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It’s obvious, when you think about it.  But in a sea of hysterical headlines, it’s nice to see someone talk commonsense about house prices.

Rises in Australia’s biggest cities are being driven by strong demand and a lack of supply, says the HSBC’s Australian chief economist Paul Bloxham. And that won’t disappear anytime soon.

So there are no bubbles, and they are not about to burst.

“A significant fall in Australian housing prices, as occurred in the US and Spain during the global financial crisis, is unlikely,” he says.

Five years of red-hot growth have left prices in Sydney and Melbourne up 80 and 60 per cent since mid-2012, fuelling bubble concerns.

Bloxham, a former staffer at the Reserve Bank, says there is no bubble.

But there is some good news for those waiting on the sidelines for a fall before moving in. Bloxham says he believes regulatory measures will help cool the market, along with lower demand from overseas and increased supply.

Good luck, if you’re off to the auctions this weekend.  At least you can buy with confidence.


Don’t worry – be happy!

And talking about things that are obvious when you think about it, a new report says 72 per cent of us feels stressed about money at least some of the time.

And that’s not good for your health. Chronic stress can lead to fatigue and heart disease.

The American Psychological Association says if you face up to your situation, you’ll feel better.

That’s not easy. Over forty per cent of millennials, and half of Gen Xers, report having a hard time paying household bills on time. Many of us are just one paycheck or unexpected bill away from disaster.

How do you fix it?  Well, you can follow our savers’ guide. But most of all just creating a sensible budget plan can make a big difference.

“Writing down your budget is emotionally grounding,” says Certified Financial Planner Ron Weiner. “Without that, there’s always a reason to be worried.” 


Card sharps

And now for the good news.  At last, after years of patient explanation, we’re getting the message about financing debt with credit cards.

The Weekend Financial Review has revealed that families are now consolidating their credit card debt into personal loans, saving 50% of their interest fees.

Really Simple Money, along with just about every other money site, has been suggesting this BIG saving for years.

Household debt is rising – up 9 per cent in five years.  So the move away from not-so-fantastic plastic is really good news for families trying to juggle low wage rises and price increases.

Well done Australia!


Merry millennials

They are much maligned. But a new report says millennials are set to be worth as much as $31 trillion collectively by 2020 – and are likely to be the most generous.

While they are expected to be flush with more cash than any other generation in the history, thanks to the money they inherit from the baby boomers and their spirit of enterprise, their interconnectivity and access to information mean they are likely to also be the most likely to spend their money for good.

“Millennials appear particularly willing and able, as the next guardians of global capital, to use their private wealth for the public good,” says a report on Millennials, published by UBS this week.

“We would argue that the millennials’ lead in promoting a more sustainable and equal world is likely to spread across cohorts, demanding coordinated efforts from more stakeholders to marshal capital into projects with positive social and environmental returns,” the report says.

Pass my smashed avocado toast.