We all like to predict what will happen in 2009 but I think it is easier to predict what will not happen in 2009.
1. Housing Recovery
Depending on who you want to believe determines what you will believe. There will likely be no recovery and you should be happy about this. Don’t listen to your real estate institute, they will come out with “there are very healthy signs” about 10 times this year.
The truth is there will be no housing recovery for at least 10 years. Why? Wages! If you look at the cost of living and wages growth over the past decade (yes Mr Howard the true indicator of how your people are living) you will notice that costs have skyrocketed whilst wages have remained steady. For a housing recovery we need real wages growth and the opposite to occur with cost of living expenses.
With the current global economy and climate change you will not see this happen for many years. So why should you be happy? Believe me, you do not want housing prices going up, this will just mean less and less of a market to sell to. What you want is a bottom and therefore a steady market.
2. REA Price Freeze
This will be a great test to see how much the REA understands about the current market and how many of their real estate agents are feeling the pinch. You know that they are going to put your subscription fees up, maybe they will only increase them by 5% to show you just how much they care! I am sure there will be a positive spin somewhere.
3. First Home Buyers
Tasmania has led the way with albeit a limited scheme, but one that is a little different. The state government provides a $50,000 loan to first home buyers. This must be paid back in 15 years, this incentive is on top of the first home buyers grants.
This was of course limited to 7 million on a first come first served basis, but it showed a little bit of innovation can go a long way. For those of us who live in NSW, don’t hold your breath – there is no chance that this government or the liberals have any idea how to run a canteen, let alone a state, it really is that bad. Embarrassing!
4. Newspaper Recovery
When some of the biggest and historically the most profitable newspapers in the world need bailouts (Chicago Tribune, New York Times) you know that there are troubles ahead for the industry as a whole. My guess is that this will be the worst year on record for newspapers/print advertising and many will go to the wall.
5. Television Revival
So Channel 9 has a new look, looks the same to me! In Sydney they are talking up Peter Overton as some kind of ‘saviour’ and promoting him across the network as a renegade. The interview that they promoted with Tom Cruise does not work, Peter looks petrified when Tom tells him off.
Old TV is near finished, lets see how long they try to keep it going. Oh and forget about Free TV being anything revolutionary in the short term, they count the same shows on digital and analogue as two different channels. Too funny!