Each week I write these articles, I try to find some interesting statistics that might give me a clue on what is happening from a macro and micro economic level, and how it may affect the property market in our region.

An interesting fact I came upon this week is that Australia is number two in the world for migration of wealthy millionaires! Australia has had 3,500 millionaires migrate to our shores in 2023.

So far in 2023, 635,793 people have arrived in Australia, approximately 400,000 of these are migrants.

The primary reason people migrate to our country is their search for stability, lifestyle and confidence.

What do they know that we don’t? Here are some clues.

If you are a mortgage holder in Europe at the moment, things are not so great.

Banks in Europe were lending money for mortgages at interest rates of 0.50 per cent in 2021/22, and they were locking in loans for 10 years or more!

The European Central Bank has, like our own RBA, increased the cash rate to 3.75 per cent since July 2022, that is a 750 per cent increase!

By comparison, the lowest variable interest rate in Australia was circa 2.20 per cent and are now circa 4.50 per cent so that’s only a 204 per cent increase.

Imagine having your mortgage interest go up by 750 per cent!

Another interesting fact is that according to the Numbeo annual assessment of the world’s most expensive countries, Bermuda is the world’s most expensive place to live.

Switzerland ranks second on the list (and it is definitely not the only European country) followed by new entrants the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, and Barbados.

Thankfully, Australia is ranked just outside the top 10 most expensive countries at 13th on the list, with an index of 75.3.

Our rent index was significantly lower than Bermuda’s 96.3, at just 39.0.

The data makes an assessment based on a range of living costs, factoring in aspects like transportation, clothing, accommodation, internet, utilities, groceries, and eating out.

Sydney is still the most expensive place to live in Australia, 22 per cent more expensive than Melbourne and 49 per cent more expensive than Adelaide.

According to CEOWORLD magazine, Australia is ranked as the fifth most economically stable country in the world, behind the Netherlands, Japan, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

Interestingly, Australia has the highest participation in sport per capita of population, and more cities in the ‘’most liveable city index’’ than any other country.

What I am drawing from all this is just a bit of perspective; these millionaires and migrants are onto something.

We need to forget the RBA for a while, relax about the Federal Budget (non-event), and remember that we have it pretty good down under!

Property prices and our liveability are both improving.

Sure, commodity prices haven’t come down much, but we have seen easing in the labour markets which will bring with it lower inflation and commodities will come under control eventually.

From a local property perspective in this environment, it seems the Greater Geelong housing market has turned the corner with all major research showing an uptick in house prices over the last month and increasing clearance rates at auctions.

There is a window of opportunity to get into the property market as it picks up again. Get in before the foreign millionaires do!

This article written by Gareth Kent appeared in the Geelong Times on 26th May 2023.