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


Episode 51 | What’s in property development for Chinese investors? | Cameron MacQueen, PAI Group

The traps to avoid when getting involved with property developments.

Cameron Macqueen knows why the Chinese want to invest in Australian property. After 5 years growing a big business in China he came back to Australia to run a Chinese property development company - PAI Group. PAI have been building 100’s of small developments, mainly in Melbourne’s middle ring suburbs. These developments are funded by Chinese citizens mainly to get two things, a great return and a permanent residency status in Australia.

Here are some highlights:

  • The different ways Chinese think about property.

  • How Chinese gut apartments and want everything brand new.

  • How you can get Permanent Residency if you have a bit of cash.

  • The market risk in doing developments.

  • How Chinese build community developments that are amazing places to live.

  • How we are going to grow our cities, as we grow our population.

We finish with some rather hilarious tree cutting dumbos so be sure to tune in till the end!

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 50 | The biggest lessons from the first 25 episodes | Veronica & Chris summer series 3

Plus a deep dive into exactly why buying off-the-plan is so risky

In this episode, Veronica and Chris finish the summer series with a discussion about some of the biggest  “aha” moments in the first 25 episodes.

As always, this conversation covers a lot of ground as we pull snippets from different interviews and discuss the key lessons and takeaways in more detail.

  • The most common behavioural biases we have that let us down.

  • What’s really happening during an auction sales process.

  • Agent tactics to get you to make an offer.

  • How data analytics are going to change property investing in the future.

  • Flaws in new buildings and the risks of buying off the plan.

This is the 50th episode and there’s so much to learn that only the first 25 episodes could be covered in this chat! Listen up and come back, the second 25 episodes will be tackled soon - there’s so much more gold in them!

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Chris Bates
Episode 49 | What will Labor’s negative gearing policy do to the property market? | Veronica & Chris summer special 2

Will it really create housing affordability and will there be unintended consequences?

In this episode we stir up the conversation on Labor’s negative gearing policy and just how crazy we believe it will be if they successfully get it legislated. To help you better understand what could happen, we bring in parts of the conversations we’ve had with some of the smartest minds in property - Pete Wargent, The Kouk, Tyron Hyde and Ben Kingsley.

For us, it is wildly outrageous that they believe this will help first home buyers get what they really want long term; a home in a highly desirable location. In fact we believe it will make it even harder for them.

Labor are forgetting that a lot is riding on keeping our property investment industry stable and flowing, but in order to win votes they will bring financial pain to property owners all over the country. For properties not traditionally bought by investors, such as houses in the inner rings of capital cities, this will not have a huge impact. But for properties that are bought almost entirely by investors such as units, new apartments and holidays homes, this could be catastrophic.

There are so many flaws in this policy design and this episode explores what the consequences could be if it gets the go ahead.

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Chris Bates
Episode 48 | What's going to happen to the property market in 2019 and how to borrow money? | Veronica & Chris summer special 1

In this episode we have a look at 2019 and what could change in “the property market”.

This is the first of our 2019 summer specials and we reflect back on what some of our podcast guests have had to say about the big issues affecting property prices.

  • Peter Koulizos talks Australia.

  • Pete Wargent talks Brisbane.

  • The Kouk talks all things interest rates and what the RBA could do.

  • Mark Foy explains why some properties are performing better than others.

  • John Lindemann explains how scarcity really works and where to buy for long term growth.

  • We talk about the flight to quality, property fundamentals and how many different markets perform.

Please listen to the end because Chris gives a great summary of how home loan lending has changed and what to do about it in 2019.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 47 | What does the ultimate property spruiker look like and are they all bad? | Bryce Holdaway

Exactly how much money are some “advisors” paid when they recommend property?

Bryce Holdaway, is probably Australia’s most famous property co-host - podcast fans will know him from The Property Couch and TV fans will know him from Location, Location, Location Australia, Relocation Relocation Australia and now Escape from the City on the ABC. What you may not know is why he is the best person to explain to us exactly what a property spruiker is and what makes them so dangerous.

And no chat about spruikers would be complete without also discussing:

  1. How much money is available in referral fees for mortgage brokers, financial planners and accountants who know very little about property and are not interested in good outcomes for their clients.

  2. Apartments aren’t all bad, but many are risky, so learn the first question to ask yourself before buying a new apartment.

  3. The specific issues you need to be aware of when buying property within your SMSF.

But the most compelling reason to listen to this episode is to hear Chris’s “chicken in the oven” analogy.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 46 | What causes wishful thinking and why does it cost us so much? | Lorna Patten

Real estate can be a really expensive self development workshop.

Lorna Patten, counsellor and trainer, is renowned for telling the truth that needs to be told. So who better to explain to us exactly what lies underneath some of the decisions property buyers make - in particular those that cost people a lot of money. This is the episode we’ve been wanting to make for some time and we uncovered some absolute gems:

  1. What we fear the most when it comes to life and how that can lead to buying property for all the wrong reasons.

  2. The difference between normal anxiety about a big decision and a niggle that’s really a warning sign.

  3. Practical steps for gaining clarity around what you want and to succeed when buying with your partner.

If you suspect that you might be driven by your inner 3 year old saying “I want it, I want it, I want it”, you’d better listen to this episode!

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 45 | Good advice doesn’t cost, it pays | Noel Whittaker

Negative gearing, superannuation & property investment tips

In this episode, we had an eye-opening discussion with Noel Whittaker, who is somewhat of a household name.

Noel writes weekly columns in major newspapers in every State in Australia. He also broadcasts regularly on ABC Radio and appears on channel nine. He's written 22 best selling books that have sold over two million copies around the world. His book Making Money Simple set sales records across the country, and was recently named in the top 100 of the most influential books of the last century.

Here is some of what we discussed:

  1. Labor’s policy on negative gearing - is it a fallacy?

  2. Will changes to negative gearing help housing affordability?

  3. Depreciation - is it even worth it?

  4. Superannuation funds - why are we so disengaged?

  5. SMSF and the importance of getting good financial advice.

    Join us for some fantastic property & investment insights.

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Chris Bates
Episode 44 | Who you should and shouldn’t listen to when it comes to property | Kevin Turner

You make your money when you buy, not when you sell.

In this episode we pick the brains of Kevin Turner, a leading independent property market commentator, that's a mouth full, and host of the very popular podcast for consumers, called Real Estate Talk, and another for agents, called Real Estate Uncut. But he's more than just a star podcaster, Kevin has been able to combine his extensive radio and real estate careers which both date back to the 1980s.

We have covered a lot of ground, here’s a snapshot:

  1. The downsizer market - lifestyle villages to suit all ages.

  2. Multi-generational Living - what developers need to build.

  3. Holiday mistakes - don’t buy a house when you are an ice cream licker!

  4. Beware of the spruikers - is the negative gearing pitch really worth it?

  5. Tips on how to choose a good selling agent.

It’s a great episode - we hope you enjoy it!

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 43 | Elections, Royal Commissions, negative gearing & what drives our economy | Stephen Koukoulas

What are property prices likely to do in 2019?

In this episode, we pick the brains of Stephen Koukoulas, better known as “The Kouk”. He’s one of Australia's leading economic visionaries, past chief economist of Citibank and probably most famous for being Chief Economic Advisor to Julia Gillard. He's renowned for being able to turn complex economic analysis into terms mere mortals can understand.

We cover a vast array of topics including:

  1. Election Promises by Liberal/Labor - what will happen to negative gearing?

  2. The Banking Royal Commission - the effect it’s having on property prices

  3. Infrastructure - Is enough in place to cope with population growth?

  4. Why waiting for the ‘bottom of the market’ when looking to buy your home can cost you big.

“The Kouk” really lifts the lid on all things economic, housing and the levers that drive the property market.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 42 | How to invest in Melbourne and avoid overdevelopment | Jarrod McCabe, Wakelin Property Advisory

The importance of understanding a multifaceted buyer pool.

Jarrod McCabe is director of Wakelin Property Advisory. Wakelin specializes in the investor market in Melbourne, and Jarrod runs a team of property advisors.

Wakelin has been around for decades, and Jarrod's been there for eight and a half years, but he started his career as a valuer almost twenty years ago. Now, he knows the Melbourne’s property market inside out.

This episode covers:

  1. The importance of streetscape for capital growth

  2. Which apartments are in scarce supply and high demand

  3. Good property managers and tenants rights

Jarrod gives us a tour of Melbourne’s property market and highlights what makes a stellar investment.  

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 41 | Where can first home buyers get the best advice? | Meighan Hetherington, Property Pursuit

Why your first property purchase is your most important financial decision.

Meighan Hetherington is one of Brisbane’s most respected buyers agents with 15 years experience and over 650 purchased properties under her belt. This entire episode is dedicated to first home buyers. Getting your first purchase right can set you up for life but getting it wrong can be devastating. We delve into the best sources of advice for first home buyers. Here are some of the big issues we tackle:

  1. Is the government actually helping first home buyers or stitching their financial future up?

  2. What compromises can first home buyers make and what they should never consider?

  3. The dangers in not realising what we don’t know and how first home buyers have the most to lose.

This advice is better than anything your parents will tell you!

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Chris Bates
Episode 40 | How is the great Australian dream changing with population growth? | Simon Kuestenmacher, The Demographics Group

A demographer’s insights into the future of property.

Simon Kuestenmacher is one of Australia’s rising stars in the world of demography. Demographers study people and because property is all about where people live and what we live in, this is something we need to pay attention to. Simon is probably most well known to be the brains beside the renowned Bernard Salt at The Demographics Group.

Here’s some of what we learnt in this discussion:

  1. How an ageing population, death and high migration will shift Australian needs for housing.

  2. The population argument - for and against - and why it has lead to an awful outcome in terms of housing stock.

  3. The difference both old and new technology will make to the way we live and will we ever get high speed trains in this country?

Part researcher, part futurist, what an amazing glimpse into what could be ahead!

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Chris Bates
Episode 39 | Where can you get excellent financial & property advice? | Stuart Wemyss, ProSolution & Investopoly

How many investment properties do we really need to retire well?

Stuart Wemyss is one of Australia’s top financial experts and has been running his own financial planning & mortgage broking business for over 15 years. Stuart truly gets the important cross-over between good property advice and good financial advice. He’s written many books and his new one Investopoly is a must read because it covers the importance of quality assets and sound evidence based financial strategy.

  1. Whether you should DIY or use an adviser to help you with your biggest investment decision in a totally unregulated market.

  2. How important is your first property and some cheeky investment strategies for First Home Buyers

  3. What qualifies a property to be investment grade and the three things you must do to stay ahead of the herd

This is a long one, but we didn’t cut it because there was nothing in there that wasn’t valuable! Enjoy.

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Chris Bates
Episode 38 | Why do people want to escape from the city? | Bryce Holdaway, The Property Couch

Is buying property on television different to real life?

Bryce Holdaway, Veronica’s TV co-host, is also co-host of the incredibly popular podcast The Property Couch and the soon to be released brand new TV series called Escape From the City. In this episode we discuss the ups and downs of making a sea or tree change. Plus why it’s important to think ahead when you buy property, whether or not you’re moving away from the city. The top three takeaways are:

  1. How to mitigate the risks of a sea change or tree change, the importance of “People Like Us” and reminiscing about the lessons learnt while filming.

  2. Mindfulness and property decisions and how to do a lifestyle audit before making a big move.

  3. The downsides of relocating and what to do in the first year to make it a success.

Bryce also makes a big embarrassing confession about Location Location Location Australia!!

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Chris Bates
Episode 37 | How to understand the most cyclical property market in the world | Frank Gelber, BIS Oxford Economics

Will property prices continue to fall, correct or stagnate?

Frank Gelber describes himself as “a property forecaster with a long memory”. In this interview we are all treated to a masterclass in property cycles from an expert with an impressive pedigree. Frank is a director of BIS Oxford economics and he takes us on a whirlwind tour of the entire Australian property market and explains how interconnected it all is. Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Options for different players in the property market - developers, short term investors, renovators, long term investors, owner occupiers.

  • Which commercial market is about to have an “almighty boom”.

  • The structural changes in the economy and the knock on effect in our housing.

  • Why removing negative gearing will result in increased rents.

  • The domino effect of a low Aussie dollar, increases in tourism, jobs and population growth.

  • Build to rent, is it a good idea and can it work in Australia?

    Another incredible episode - you’ll never look at property the same again!

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Chris Bates
Episode 36 | How can an auctioneer influence bidders even in a buyers' market? | Tim Heavyside, Fletchers

“What I'm trying to do is influence a situation because that's what selling is.”

Tim Heavyside, sales agent, auctioneer and director of Melbourne based Fletchers, is the very auctioneer we critiqued with behavioural scientist Simon Russell in our first episode! Tim is the consummate professional, and it should come as no surprise that he is acutely aware of the ways in which his actions influence the behaviour of property buyers.

Buyers need to be very, very aware that many auctioneers, particular someone like Tim, invest an enormous amount of their own personal development, education, training and practice to get to a point where they are an absolute expert at what they’re doing.

This is a very revealing episode, in which we covered:

  • How he “gets in buyers’ heads” so they engage and bid at auction.

  • How he stops confident bidders scaring off timid bidders.

  • What’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears got to do with property?

  • Nasty vendors and nice vendors - who gets the best price?

  • What happens when you get fined for under-quoting.

  • How often luck is involved at auction for both sellers and buyers.

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Chris Bates
Episode 35 | How to work out where to buy and what to renovate | Jane Slack Smith, Your Property Success

The Reno Queen's secrets of success.

Jane Slack Smith is probably best known for creating the Your Property Success online education program. Jane has worked with thousands of students through the Ultimate Guide to Renovation course and Location Masterclass and also runs a successful mortgage broking business. In this interview we cover a range of investment fundamentals, including:

  1. The danger of “hot-spotters” who forget to tell you when to exit.

  2. The difference between a property flip and a flop.

  3. Renovation strategies: Repair, Rejuvenation, Refresh, Restructure and Revamp.

  4. The real cost of a dream lifestyle in retirement.

  5. Why borrowing capacity is going to get worse.

Yet another jam-packed episode full of insider property tips!

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Chris Bates
Episode 34 | The hidden things to look for when working out the price to pay | Shelley Horton, Albion Avenue

Plus a sneak peek into the Blue Mountains property market.

Shelley Horton has been a property valuer for over 20 years and worked in many different parts of the industry including the much misunderstood area of Lenders Mortgage Insurance. For the past five years, Shelley has been running her own buyers agency in Sydney and her expertise extends to helping tree changers in the Blue Mountains.

As usual, we covered plenty of ground in this episode, including:

  • What a good valuer does when researching recent sales.

  • How banks and buyers value property for different reasons.

  • How being cashed up can make you susceptible to overpaying.

  • Who does lenders mortgage insurance protect?

  • Why young couples are tree changing to Blue Mountains

  • Why national parks can be a good thing for property prices.

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Chris Bates
Episode 33 | Why gentrification is the key to successful investing and how to nail it | Peter Koulizos, The Property Professor

Plus the pitfalls of property development for first timers.

Peter Koulizos is one of Australia’s best known property commentators for good reason. As a university lecturer, Peter’s passion and skill is in educating people and he brings research to the minds of investors that makes a hell of a lot of common sense. Peter is also a respected author and this episode is one that you’ll be nodding your head to as he is so practical! Some of the big points we covered include:

  • Which locations he thinks will get the best return in next 5-10 years.

  • If population is a good determinant of capital growth.

  • Should you time the market, or focus on time in the market?

  • How you can pick the next growth suburbs.

  • The what, how and why of Gentrification

  • Is property unaffordable really?

We will have to get Peter back on because Chris got told off for continuing to ask questions!!

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Chris Bates
Episode 32 | Is negative gearing really going to be a vote winner? | Ben Kingsley, Empower Wealth & The Property Couch

Property investors unite to stop us all being thrown under the bus!

Ben Kingsley is probably best known for being one half of Australia’s number one property podcast “The Property Couch”. Ben is without doubt one of Australia’s big names when it comes to property investment and his business Empower Wealth has helped thousands of Australians. It was such a pleasure to get Ben fired up and we sure did get to talk about the things nobody talks about!

  • Why low wages growth will be a worry for property investors.

  • What is PICA and why investors should join.

  • How families should come together with family wealth.

  • Why negative gearing will be used to buy an election and how removing it will affect the market.

  • How house and land packages are sold, and discounted.

  • What do state governments really want and why GST may be going up.

What a brilliant episode!

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Chris Bates