want, and that's not all foreign investments, but you know, the ones who are looking for something other than a place to live or a place that they can actually rent out as well as obviously most, most investors want want that to get, to get it, to get some sort of yield on their investment, not just a capital return or sometimes not even that.

Nicki: Um, yeah. If we, if we, if we look at what individuals want, I think that we find, and I think there's a reasonable amount of evidence to say that, um, the younger generation, I hate saying that makes me sound so old, but, but younger people coming into the market now, um, for first home buyers, at least are prepared to live in smaller places to be closer to the things that they need to be close to, you know?

Veronica: Oh, iI was the same. Yeah. You know, and I literally bought, when I said literally I didn't actually buy a shoe box, but I said I live in a shoe box in order to be closer to everything. And my first place was 36sqm. Um, you know, 30 years ago I didn't like, um, sorry these, that I don't think that has actually fundamentally changed. No.

Chris: Yeah man. I guess on the development side, I think, you know, yes, we're going to build the greenfield sites and you know, there've been, I argue that they are not really longterm and are a great decision because the block size every year has been getting less and less. It went from 400 to 350.

Veronica: I spoke to somebody who want to buy a house and land package on the other night? First home buyer Austral I think and I said, how big is the block of land? 240sqm.

Nicki: Yeah, well I need, this is the thing is that it's that I find fascinating is that it's not even a question now of you know, going out, you've, you've kind of got to leave greater metropolitan Sydney and I mean, you know, right out to Penrith to the blue montains to be able to, to afford something. Now there are a lot of cities in the world and this includes Tokyo that everyone raves about us having this great public transport system and you get lots of people there commute for well over an hour. People in London, you know, in the big cities of the world. When we go to places we were staying in these, you know, you know, B&B or a hotel and down in the center of somewhere not too far out and we're off doing our touristy things and we get this false illusion about what living in some city actually looks like.

Nicki: It's um, you know, it's, that's not what happens. People do commute quite a bit. And I think, you know, the central coast people since since the, was it the late eighties, you know, property boom, when lots of people moved out, in fact, the subsequent bust of the market and the, through the recession, people sold their homes in Sydney and moved up to the central coast and there's a very good train line that goes, you know, it's about an hour from Woy Woy/Gosford into the, into the city. And yeah, it's connectivity quite a lot of the way. And you can, you know, it's, maybe that's a choice or decision that some people will make if they want to have bigger areas. But if you just think about getting back to that density argument, if you think about the cost to government, we can squeeze a lot more value out of our infrastructure.

Nicki: The cost per person of infrastructure is a lot lower. And I'll make this very simple for people. If you think about a row of 10 houses, okay? And think about the footpath that goes along and the curbing that needs to go versus a three story block of units with those same 10 dwellings in it, which has a quarter of the costs. And you think, oh footpath isn't very much, let me tell you, it adds up. And you add on the whole distance of new roads, that connectivity to having duplicating shops and things like that. You know, even simple things like the value of community spaces. And now this is where it comes down to good design because you can't keep building over your parks and your playgrounds and all that public open space has to be central to your design. Um, you have to make sure, and, and I grew up, people complain about Green Square because of various issues, but it does have public open spaces.

Nicki: And if you talk to people who live there, the shared playgrounds, the sense of community, people tell me, Oh yeah, we have, we, we, we've, we've sort of started up an informal creche so people, you know, it's, and there are lots of studies that will show you this. They'll show you that your electricity bills are a lot lower if you're living in, in a smaller space, in an apartment than in a giant house. Obviously, you know, you think about the sort of climate change that we're going through in Australia and what it's going to mean for temperatures, particularly if you live in western city. And, you know, we're already seeing it in central Melbourne, let alone outer Melbourne. But you think about, you know, around Parramatta and Penrith, the western areas, huge. Um, and, and areas where there are no trees either. You know, we have to think about all of these dimensions when we plan, what is our future city going to look like?

Chris: I think the missing middle. Like, you know, when you look at these satellite, you look at Sydney, it's obvious that, you know, there's such a huge opportunity or we can fit millions of more people in, you know, the five to 10 to 20k ring. The problem is you've got houses on four, six, 800 square made of blocks, right? And then the Nimby mentality comes in and says, no, no one can change anything. No one can cut those blocks up and turn it into townhouses. And the problem is, what they're all worried about is that they're going to build poor quality townhouses, all the things that look the same or, you know, attract a different type of, um, demographic to the area and things like that. But, you know, one example I think is really good is Northcote in Melbourne, um, because they, uh, allowing people to cut out blocks, but to get the townhouse through council, it's got to kind of be architecturally designed. It's gotta be different. It's got to look sustainable. It's got to look cool. Um, and so they, they're, they're kind of pushing back on Nimby mentality and saying, well, no, no, that's fine. We're gonna allow people to do it, but it's going to have much higher standards to get through council. And I think if you did that into a lot of the middle ring, it actually, you know, it doesn't, it's not a negative to the error. It's actually a positive. And then, you know, you start to,

Veronica: Well it all depends on what stocks there in the first place. I mean, if you're in a suburb like Haberfield for arguments sake, interesting sub it really because in 1985 that was heritage listed. You know, there's, there's something quite special about that that was a garden estate and there's gorgeous homes and I think, you know, we don't want to be saying, well, we want to mow down everything and just in the sake of, for the sake of progress, I think this balance is obviously important. Yeah. Um, having said that, poor old Haberfield really suffered in the hands of Westconnex. But anyway, that's another issue. So the state government, however, can mow down here as you listed homes in a heritage listed suburb. Go figure! But um, but you know, I think, but in other areas where there are industrial sites that you know, where the land value is increased to it, to the level where it's no longer feasible to keep industry industry there or because it's too close to a dense population or et cetera, et Cetera, all the other reasons or the rezoning, then, you know, I guess that's where the Nimbys need to sort of be pushed back a little bit to say, hang on a minute, we've got an opportunity here to create.

Veronica: And I love that idea that you're talking about that we consider a diversity within our housing stock. So, so that, you know, your kids can buy close by because there is some small properties and then they get onto the ladder and then they can try it up and stay within the area. And there's opportunity for that. And likewise, you downsize from your house. You don't have to go to a completely different area because there's no appropriate housing for you. So I, you know, I like that. And I think that that needs to be much more encouraged. I do know, I've actually got a friend of mine who an urban planner and they do a lot of work with the state government. You know, there was there a certain um, uh, developments that have got that overlay of planning, but there's also plenty that don't. And I think that's really where governments can step in to say you can't actually rezone unless you've got proper planning are uh, well master planning place.

Nicki: Yeah and there are, there are lots of master plans that are, you know, that are constantly being upgraded and, and trying to respond to this changing. I mean it's interesting, there's an article the other day, um, I Colliers headed at, uh, talking about, we might, Sydney might run out of industrial land soon. So it was going to be a little bit careful about what you wish for. Um, and we all know you're to getting to into the Port Botany, you know, for the, for the bright to get is just an absolute

Nicki: nightmare most of the time. So, and farm land, right? It's an, it's how do we get that agricultural land in a much more of a problem for Melbourne than it is for Sydney. But you know, now we're talking about a western Parkland city. What does that mean for agricultural land? There's a lot of talk about having an agribusiness precinct, which I actually think is one of the things that makes a lot of sense that close to the airport. But you know how much, if you think about what the suburbs that are involved around the western Sydney Airport city deal you take Wollundindi down to the south, which is, you know, much more country and likes to be like that. But it's been told, you know, you'll population's gonna double over the triple over the next 10, 20, whatever years. Um, you know, much more hard.

Nicki: Even Blacktown, you know, 750,000 people. Oh, 2050 or so. I mean, that's, it's cute. Yeah. We are a growing city. Um, and we have to somehow accommodate people because we're not a big enough country or economy at the moment to have the sorts of regional, satellite cities that sometimes other countries do. You know, we've got Newcastle and Wollongong, obviously Geelong for Melbourne, but it's not of the same. They're not alternate destinations. They don't have, they don't mirror their more commuter suburbs unless you happen to work for, for the university or you know, some local industry. But it's much more limited in its opportunity. And so you end up just having people traveling up and down roads or hopefully good train networks. Um, so it's, but what we need to do is almost step back where we're constantly going, what's happening now, what's happening in the market now?

Nicki: Quick we need to catch up with this infrastructure. And sometimes we need to take a deep breath and go, okay, let's think about Sydney with 7 million people, 11 million people or you know, what would that actually look like? How could we do that? There were plenty of other cities in the world and I love San Francisco. It's just a mishmash of stuff. Is all over the place and some of it's not so great, but I think it's a bit idealistic to think that any city is going to be perfect, that you aren't going to have some issues. I don't think we can ever design something perfectly, but when we go forward now the biggest mistake we can make is to not take account of that economic and social infrastructure when we do have our planning and to make sure like good design. I mean Northcote not withstanding, you know, obviously good design can add to costs.

Nicki: Yeah, I've heard people suggest, well what if we had some designs that you could sort of go, all right, we're going to meet these standards, this standard and this standard and the space up the process through council, the been approved. I imagine it will take a long time to get them approved. But yeah, a little bit off the shelf so that, and you can mix and match and do individualized things so you don't have all, you know, people in their little boxes.

Chris: and certain materials you can use that are straight through, you know, certain design elements that will be straight through. And I think it's important to have that. I think you may have already seen pointed around the how things might change in the future in actually thinking about that and working such a big part of that. And I guess, you know, there's a lot of concern around how work's going to change over time. Working from home, am I going to have a job? You know, you know, if AI going to can take over. What's your thoughts on kind of how future of work's going to change in our cities and you know more broadly in Sydney? I guess.

Nicki: I'm so happy you asked that question. It's one of your pet topics. As it so happens. Yes. Deloitte ccess Lconomics is just published. We publish every year, something called "Building the Lucky Country" and the latest one is on the future of work. And in it we do a little bit of myth-busting. And the first one is, you know, everyone's going, in fact, my oldest daughter, she goes to robots society. I'm so scared of robots, society. And the first myth that we bust is that robots aren't going to take everybody's jobs, at least not until you're ready for it. So there's an element, obviously artificial intelligence and automation are already coming in into places, but they tend to be good at low skilled, repetitive jobs. So, so people who are of you know, who have low skills, there is an element there that, you know, we need to make sure that we are educating our kids, the next generation of workers, that they will move up the skills level ladder, um, to the next level so that, you know, they're not affected.

Nicki: And that's a whole lot of education policy and things that need to go to wrap around that. But there are lots of jobs that won't be taken. And for every job that is taken, we have always created more jobs than we destroyed. I mean, you know, technology isn't new. It's, you know, we've been through, this is now what's known as the fourth industrial revolution. And we find we're creating more now. Some people have argued that we're actually at a bit of a tipping point and we will start to, uh, destroy more jobs than we create probably a little bit further away than the next 10 or 20 years I'd, I'd say at the moment. But you know, you think about autonomous vehicles for a start, you know. Okay, well will that put Uber and, and, and, and others out of, out of business.

Nicki: No, because we still need people to design the software to manage the software. There's still be call centers. So one of the things we've noted is there's a lot of what we call jobs of the head. So high tech skills will, will be needed and we need lots more of those. We talked about that earlier in the program, but also what we call jobs of the heart, where EQ is needed. And it's, um, I had somebody that told me about this only yesterday saying, um, and from point of view of education and one of the university saying, I want people with strong IQ and EQT, it's not just about being smart, that's not enough. You have to understand and be empathic, empathetic with people.

Veronica: I can see a change coming through the school system as well in terms of the, you know, my daughter goes to private school and I know that, you know, this, she's only near seven. So the conversations, you know from the principal from the teachers is very much around this world. The universities these days aren't relying on ATAR is it called? It was HSC back when I, I think it's ATAR these days.

Veronica: Now it's only out of a hundred and they all get no minority, but it looks a bit at Tom. So the universities aren't relying just on the marks and in fact often they are offering places halfway through year 12 because they are looking at the whole person. Um, so there is definitely a change in attitude, I think. And, and he's coming up through our schooling, um, now to, to feed into that. And there's also someone who, I think it might've even been Simon Russell, who's our first episode, he's written a book on cyborgs. Um, he's a behavioral science or behavioral finance, hang on. Or they call it, about the idea that that yeah. Robots can't have a conscience and then you get all these real dooms dayers saying, oh, but that will come. Yeah. I don't know. But yeah, for the moment we know that we have conscience, you know, we care, you know, robots don't presume they don't care. So there is going to be that that delineation isn't there. And I think that's interesting to hear that that educators talking about EQ being so important. Yeah.

Nicki: And then of course, the next myth is around, um, the ID that the workforce has got really casualized, you know, everyone's ringing alarm bells. It's the Gig economy and that's why we're not, wages aren't going anywhere. In fact, the casualized element of the workforce is 25%, and it has been the same for about 15, 20 years. So it hasn't, hasn't in fact change, which is, but you know, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Chris: Like it's contracting growing or is that not true as well? Was that a bit of a myth? It's all a bit of a myth. Yeah.

Nicki: Um, and then you gotta come from, um, mainly from, from a range of, um, the government sources. So the Bureau of Statistics, the household survey data, um, Hilda data that it's, yeah, it's all, um, and surveys as well. But yeah, no, it's not, it's, it's, the evidence is pretty conclusive and yeah, we don't change jobs every two years. On average, we change every five years. Now I suspect that's because older people like myself tend to stay in jobs a little bit longer, but maybe younger people do tend to to move. But my 20 something oldest daughter has been in her current job for seven years and I've only been in mind for two. So, you know, it's all mixed and matched. That's not a very statistically significant sample.

Nicki: But you know, and I think, I think younger people are, you know, definitely less worried about it, but which means there's more opportunities for them. And coming back to your point earlier about, um, the, you know, what, what does this mean for the way we live and work and where, where we are. The final myth we bust is, is about remote working. And it's one of the interesting things we found was that where I'm wanting 25 firms that we surveyed offered some, sorry, one in five firms offered some sort of flexible work practice, but only one in 25 people, 4% of the population actually were acting on that and often not irregular basis. So people feel the need. Now there's some things that are cultural, you know, like, oh gosh, if I'm not at my desk, people will think I'm not doing anything. And that's still a part of it.

Nicki: Um, and there are some, some bosses who are not not that good. Um, where I work, most people probably work from home one day a week. It's great to be out a particularly on plan office to have time to think and quiet and yeah, save yourself the travel time, et cetera. Um, which is good. But when, one of the biggest reasons why that won't ever change really significantly is because we like to agglomerate. We like to have face to face conversations. We like to have, you know, uh, colleagues around the corner that we can go and see. And you see this interestingly with universities that are offering online courses, you hear a lot of students saying they're becoming disengaged if they don't get that face to face time and that ability to, to, to meet their peers and to make friendships. And this is how great ideas happen.

Nicki: And we know from things like the basis of silicon valley, you know, people getting together in a pub in Ireland too, you know, they, all these, these little anecdotes that we have around how getting people together to glomerate and whether it's it or it's finance or whatever the sector is, that agglomeration creates all sorts of benefits of ideas you draw in more new firms. And we get the benefits of the higher growth with higher productivity growth and Australia is not getting that at the moment and our cities of letting us down and they designed, because we don't have these hubs that we can get in Australia, we now have only one in 10 firms is a new firm as opposed to one in 14 oh sorry, 14 sorry, 10% verse. I'm getting all mixed up. Sorry. So only so 10% of firms are now new firms coming in, starting up something new compared to about 14% about five years ago.

Nicki: We want really new firms. You don't want lots of, lots of turnover of people going under, but that always happens as well. But we want new and bright firms cause that's where productivity grows most strongly and that's really good for our economy. If we're going to grow our jobs, if we're going to grow wages, that's where we're going and get our economy back on a better platform than it is at the moment. That's where we need to have it. But what that means, the way you live, it's still saying at the moment that comes back to that density argument and being closer to where you work and not having to travel long distances. We are a long way still from having that, you know, we can live anywhere and you know, we all love to sit on the beach and with our laptop we'll actually sit on the beach without the laptop, but you know what I mean? Um, but it's just not as feasible.

Veronica: Um, I think the moment pipe dream then.

Chris: I work in coworking spaces and coworking spaces, you know, 2019 are much better than they were in 2014. Right. You know, the options in 2014 we're like Regis and Surf Corp and souless sort of biases. Nothing against them. But even their evolved in their, thrown out their old model and said we've got to pick up the speed here and go the new way. Um, but co working spaces, open up in regional places. And so, you know, the ability of working at home is yes, you want to be around people and I don't want to be sitting in my office that stock and you know, bad internets and you know, you know, kids running around and the knife is mowing the lawn and et Cetera, et cetera. And that's the problems that working at home. But if you could go to at coworking club or space that's near home where other people are working on professional jobs for a couple of days a week and then I commute a couple of days a week, those things don't exist right now, but they're starting to open up. So is that, do you think things like that will change the work from home sort of argument where you only commute a certain number of days?

Nicki: Yeah, I've, I'm, I'm seeing this all, all over the place and it's, it's not just with, um, you know, tech hubs like stone and chalk where they, they offer all these additional things. So it's like, come and listen to this person speaking or you know, we're having an expert in startup finance coming in this week, so it's all that additional stuff. So it's not just about people in the coworking space, which is really important. Um, but it's also for creative people for example. So you can be in there as a, um, my youngest daughter is a standup comedian and musician. Okay. Um, that's, yeah, that's okay. What can you do? But she got a scholarship for a coworking space she's in Melbourne and the friendships and the partnerships that she's been able to make over the space of a few months rather than sitting isolated at home trying to come up with ideas.

Nicki: It's a fantastic opportunity. And I think, so all these creating spaces are fantastic as well for, it doesn't just have to be around technology. There are lots of opportunities. Obviously the creative types, particularly if you're a musician, means you don't have a lot of money to spend. And so a regional coworking space is probably going to work much better for you then perhaps you know something right down in the CBD.

Veronica: But interestingly enough, even even if we have, you know, these great regional hubs with coworking spaces and remote working as a consequence of this, interestingly enough, it's still density, isn't it? People are istill gravitating towards each other.

Nicki: It's exactly right. It's the exchange of ideas and if you go right back to caveman times, you know we are community animals. That's it. And I think often when you think about some of the mental health issues we have in our populations, it's because people feel disenfranchised and disconnected and they don't know where they're going. We are this sometimes that when you stretch the city out, it's very big and impersonal and you know, if you can live in neighborhoods where there is that community space where you do connect with your neighbors that you know, you help Mrs. Jones next door who's 90 and by taking in her rubbish bin once a week and making sure you know, she's ok, you got an extra slice of cake, you pop in and say hi or you know, people who help each other and you know, neighborhood block parties and street parties.

Veronica: And know each other. It makes such a difference. Anecdotally, I've heard it a few people that had lived in sort of inner city areas or in an area shall we say, um, and had their first or second child and decided that look that now that really need to go out and get the big home in the, in the burbs. And two different anecdotes. One was from the eastern beaches and one was from the inner west and they both went well having to be the Shire. And I'm not really picky on the Shire. I did grow up there, but you know, I would never live back there again.

Veronica: But anyway, that's because I am an urban creature. But these guys went out to the shore and they do what they thought was the right thing for their families. They young families and bought a big home and at the big backyard and the swings it and trampoline and all that sort of palava and then felt so isolated. They turned around and moved back and they say what the thing is, we're having all that space to yourself. Is that you don't need to go to the park. You don't need to get yourself out of your own place and meet new people because everyone's got their own backyard. And if you grew up there and you went to school there, you've already got your networks. You don't actually need to go out there and meet new people. It's really quite difficult for that. As I said to yet only two examples, and I'm sorry if you live in the Shire,

Nicki: they're very proud, very proud.

Veronica: I know when, when I tell people I grew up in the shy though, oh my God. And you're left on one of the 5%. Um, and that's just a made up figure by the way. Um, but yeah, there is there, you know, and that is important that we tend to forget that we've always, well, we don't know what we don't know. We don't know what we're experiencing in the area. We're experiencing it and we get somewhere different things. Oh, that's how it rolls in this area. So I think this density, I mean that's another, I guess benefit of density,

Chris: But I mean, I can save it in the city. There's people are just as lonely in the city, you know, Surry Hills. Yeah. I mean it's, you know, one bedders, studios and two bedders and no one knows their neighbors. No one knows who's in the building. Do you know? It's, you know, and it's, you know, you get into the lift and no one talks to each other and no one knows each other in the building. And you know, sometimes, you know, the sit, just having a, a building more in the city and living in the city doesn't mean that you're going to be any less lonely. Um, and I mean, I guess that's a lot of these new buildings and co living and things like that. I tried to solve this problem where they're trying to say, let's bring this building to life.

Chris: Let's make sure everyone knows each other and you know, and I think that that'll change I guess. Um, you know, around technology. How do you think it's going to, you know, be able to change housing and the impacts of things like climate change? Because, you know, I guess we are in a, you know, this week for example, I know where we're, we were always a few weeks behind, but there's going to be some massive waves coming. Um, you know, eight meter waves hitting the east coast and things like that in a couple of years ago. Um, Collaroy got smashed. Um, you know, there's potentially rising sea levels, you know, how do you think these issues are going to affect our kind of real estate market?

Nicki: They're going to have profound effects, but Australians, not just Australians, people are very, very bad at understanding future events and bringing them back to what do I need to do now? It's the reason people smoke because they have a cigarette and they don't fall down dead. Um,

Chris: it's actually a really good point. Actually. My wife's studying psychology and um, you know, she was talking about this the other day and it's the consequence to your actions, isn't it? The gap is too far. So if we do something today, there's no consequence that's not good for our health or good for the environment. The consequences so far ahead in the future that we can't, our brains just cannot connect with it.

Nicki: Well, we also value it less even when we do connect with it. So there's an economic concept that we talk about discount rates. So we say the value of a dollar today is worth a lot more. If you say, I'll give you a dollar today or $2 in in a years time you go, oh, I'm going to take the dollar today because we discount that value. Now the, there's an a lot of debate amongst economists at the moment around with the current discount rates that we use in policy decisions are too high and one of the areas where the is actually, there is a slightly lower rate but we think it should be a lot lower is on how when you're measuring climate change policies, because you do need to say it's not the, the damage that will be done in the future of our actions today is so great that we shouldn't be discounting it by a big, big amount.

Nicki: We should actually be keeping it very close to kind of what it is today because it's just the magnitudes are are so, so great, but we are doing, yeah, little by little there are things that we are doing and I think with energy efficiency in homes for example, there's some great things that we're doing. You know, some community housing under New South Wales government has a program where they're working with community housing developers to make sure there's more energy efficient. Um, there's some retrofitting but also more energy efficiency built into new homes. And that includes appliances and things. You know, there's, there are lots of things that we can be doing to reduce our demand for energy. But irrespective of what we do, the experts and you know, people dispute what experts know or don't know. They are the warnings about what climate change we're going to see.

Nicki: So temperature rises, sea level rises is going to be, well, we were looking at saying one, one and a half percent the century, then now we're talking 2% and now the standard modeling says no, we're going to look at 4% scenarios. Now you think, Ooh, what does that mean? What is it? You know, it's, it's Oh, present sea level temperature rise. I don't know what that means. To me it means many, many more events like serious events, let alone the sea rises now. So we heard obviously in, in the last week, you know, when the prime minister was in, in um, uh, Tuvalu talking about where we are already seeing sea level rises and the impact that's having on our, on our little island. Australia is a giant island. But most of us live very close to the shore. So for those that do, you know, we already see a lot of erosion, um, we will see sea level rises.

Nicki: You think about what's in the CBD and think about something like Circular Quay, yeah, there's some giant new buildings going up right in front of the Cahill expressway. Now what will that be like in 50 years time? And a lot of people who live, you know, a couple of blocks back from the beach joke, oh well this is great, I'll have a waterfront property in 50 years time. But it isn't a joke. It's very, very serious. And it's not just the Sydney sea level rises is probably the, the biggest thing if you're living in the eastern side, extreme heat is probably much more of an issue or is obviously much more of an issue if you're living in the west. If you live in north Queensland, the intensity and frequency of um, uh, hurricane cycling events in Melbourne, it's intense heat and parts of it sea level rises as well.

Nicki: Uh, fire obviously in, in, um, uh, uh, Western Victoria and South Australia. So we have all these different types of things that are happening and we need to be starting to say what are the sorts of things that we put in? So we did somewhat quite a quite a while ago now, with Suncorp where, um, I worked with, um, James Cook University with their engineers and we looked at different options for actually making housing more cyclone proof. And that was gonna help because premiums were getting, insurance premiums in those areas would just getting so large because there's so many, much more damage being done more frequently. It's, you know, we had Yazzie and then we had, I can't remember the name of all the cyclones, but we've been having an awful lot of them.

Chris: There's one last year called cycle Veronica. That's right. Did everyone see that?

Veronica: Finally I'm famous,

Veronica: When I was about 19 Elvis Costello came out with a song called Veronica and I was so excited and I bought the tape and I put it in the tape deck in my car and I'm driving along and listen to it was the baddies 70 year old senile grandmother. So you know, when people put Veronica in things, it's never good.

Nicki: I Know Veronica Viaccio, she's pretty cute, but she was cute.

Chris: Every week we hear incredible stories of the dumb things, property buyers do, dumb things that end up costing a whole lot of money and or creating a whole lot of stress mistakes that can be avoided. Please. Nicki, can you give us an example of a property dumbo? We can all learn what not to do from these stories.

Nicki: Yeah. So this comes from from something I was asked only the other day. Um, you know, obviously when you're an environment where interest rates are falling, um, people are looking to to chase lower, lower interest rates and we're encouraged to say, you know, people are saying, well go out there and demand that your bank give you something better. And Yeah, some people have more luck than others and you really do have to be bolshy about it. If you can't get your bank to do it without having some, another piece of paper from someone else, or you decide that you can do something from someone else.

Speaker 4: I just say be careful because it might seem like a great deal if you're going from 3.4% to 2.99% but work out what all the costs are, read all the small print detail. Can you still pay off your loan the way you could earlier? Can you make early repayments? Yeah. What are the transactional costs? You know, if you have to get the lower rate, you have to fix him for two years. But we actually think you know, rates are going to fall further. Is that a smart decision to make? You know there are lots of hidden costs in the transaction. Yes, I absolutely encourage people, go for the lowest ones. Make those banks or whoever's lending you the money, earn your business, but be really prepared. Do your homework and it might take you awhile. You might have to come home from work and feel very tired, but after dinner, get online, do some research or you know, use a broker but get there and say, alright, I want to know what's the best deal that you can do for me and work out. Is it worth all? How much are you going to save and is it going to be enough to make it worth all of the other transactional costs? Is it just going to be a mortgage? Are you going to have to take over your bank accounts? Yeah. All of those sorts of things. So just be prepared. Do your homework and work out what the total transactional costs are. Not just the difference in the interest rate, but make your bank work for you.

Veronica: Oh, that is so true. And look, it's so tempting to chase interest rates, especially when they're being advertised so low. But yeah, you've got to definitely look at the total cost. Thank you so much for joining us Nicki. I feel like we could have talked for another hour. You know, there's so many things that we just scratch the surface of that we could, um, you know, really did delve further into. Maybe we have to get your back. Um, we would definitely put the links in the show notes on the reports that you mentioned. I think there's a couple of reports actually. There's a Future of Work and there's another one on Density and opulation growth. Um, we will include in the, in the show notes. Um, and yes, food for thought. And I think, you know, once again, this is the premise of this whole podcast is we want people thinking, you know, these decisions that we make around property, uh, important, big, big, potentially costly. They can set you up or screw you up. Um, and so, you know, coming along and sharing some of the research and the thinking that you've been part of, uh, is fabulous and we appreciate your time.

Nicki: It's been a great pleasure to be here. Thank you.

Veronica: We want to make you a better elephant rider. And this week's elephant rider training follows on from Nicki's Dumbo. Now this is right up Chris's alley and Chris can actually elaborate on more tips on what you can do if you're trying to get yourself a better interest rate.

Chris: Generally when you sign up at a new bank, you know you have got a couple of hundred, you know, a valuation fee or settlement fee. So that might take you from $350 to about $600, let's call it. Um, you probably have to pay a package for your game, which you probably have already just paid or you might've paid six months ago at your all bank. So there might be another 400 bucks in. Um, you then got, you know, a couple hundred dollars in government costs. So you have to de register a mortgage and then you have to re issue the mortgage because you have to swap the bank. So that's about $300. So you know, you are looking at counting that $1300 if you add the package fee in, which a lot of brokers don't add in, but sometimes you've just paid the package fee and you don't get a refund. So you've already got to be at $1,300. Now if you've got a mortgage of under $500,000, yeah, you're already talking about 0.2 0.3% straight away, you've got to be winning by in the first year.

Chris: Um, and so it's gotta be quite a big discount for you to make sense. If you've got a big mortgage though, like $1 million or $1.5, your transaction and phase are kind of fixed. So you know, it, it actually makes sense to kind of be on it a bit more. But I mean, before you even do that, you know, you're probably best to just call your bank and call your retention team and just say, look, I'm gonna leave. Um, and you know, probably a go to person to person to say it's probably ING or Macquarie or something like that. Go on their websites cause their rights are published. Um, inside that they've offered me, you know, whatever they're offering. Um, the problem is when you refinance, and this is where people, a lot of people, things, you know, right now you've got banks like Bank of Queensland, Virgin, um, a few other banks that are offering 2.99 for three years and it's getting advertised a lot.

Veronica: Yeah.

Chris: The problem is just because of bangs offering you that rate, it doesn't mean that you qualify. Um, and this is where a lot of people get confused and a lot of banks also, they, they offer something called an introductory rate. And so you get, you know, it's like a little carrot. Um, you know, you can get off of this, right. And they don't know that it's just for two years and you are taking a huge risk there because if in two years time you cannot refinance because your situation has changed, um, you could go up to a much higher rate. And then shoot yourself in the foot. So you've gotta be careful. It's not an introductory rate. Um, and don't get too excited because you've got to make sure you qualify. Um, and a lot of people aren't qualifying because of change to their work.

Chris: They could have a limited policy, they might not service, et cetera. So there's lots to it.

Veronica: And Nicki mentioned about the package of what's in the features of the loan as well. So you know, if you don't have the offset account facility or you don't have the ability to pay down the loan, you know that that can cost you as well over time.

Chris: Yeah. And the other thing is, is just because the rate is fixed, what they're offering you today, a lot of the lenders a lot of the smaller lenders. You know, these are non banks, um, you know, new lenders that are technology kind of lenders that are coming out. The way that they get their funding is not as secure and it's not as stable as say the big four and a lot of the second tier lenders and you know a lot of their funding, you know, margin can very quickly move and they can go making lots of money to losing money and there is a risk if there is a bit of a crisis or credit does get tight, they get smashed and so they're offering these amazing rates now, but that it's not without the risk that you know, you could find that they could lift the rate on all their existing customers much easier than say a big four would. You've just got to be careful that it's not a risk free guaranteed rate.

Veronica: Please join us for our next episode when we interview Carly Davis. Now we've interviewed her before about a completely different topic. This episode is all about proptech. What is proptech you may ask is that lovely marriage of property and technology. Now we talk about whether this solves problems for consumers or agents or even builders and who is going to benefit the most? Where is the innovation most exciting and how is proptech likely to change? Basically everything that is related to property.

Chris: Don't forget, we're on all the social channels. We're on Facebook. We're on Linkedin, rod, Twitter,

Veronica: Or you can connect with us on www.theelephantintheroom.com.au the links are all there for you.

Chris: Please connect and send us a message we'd love to hear from you.

Veronica: The Elephant in the Room Property Podcast is recorded at the Sydney Sound Brewery. This week's podcast was recorded by John Hresc editorial by Gordie Fletcher.

Chris: Until next week, don't be a Dumbo.

Veronica: Now remember, everything we talked about on this podcast is general in nature and should never be considered to be personal financial advice. If you're looking to get advice, please seek the help of a licensed financial advisor or buyer's agent who will tailor and document their advice to your personal circumstances with a statement of advice.



Veronica Morgan