What’s a hipster suburb? | Huge apartment oversupply looming for Melbourne | Supercharge your portfolio’s growth | 5 tips that could trim years off your mortgage

What’s a hipster suburb? | Huge apartment oversupply looming for Melbourne | Supercharge your portfolio’s growth | 5 tips that could trim years off your mortgage

 

What is a “hipster?” According to Bernard Salt, demographer and partner at KPMG, hipsters are market leaders. In the May edition of Australian Property Investor – out now – Kieran Clair sets out to describe the hipster with Bernard’s help. I talk to Bernard today in the show and find out the ‘hipster like’ areas around Australia.

Michael Yardney reveals the outcome of some research he has conducted on the projected unit supply in Melbourne. The figures will astound you.

Frank Valentic, who’s a judge in the current series of the Block speaks with me about fast-tracking a portfolio and gives us some “super charge ideas” to manufacture growth.

In a 2 part series in this weeks show, Andrew Mirams gives us some tips on taking advantage of the low interest rates. 5 tips that could save you thousands and trim years off your mortgage.

In another success story, I catch up with Paul Simpson who split a block in Townsville and made a tidy profit. He tells us about the trial and tribulations and how it all came together.

 

Transcripts:

Andrew Mirams Part 1

Kevin:  It’s one thing to have some of the lowest interest rates we’ve had in decades, but just how do you go about taking advantage of that? Andrew Mirams from Intuitive Finance has been looking into this, and he joins us to maybe give us a couple of answers. Hi, Andrew.

Andrew:  Good day, Kevin.

Kevin:  How do you suggest we go about taking advantage of this low interest rate environment?

Andrew:  I think this is one of the things that no one is really talking about. We’re all talking about rates coming down and enjoying all-time record lows and things like that, but I’ve been thinking – and I got recently questioned – about what’s the best way to take advantage of these, and how can we do it?

I have five key points that I like everyone should be looking at and trying to implement into their strategy at the moment.

Kevin:  Okay, let’s fire.

Andrew:  The first one is people get complacent when rates are coming down, so the first and the strongest tip I give is for everyone: I think you should be reviewing what you’ve currently have.

Whether it’s just a small home loan or you have a sizable property portfolio, it doesn’t really matter. Just because rates are coming down doesn’t mean you have the right deal. Right at the moment, banks are really competing actively, in fact, stronger than ever in terms of trying to get business and new clients, so I think there’s a really good opportunity for everyone to review their current facilities and what they have.

The other thing is in the good times that we’re experiencing at the minute in terms of our property markets, it might be just an opportunity to access more funds and set up a buffer, or look for that next or first investment property. The first point, I think, is everyone should be looking to undertake a review of their loans.

The second point that I thought is start to take advantage of these low rates, and what I mean by that is actually look – and you can get online calculators and all sorts of things – at your home loan or your bad debts or necessary debts. Bad debt we would say is credit card or personal loan; a necessary debt is what we term as actually having a home loan. The reality is you can’t buy a home without a home loan for most Australians.

Let’s look at starting to be a little bit more proactive with your repayments. Go back to a home loan calculator and factor in a rate at 6% and start paying the repayments at that rate. Six percent, if we only talk a year or two ago, wasn’t that dear, was it?

Kevin:  No, not at all, mate.

Andrew:  Now, all of a sudden, everyone’s experiencing an average rate of, let’s say, 4.75%. So if you just take an average $400,000 home loan at the current rate of 4.75%, you’re looking at paying around about $2100 a month or $480 a week. If you simply put it in at 6%, you’ll pay around about $2400 (only about $300 a month more) or $550 a week (only $70 a week more). That doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but what that can do is actually reduce your home loan by more than seven years, and it’ll save you around about $93,000 in interest.

Kevin:  That’s amazing.

Andrew:  Now, if you say to most people, “Can you save up $93,000?” they would laugh at you, wouldn’t they?

Kevin:  Exactly.

Andrew:  I think that’s a really simple tip. Now, I’ve got clients looking at doing it at 7%, so they’re basically gearing up the buffer. They know rates aren’t going to stay this low forever. But let’s start building in a buffer and start trying to get ahead by just simply increasing your repayments as if you’re paying a higher interest rate.

Kevin:  Sounds good, mate.

Andrew:  The next tip is for everyone who doesn’t have an offset account. You really should have an offset account. All the banks basically offer it inside of their packages. I think it’s still a really under-utilized product in the Australian market.

Having an offset account means instead of your normal day-to-day transactional savings account, you can actually have one that whatever is in there – be it your week-to-week salary and other savings – will actually help you reduce your home loan interest that you pay.

Let’s just say – in rough terms – you have a $210,000 loan, and you have $10,000 in your offset; you only pay interest on the differential, being the $200,000. Now, if you can start to build that up while you’ve also got low rates and couple it with making extra repayments, exponentially again, you can repay that home loan a hell of a lot quicker.

Kevin:  Makes a lot of sense. We’ve got two more tips to go. We’re going to come back later in the show with Andrew Mirams, so stick around, and we’ll give you the final two tips.

Andrew Mirams from Intuitive Finance with tips on taking advantage of the low interest rates. We’ll catch you a little bit later in the show, Andrew. Thanks, mate.

Andrew:  Thanks, Kevin.

 

Michael Yardney

Kevin:  For some time, there has been quite a lot of talk about oversupply of properties, particularly in units, and particularly in the Melbourne market. We’ve unearthed some staggering figures. When I say “we,” that is the royal “we,” really meaning Michael Yardney has unearthed some staggering figures. He sent them through to me and I’m prompted to talk to him about it. Good day, Michael.

Michael:  Hi Kevin.

Kevin:  Was this a surprise to you, Michael?

Michael:  Driving down the streets of Melbourne, I can see that there’s a lot of new apartments being built. Opening up the paper on Saturday, I can see that, as well. But the concern is they’re very much concentrated in the CBD, and yes, even the quantum of it did surprise me, Kevin.

Kevin:  Tell us what the quantum is and bit of a snapshot, Michael.

Michael: Basically, according to Colliers International, Melbourne town planners have approved the construction of over 20,000 apartments that are likely to be built in the next four years. This is above the average annual construction level of 1000 a year. In fact, it’s four times above that. Currently, there’s lots of apartments under construction, as well. There are also heaps planned in the outer suburbs, but it’s the Melbourne CBD that’s an issue.

Kevin: That’s 20,000 just in the CBD?

Michael: That’s correct. In the CBD and very adjoining suburbs. That’s right, Kevin. Compared to Sydney, there’s only about 5500, and in Brisbane, 3000, Adelaide, 2300, and Perth, 1700.

Kevin: Over the same timeframe, same time period.

Michael: That’s what’s currently approved, and considering we’re talking about big high-rise complexes, they take quite a while to pre-sell and get off the ground. We’re talking about those coming on stream over the next three or four years, Kevin.

Kevin: How has this happened, Michael? I’d imagine that a lot of the people in decision-making areas of this would be a little bit more attuned to what’s coming through.

Michael:  If we look back, there was a shortage of properties after our Global Financial Crisis, and at the same time, the way we lived started to change and more people moved into the Melbourne and Sydney CBDs. The developers started to get excited and cranked up construction of new apartments in Melbourne in late 2010.

Then we had a planning minister, who’s now our opposition leader, who decided to “Manhattanize” Melbourne, and he encouraged the development of large complexes, while the approval process for similar properties in Sydney was much more difficult.

But the other big factor was that a lot of this is coming from our Asian neighbors, who decided to invest their money here using funds from overseas, so they didn’t have to go through the local funding process, either, and interestingly, they’re selling a lot of these off the plan to Asian investors trying to put their money into Australia.

Kevin: Is there any sign that the Victorian government is slowing down their approval process?

Michael:  We’ve got a new government now, a Labor government recently, and the suggestion is they’re going to be much more cautious. But Kevin, there’s another issue: it’s not just how many we’re building, but a scathing report came from the Melbourne City Council showing some of our newest developments are ten times as dense as permitted in town planning laws in other countries.

We have a lot more apartments per square meter, but the standard of a lot of those are very poor. They are of a poor construction quality with design flaws and lack of natural light – even bedrooms without windows, Kevin. But they’re being sold off the plan to overseas people. These are going to be the slums of the future.

Kevin: Goodness. I’m staggered in both of those cases, Michael. What impact do you think this is going to have on the Melbourne market overall?

Michael: I believe that over the next little while, we’re going to have too many new and off-the-plan properties coming on the market. Some locals who bought are going to be very, very disappointed when the contract has to be completed when the property is finished and it has nothing to do with the contract price that they signed. The valuation is going to come in at what the sale price is at the time, and some are going to lose a lot of money. They’re going to have to put in more deposit than they thought.

But of course, it’s also going to reduce capital growth – in fact, probably give capital losses initially – and reduce rental growth when there’s a big oversupply.

Kevin: I know you’ve been very cautious in your advice about buying off the plan. I guess this underscores that, Michael, doesn’t it?

Michael: It does, because we’ve been around and seen it before. Part of the problem with these sort of complexes, Kevin, is the long lead timeframes beforehand. It was a good idea in 2010, but everybody got in at the same time, and now they’re all finishing at the same time, and boy, is it going to create some issues.

Kevin:  Michael, thank you for drawing our attention to this, and thanks, once again, for joining us.

Michael: My pleasure, Kevin.

 

Paul Simpson

Kevin:  At a recent meeting in Brisbane of the Brisbane Property Networking Group – a group of like-minded people who get together and discuss what they’re doing with property investment – the “Real Deal” presentation at that particular meeting was one from Paul and Lucy Simpson, who split a block in Townsville and made a very tidy profit. To get a little bit more detail on that, Paul joins me. Hi, Paul.

Paul:  Hi mate. How are you?

Kevin:  Good, thanks. You live in Brisbane, but the development is in Townsville. That’s a long way away.

Paul:  It seems a long way away, but we managed it quite well.

Kevin:  Did that pose any special problems for you, being that far away?

Paul:  It did, particularly at the start when we basically had the property under contract without even seeing it. It was a bit of a stab in the dark at the property, but going on experience and the knowledge we had. In most cases, people would like to go and look at a property before they buy it. In this case, we got it under contract and worried about it after that.

Kevin:  Did you use some people on the ground to help you source that, or did you find it yourself?

Paul:  We found it ourselves from down here. Even though we’re living in Brisbane, we had lived in Townsville for a long time, so we knew the market quite well. We went on that experience to go back and look there.

Kevin:  It must have been a pretty spectacular opportunity for you. I wonder if there were any opportunities like that closer to home.

Paul:  There were quite a few. One of the things we did find and one of the reasons for going to Townsville is there were a few opportunities, but it’s a very, very strong market and an awful lot of people looking in Brisbane closer to home. One of the things we found is the Townsville market is very flat and a bit quiet and there wasn’t so many people looking for this type of opportunity.

Kevin:  Tell us a little bit more about how the deal worked. Can you give you some detail into the land and maybe even then the end profit, as well?

Paul:  Yes. Basically, it was what we call a splitter block, so it was two lots on one title, and it had a house across the middle of it. It was 810 square meters but effectively according the council’s original survey, it was two 405 lots.

I think one of the things that was in our favor is Townsville wasn’t really very aware or used to small lots, whereas Brisbane is. It’s quite the norm down here. Once we realized it was two lots already registered, our plan was to go in and get rid of the rundown house and basically separate the titles on the lots and sell the land separately.

Kevin:  Is it in one of the older parts of Townsville?

Paul:  It is, and that was one of the reasons for looking in the older parts for those original designated lots.

Kevin:  What suburb is it in, in Townsville?

Paul:  It was in Railway Estate.

Kevin:  That’s where you would probably find those double blocks. Are there many more opportunities like that that you’re looking at?

Paul:  There is, yes. One of the joys of having experience of going back up there is we’re looking at several more right now.

Kevin:  You mentioned there that it’s something that a lot of other people didn’t see or didn’t see that opportunity. Was that pretty much the case?

Paul:  I believe so. I think the main thing we saw and when most people looked at it was that it was a very rundown house with a very overgrown yard. I think most people looked at it and saw that it was a lot of work and probably wasn’t worth it, whereas our strategy was to look at it for the land content.

Kevin:  Did you have any difficulties with the council getting the house off there?

Paul:  No. Because it was in such bad state, they basically didn’t give us any resistance at all. It was going to take quite a bit of money to get it up to a livable standard.

Kevin:  What about the type of properties? Did you just split the blocks and then sell them separately, or did you go on and develop it?

Paul:  No, we didn’t develop them. We actually split them and sold them separately, just as land. Townsville at the moment has quite a glut of houses on the market, so one of the things we didn’t want to do was inject more capital into the builds with the risk of not selling them in a short timeframe.

Kevin:  Did they turn over fairly quickly for you?

Paul:  That was a bit of a shock to us. We did expect originally to turn over fairly quickly. Our timeframe was probably three to four months with the market being what it was, and I think Townsville not really being used to small lots, it took us 10 months to sell the land.

Kevin:  Okay. That would have obviously impacted on your bottom line but still you came out with a tidy profit. What were the sums, Paul? Are you prepared to share those with us?

Paul:  Most definitely. Basically, we purchased the house and the land for $185,000, and some costs involved in getting rid of the house ended up being about $17,000 and some stamp duty. We sold the two lots for a total of $260,000, and after all expenses, put $31,000 net profit in the bank.

Kevin:  Did that require many trips for you guys to Townsville?

Paul:  No. Basically once we had it under contract with the due diligence clause, it required me to go up and have a good look at it and make sure that we could assess it, that we were doing the right thing, and we were confident in doing it.

After that, it wasn’t many trips to go up there. Basically once the house it was gone, it was just managing the land to make sure it was clean. We had some family and some contracts to make sure it was mowed and get signs up for it.

Kevin:  What advice would you have for anyone who wants to do something similar?

Paul:  Probably the first thing would be to just concentrate on one area. The main reason we found this so quickly was that we had decided to concentrate on that area that we knew. Secondly, just keep putting in offers. Don’t stop. Sometimes it can be a bit daunting or frustrating if you’re not getting a property, but continue doing it and believe in what you’re doing and what you’re looking for. Use the knowledge that you have.

Kevin:  The negotiation process, obviously, that’s where you make your money when you first buy it. Was that a difficult process for you? Did you secure it much under what the asking price was?

Paul:  Originally they were asking $209,000. We had gone in a bit lower than our contract price, but it was a little bit harder negotiating over the phone as you would understand. I find it a lot easier talking face-to-face with someone. But basically to get it at $185,000, we were quite comfortable that there was a good profit in it.

Kevin:  Great talking to you. All the best, too, Paul. I’d love to keep in touch with you in case you come across another one.

Paul:  No worries. Thanks very much.

Kevin:  Good on you. My guest there has been Paul Simpson, and of course, the “Real Deal” is part of the presentations that occur regularly at Brisbane Property Networking Group – networking groups, in fact, all over Australia. Just Google them, and you’ll find them. This is Real Estate Talk.

 

Frank Valentic

Kevin:  I’m delighted to be able to introduce him to you my next guest, Frank Valentic, who you may know from The Block. Frank has been a regular on The Block and, in fact, is one of the judges on the current series of The Block.

Frank is a founder of Advantage Property Consulting. They are buyer’s agents and are very well known. He has built a great portfolio over the years, too, and has been involved in the industry for 15 years.

Frank, great to have you on the show. Thanks for your time.

Frank:  Thanks, Kevin. Looking forward to chatting to you and hopefully, giving some tips out to the listeners.

Kevin:  Yes. Obviously, you bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. I thank you for that. Tell me a little bit about your own portfolio. How long have you been working on that?

Frank:  Twenty years, Kevin, so it’s been a while. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and usually, a portfolio is a long-term strategy.

I’ve bought investment properties and built a portfolio. I have probably bought over 50 in the last 20 years, and currently, have a portfolio of around 20. I’m continuing to try and grow that portfolio and doing some cash flow, selling, and developments as well.

Kevin:  Obviously, you’ll be able to give us a few great tips on building that portfolio, which we’ll talk about in just a moment, but your business, Advantage Property Consulting, has taken the Real Estate Institute of Australia’s buyer’s agent of the year title, as well.

Frank:  Yeah. We’ve done that a few times in the Victorian awards. We’re proud of that. We’re probably up to about 3000 client purchases over the 15 years that we’ve been operating. We’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work with an investment portfolio.

We currently look after rental properties, as well. We have our own property management division, which gives us first-hand insight into what tenants like and what works as an investment property.

Kevin:  Well, help me now. How can we go about building a good, solid portfolio over a period of time, or how fast can you do it?

Frank:  I think, Kevin, the first thing is looking at ways you can – I call it – supercharge your portfolio and fast-track it and rather than just waiting for capital growth, where we’re trying to manufacture growth from day one.

There are a number of strategies we use there. One of them is we go out and we buy whole blocks of units for our investors. I’m involved in that. We try to buy under market value and create equity, because you’re making money when you’re buying well. That’s one really successful strategy that works for us.

We’re trying to go out there and not buy one property in the marketplace but buy for a syndicate of investors and hopefully create that instant equity by purchasing under market value.

Kevin:  Are those properties hard to find?

Frank:  Well, they are. You have to try and find a whole block of units that’s owned by one owner or owned by a couple of owners who are family members. But we’ve bought over 130 of those in the last four years. It’s a strategy that can work really well.

I tend to find that a lot of people, when they’re buying, might pay above market value –they’re buying retail – so if you can develop a strategy where you can buy with family and friends and be able to purchase a whole group of units, you should get a discount when you’re buying over $1 million.

Only 8% of the market generally buys over that level, and a small percentage invests in one property or one group of properties at that level rather than the 80% who generally invest at the median price in each capital city.

Kevin:  Asset selection, too, is pretty critical, isn’t it, in putting together a good portfolio, knowing what to buy? Could you tell me a little bit about that?

Frank:  Yes. We’re always looking for properties that we can buy that have a bit of a twist, using the Michael Yardney phenomenon there. He talks about that. So properties there that give us an opportunity to add value. Typically, they are older style properties that have a value-add potential there that we can add value with either renovations or subdivisions or also through developing them and maximizing the use of that land value.

It’s really about properties that are able to be twisted, added value to, and creating a bit of equity there, so if you spend money on a renovation, then you’re increasing the property’s value generally by double the value of that renovation – again, fast-tracking and supercharging your portfolio and getting to your end goals quicker.

Kevin:  Frank, there are so many things I want to talk to you about. We’ll get you back in a future show, as well. But thank you so much for giving us your time today.

My guest has been Frank Valentic who is the founder of Advantage Property Consulting, and you can see him, of course, on The Block, as well. We didn’t even get a chance to talk about that. Maybe next time, Frank.

Frank:  We will, no doubt. People will hopefully see us on the show giving some advice to the contestants on what buyers are looking for.

Kevin:  Good on you, mate. Thank you for joining us today, and we look forward to catching up again soon. Thanks, mate.

Frank:  No worries. Cheers.

 

Andrew Mirams Part 2

Kevin:  Earlier in the show, I was talking to Andrew Mirams from Intuitive Finance. He’s been giving us some great tips on taking advantage of this low interest rate environment. You’ve given us three so far, Andrew – if you’ve missed them, by the way, go back, they’re in the earlier part of the show – but let’s continue.

What are tips four and five?

Andrew:  Again, a lot of these tie into each other. In tip one, I said review your loan and don’t allow complacency to slip in. Tip four is really about that complacency, and it’s all about not taking on bad debt. Funds are cheap, everything else like that. If you’re toying with whether you buy an investment property or you buy a new car, don’t take on the bad debt.

A car is not necessarily going to help you. It might be nice to drive around for a while. The boat, the personal loan, and certainly credit cards. With rates at these lows, you have to look to be trying to extinguish these debts or consolidate these debts.

For the general public out there, please don’t just get lazy and complacent and take on these bad debts when they’re unnecessary. Let’s use the low rates to our advantage, not just to take on the wrong type of debt.

Kevin:  It’s a great opportunity to get some leverage out of this environment and, as you say, get rid of some of that bad debt, isn’t it?

Andrew:  Yes, no doubt.

Kevin:  You alluded earlier to that, too – credit card debt. Do you advocate refinancing that into your existing home loan?

Andrew:  We see clients from time to time with $20,000, $30,000, $50,000 sitting on credit cards because they just don’t want to tack it onto their home loan. The reality is most of those debts sit there for five to ten years, paying 20%.

Put it on your home loan at 4.5%. Let’s set up a fast debt repayment program that extinguishes that. You can’t keep redrawing or putting money back onto them. By doing that way I think is a far sounder opportunity to take advantage of this low-rate environment that we’re in at the minute.

Kevin:  Couldn’t agree more, mate. And the final tip?

Andrew:  The final tip – and I’m not necessarily saying to rush out and do it today – is I think people should be starting to look at the fixed-rate options, especially those people with larger loans, and certainly with investment portfolios.

Now is the time. Rates aren’t going to stay this low forever. Sure, we think there might be another decrease coming soon, but it’s now time to start to review and strategically look to position your portfolios or your loans with a maybe blend of fixing part of it, some of it, or all of it.

There are a couple of lenders that will give you an offset account and the ability to pay extra repayments with a fixed rate. We don’t normally look to that sort of structure unless it really suits the client.

But certainly I think tip five should be – I’m not saying rush out and do it – to certainly start to look at the options out there for the fixed rates that are going to start to appear at all-time cheap prices.

Kevin:  Great advice. Those are some tips for you from Andrew Mirams on making sure you take advantage of this low-rate environment.

Andrew, great thought-starters there. Thanks for your time, mate, and we look forward to catching up again soon.

Andrew:  My pleasure, Kevin. All the best.

 

Bernard Salt

Kevin:  According to Bernard Salt, demographer and partner at KPMG, hipsters are market leaders, a cross-section whose employment prospects and ideas will push capital city fortunes. In the May edition of Australian Property Investor magazine, which is out now, Kieran Clair sets out to describe the hipster with the help of Bernard Salt.

Bernard joins me now. Hi, Bernard. Thanks for your time.

Bernard:  My pleasure.

Kevin:  Bernard, how do you define a hipster in the property investment sense?

Bernard:  I suppose hipster refers technically to a tribe of people who live that inner-city lifestyle. They tend to dress in black. The men have beards. They hang out in cafés. A hipster might be a barista. They live that inner-city lifestyle where they might work in the creative arts or the knowledge industry. They’re anything but suburban.

I think that’s the point about a hipster. They’re anti-suburbanists. That’s probably a better way to describe them.

Kevin:  Am I right or wrong in saying that the hipster could be the modern-day version of a hippie?

Bernard:  A hippie was quite a powerful tribe. I’m not sure whether the hippy focused in the inner city. I think you could actually find hippies anywhere in Australia. In fact, they embraced regional Australia, places like Nimbin and Byron Bay.

Whereas I don’t think you’d find hipsters in Nimbin. They die of lack of oxygen if they are any more than five kilometers from the CBD city center. They need to be near cafés, bars, and restaurants, otherwise the poor creatures just can’t survive at all.

Kevin:  It’s a great read in Australian Property Investor magazine. It’ll really open your eyes, too, about where it’s going. Bernard, can you tell me what turns a hipster on?

Bernard:  My logic is that what we’re seeing over the last five or six years is the rise of what I’d call the knowledge worker. These are people with tertiary education degrees. If you look at the type of sectors in the economy that are expanding, that are recruiting people, and providing prospects and a better capacity to take out a higher mortgage, then it’s the knowledge workers – in health, in education, in professional services, in IT, as an example. Government administration is another. All of those jobs tend to be located in the CBD or in the inner suburb, and as a consequence, knowledge workers tend to organize their lives in and around the CBD.

I would define the hipster as a version of a tribe within the knowledge worker. As knowledge industries rise in the CBD and inner suburbs, the demand for knowledge workers and, therefore, hipsters will rise, as well.

Kevin:  You hinted there in the earlier part of our discussion that they don’t like the lack of oxygen once they get out of the city area. Are there other things that turn hipsters off?

Bernard:  You would never find a hipster out in the wheatbelt of New South Wales, Victoria, or wherever. They don’t do country towns, I don’t think. You might find a couple in Byron Bay if it’s a fashionable sea change destination. They might spend a few months there or whatever, but they are very urban.

In fact, the unique thing about the hipster is that I think they are global. If you went to New York, go to a place called Williamsburg in Brooklyn, that is a hipster hot spot. If you go to London, have a look at Shoreditch in the East End, that is a hipster hot spot.

You can tell if there are hipsters around. Go to your nearest café, and if there are smashed avocados on the menu, then you know you’re pretty close to where the hipsters live.

Kevin:  I get the impression that they like being connected. Has this got something to do with social media? Are they good at social media?

Bernard:  Oh, very much. Social media, new technology, tend not to have kids. You can be groovy and all hipsterish with young kids, but the sad fact is that as soon as you have teenagers, from the age of 12 or 13, then you can’t be a hipster anymore. I’m sorry, but you morph into being a daggy dad the minute you have a 12-year-old.

Kevin:  Not even if you wear the right clothes and grow a beard?

Bernard:  You could wear the right clothes, you can grow a beard, you can do all those things. You can think you’re being really hipsterish, but look, at the end of the day, you’re just a daggy dad.

I think that the hipster dies around mid-forties. By your mid-forties, you tend to have young teenagers, and the minute you have young teenagers, you cannot, therefore, by definition be cool. You’ve got to be daggy. Therefore, the hipster dies mid-forties.

Kevin:  Are there any signs, Bernard, that developers are taking these hipsters seriously?

Bernard:  I certainly do think that they are, very much so. I don’t think that developers would use that term. They would say young corporates more likely, or knowledge workers. If you look at many of the apartment buildings that are going up in, say, Surry Hills in Sydney, in Docklands, or St Kilda Road in Melbourne, New Farm and West End particularly, in Brisbane, maybe Leederville in Perth, young corporates geared around this cosmopolitan New Yorkesque, Manhattanesque-type lifestyle. I think that the marketing of that product is very much geared towards a hipster aspirational lifestyle.

Kevin: There you go. The article is called “Hey man, do you dig it?”

Bernard:  That’s not my title by the way.

Kevin:  Oh, isn’t it? I was going to ask you if that was yours.

Bernard:  No.

Kevin:  I’d say Kieran Clair has come up with that one. That’s a typical Kieran Clair that one.

Bernard:  Exactly. It’s the hipster change. Forget the sea change and three change. It’s the hipster change. That’s what that is.

Kevin:  Do they ride bikes, by the way, these hipsters?

Bernard:  They do. In fact, they ride fixed-wheel bikes, apparently. But yes, very much, very green, very tribal, very social media. They drink coffee. Smashed avocadoes, of course, all the latest foods. In fact, anything organic is very important. Quinoa salads. They know how to pronounce quinoa. They probably even know how to spell quinoa.

Kevin:  I don’t even know what quinoa is actually.

Bernard:  Well, there you go. Kevin, you are clearly not a hipster.

Kevin:  For sure. It’s great talking to you, Bernard.

Bernard Salt has been my guest. Thank you very much for your time.

Bernard:  My pleasure.

Kevin:  Hear the interview that I did with Bernard Salt in full, along with another that I did with Cam McLellan from Open Corporation about how you can build a property portfolio on an average wage. Now, both of those interviews are in a special podcast we produced for Australian Property Investor magazine to celebrate the launch of their May edition. You’ll find that in the API feature channel right here at Real Estate Talk.

Kevin Turner
kevin@realestatetalk.com.au
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