Monday by the Magazine Rack

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Hello!

Good afternoon and welcome to Monday by the Magazine Rack, our beginning of the working week chit chat thread.

And by all counts, this week is going to be filled with the promise of sheer levity and much hillarity! Things are off to a spell-binding start with a new report from BIS Shrapnel predicting that we’re on the cusp of a nationwide property boom ! (cue the canned laughter), and as joni points out, the honourable member for something Peter Costello has decided to tip-toe out of politips.

Which has some Blogocrats asking “will others follow in his wake?”

Well surely, you’d have to take a good, hard look at Tony Abbott. (Or perhaps not).

But Malcolm Turnbull must be delighted with the news and is no doubt gagging back his second flute of vintage Krug as we speak.

Coming back to property for a second, poor old Professor Steve Keens must be crying himself to sleep with the BIS Shrapnel report – having sold his Sydney home through fear of the property market crashing further. Or, could it be, that the BIS Shrapnel report is what we technically call “a load of bollocks?”

Meanwhile in more important news Oscar Wilde and George the Greek Car Thief continue to entertain on Master chef. Check it out on Channel Ten tonight at 7.00pm.

Thanks to Tom of Melbourne, I will dining at George’s restaurant “The Press Club” this Saturday. I will be taking my little notepad and Victor will no doubt have his camera so there will be a full blow-by-blow analysis over at the Food Trail next week.

By the way, me and joni are thinking of setting up a Facebook Group for all you cats. What do you think any interest?

So happy Monday everyone, and since we haven’t had some music for a while, here’s a little something to get everyone in the mood. Feel free to join in if you know the words…

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Costello Melts

Breaking news:

Peter Costello will retire from politics at the next election.

More from the story:

“I will continue to be involved in public policy – particularly at the international level – through my engagement on the International Advisory Board of the World Bank, I would like to thank my constituents and the electors of Higgins for the privilege of representing them in seven Commonwealth Parliaments. Three of those terms have been in Opposition and four in Government.”

And just when the people of Higgins had become grown accustomed to his face.

Get Set for the Next Property Boom!! Says BIS Shrapnel

If you’re looking for a good laugh to start off the working week, you’d be hard pressed to go past the latest Property report released today by BIS Shrapnel.

According to BIS Shrapnel, real estate prices across Australia are tipped to increase by as much as 20% by 2012.

As reported by news.com.au, BIS Shrapnel’s Angie Zigomanis said activity in the lower end of the market – buoyed by the boost to the first home owners grant and low interest rates – were generating “green shoots” of recovery.

The report says average house prices in most capital cities will grow by between 11 and 19 per cent over the next three years. In real terms (where prices are adjusted for inflation) the level of percentage growth is about half.

Mr Zigomanis, who said actual prices were more indicative than prices adjusted for inflation, predicts the boost to the first home owners grant combined with low interest rates would kick start further activity in the “upgrading” market.

“Kick start further activity in the ‘upgrading’ market?” Really? Based on what exactly? A flight of fancy?

According to BIS Shrapnel, we can expect:

Sydney – Total price growth forecast at 19 per cent to 2012

Melbourne – Nearly 20 per cent increase in prices to 2012

Brisbane – House prices to rise by 16 per cent to 2012

Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast – Expected to grow by 14 per cent to 2011

Adelaide – Tipped to jump 19 per cent to 2012

Perth – House prices to increase by 12 per cent to 2012

Hobart – To jump 15 per cent in the next three years to 2012.

Darwin – To grow by 11 per cent in three years to 2012

To the unititiated, this report would perhaps be the catalyst to “get in quick” before the property boom begins, but the catch cry to “BUY NOW” is beginning to sound all too familiar.

For one thing, it is widely accepted that the FHOG has artificially maintained current property prices at the low-to-mid range of the market. So, on what basis does BIS Shrapnel base their prediction that property prices are going to continue to rise after the FHOG expires?

An environment of rising interest rates and escalating unemployment are hardly factors that would contribute to a real estate property boom.

So what has led to this bizarre prediction? Well, funnily enough BIS Shrapnel’s report has been based on data from the Real Estate Institute – an organisation that has the following mission statement:

“The Institute continues to identify, formulate, encourage and promote public policies that contribute to an economic and political environment favourable to the real estate industry, and small business generally. ”

So not only does this call into question the integrity of the data supplied by the Real Estate Institute to BIS Shrapnel, the fact that the institute is fundamentally concerned with lining the pockets of real estate agents should be ringing alarm bells everywhere.

But not so, the mainstream press just regurgitate the BIS Shrapnel media release without giving it a moment’s worth of critical analysis.

It also makes you wonder about the ethical standards at BIS Shrapnel. But then they did get paid by the Real Estate Institute to write the report, so perhaps in their minds, that’s all that really matters.

A satisfied client.

An invoice paid.

The so called report’s “findings” plastered everywhere in the media.

It would be sickening, if for the fact that it’s all so mind-numbingly predictable.