Salt slams negative property outlook

One of the nation’s leading demographers, Bernard Salt, has slammed negative media reports about the Australian property market and believes Australians need to take a broader view.

The KPMG partner told The Adviser that he is an optimist when it comes to Australia and firmly dismisses talk of a property bubble. Negative views of the property market are rife, he said, but have little truth behind them.

“When do you ever pick up the paper and read of a positive view of the Australian economy or property market? There is never a positive view. In fact, if you acted on the advice you would never buy property, you would never invest in property. And yet in fact you would have missed the greatest boom for the last 25 years and the peak of that boom from 2008 through to 2013 or so.”

Mr Salt said Australians need to take a “bigger picture view” and argues that we are a young, vibrant country with strong levels of population growth, very aspirational, and we’re rich in terms of income per capita.

“We are as rich as the Americans, some say even more so depending on how you measure it. We are more egalitarian. Our cities are more attractive places to live. We are an overnight flight away from China,” he said.

“There is no reason why we wouldn’t be a prosperous people in 10 or 15 years’ time. There is no reason why people wouldn’t be spending more on property in the future.”

Mr Salt will be giving a keynote speech at The Adviser’s 2016 Better Business Summit. The impact of Chinese buyers and the continued strength of the Australian economy will be central themes.

“My main theme would be the continued strong growth of the Australian economy and Australian population growth,” he said. “I will also need to talk about the impact of China and Chinese investors.”

The Adviser’s Better Business Summit, in conjunction with The Adviser’s Better Business Awards, will be held in Brisbane on 18 February, Melbourne on 25 February, Sydney on 3 March, Adelaide on 11 March and Perth on 17 March.

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