A walk through Melbourne’s ghost apartments


By Leith van Onselen

Last night’s Four Corner’s Home Truth’s special report contained the above segment covering Melbourne’s boom in high-rise apartments, which are being kept largely empty by their investor owners.

As shown in the above video, Prosper Australia president, Catherine Cashmore, takes reporter Ben Knight for a tour through largely vacant apartment blocks springing-up across Melbourne’s CBD where, at 8pm on a Tuesday night, the lights are off and nobody’s home.

Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett also makes an appearance, slamming the high-rise dog boxes proliferating through Melbourne:

“We are still building units that, to be quite honest, you wouldn’t put your dog in. I mean, some of these one bedroom vertical fridges are appalling. And I couldn’t imagine anything worse”…

“I think we are in for a crunch, there’s no doubt about it”…

Well worth watching and mulling as Melbourne continues to build, and build and build:

ScreenHunter_12760 May. 02 14.49

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Unconventional Economist
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Comments

    • I carefully wish for inexpensive land, fair taxes and a dynamic economy where all may flourish. Tip toeing over to there will be tough, but is the only direction worth taking.

      The ‘Be careful what you wish for’ meme is a crock, Pat.

      Don’t Buy Now!

      • agreed on sentiment there David.
        My view is the government should incentivise a de-centralisation out of the main capitals by encouraging workers to relocate on mass to Newcastle/Wollongong/Orange/Dubbo / Geelong / Bendigo / Ballarat etc. This could be done by a one off 10 year 10% personal income tax deduction, from your marginal rate, administered only for those town’s post codes. This would solve over crowding and encourage employers to move to some of these regions. It simply doesn’t make sense for all businesses to be located in capital cities.
        You’d get a much better bang for your buck for the infrastructure spend also in the regions. This could be accompanied by an increase in density in the respective centres of town to prevent just urban sprawl.
        Some will say that states have tried to do that with payroll tax incentives for employers but history says that hasn’t worked, possibly due to the inertia of the workforce.
        My only fear would be that an entire demographic might take up the offer and leave the cities as ghost towns for oldies.

      • Just a historical note on why decentralisation was sabotaged back in the 1970s. NSW even had a Minister For Decentralisation. However the Country Party sabotaged it as they did not want Labor voters moving from the city and making their rural seats unsafe. Whitlam wanted a million people in Albury by the year 2000 and established the Albury Wodonga Corporation. Nothing came of it after Whitlam was dismissed.

  1. As per mb advice I watched 4 corners. I got one thing out of it, short the banks, apt capital management is Singapore id doing it, maybe we invest with them. For people that don’t own homes maybe invest with apt, that also takes just a little but less capital away from banks in Australia the same time to help speed up the crash.

    • casewithscience

      @bskerr2

      Would love to do that, but there is actually an issue in the short given the divergence between the apt and house market. The majority of capital borrowings are in the latter, and the majority of risk (ie of people not making back payments) is in the former. So the short on the banks isn’t going to work like in 2007/8. If it was, it would have happened in 2010. The vast supply of people looking to purchase a first house will keep that market afloat, and the RBA ain’t going to lift for another 5 years. So carrying the short for such a long period is a massive money waster.

    • Nick1970MEMBER

      I agree – but not yet – technically still too risky to initiate shorts. The time will come though.

  2. This is great. The more absurd this bubble becomes, the greater the chance Australians might actually learn something from it.

    • Thanassis Veggos

      I’m very curious to see if this will be the case. My experience in financial disasters (Greece) tells me that people don’t learn anything, 7 years in and they still quite literally don’t know what hit them. From day 1 of the crisis mass media took over and force fed them all sorts of drivel based on the boss’s agenda (anything from communist to nazi, but usually neo-liberal). I think people here are smarter, but I also think Australian MSM is actually worse.

      • The MSM will cover the latest football scandal or a tweet by some so call “celebrity” instead. Give the people what they want (the McDonald’s for the mind).

      • @Cornflakes it’s important that we know which footballers were caught peeing into their own mouth’s and or trying to root a colleague’s dog. Forget housing bubbles, we must know this stuff!

    • Not likely.
      My predicition.
      Labor will get in.
      They will follow through on the Royal Commission and the NG tweaks.
      The crunch/crash/pop that was always going to occur ends up occurring.
      Libs claim that it would not have happened under them.
      Australia buys the line and we learn nothing.

    • My appologies M’ Lord,
      I find that one has to keep their expectations low so as not to walk around in a perpetual state of disappointment.

  3. bzunicaMEMBER

    The mainstream media has largely ignored the four corners report. It was an eye-opener and makes one feel more strong in the conviction that rent money is not as dead as mortgage money. You get so much more house renting than buying into this market. The 29 multiple for Strathfield was a little frightening.

    • its all quiet at the Sydney Morning Domain

      In sydney has anyone driven through the Mascot, Alexandria, Green Square area recently and seen the scale of dog box building going on there, its… impressive

      • Thanassis Veggos

        Housing bubble and population ponzi aside, I think building up is a natural development and it would happen anyway.
        You cant have a growing city with exactly one business hub, and everybody living in quarter acre blocks. Eventually some people would end up living in the ocean or commuting 3 hours each way.

        Townhouses is a good alternative, you get nearly all the house and all the usable outdoor space but you are not forced to pay for dead land (driveways and the like). But it takes forever to convert a suburb to townhouses, it’s usually too little to late.

      • Thanassis Veggos

        No I havent… I can imagine though, I’ve seen similar in melbourne. I actually bought 3 as IPs, but ditched them in panic when I saw the building approvals chart LOL

      • When I lived in the area for a couple of years until 2015 I used to drive and cycle around and think the same…and then wonder how the transport infrastructure was going to cope…

        For places like Green Square, aren’t they eventually hoping the redevelopment houses an extra 25,000 people or something…?

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      And there’s the rub. Outside of the 57 people who read this blog and the couple of hundred pinko lesbian hippies whose tv only picks up Aunty, who would want to watch their dream get questioned?

      Not when there’s reruns of McGyver to watch.

      *sigh* best Four Corners ever…

      • >Not when there’s reruns of McGyver to watch.

        Homer: Aaah, Mcgyver, it eases the pain…

      • Today's Empire Tomorrow's Ashes

        No offence, but I think that’s a little wide of the mark.

        You could feel the anger and despondency of the young, non-investor buyer on 4Corners.

        Jeez, to think that only MBers and ABC watchers are the only ones smart enough to see what’s wrong, how to fix it and who to vote for is a little, how you say, supercilious.

      • The Millenials already get the “negative gearing is bad” and “houses are a rip-off” memes from other sources like The Project and Friendly Jordy. The important ABC demographic is the baby boomers, many of whom have no idea about the housing issue. Only idiots get all their news from Channel 7, 9 & 10 news. And when those idiots finally realise that the game is up, they’ll be just as herdlike on the way down as they have been on the way up.

        I’ve never been so sure that this cursed game is nearly over.

      • Yep. There’s two ways to fool yourself…believe a lie, or just refuse to believe the truth.

    • The MSM also ignored the Nick Ross NBN revelations.
      It is like the breakdown of a family in that we are being treated like children who couldn’t possibly understand the problems that the parents are having.
      No, it is even more condescending than that, we are child brides, mere girls, who don’t understand the business of our landed husbands. So while they foolishly ruin the world we are just left to discuss our stitching and gossip.

  4. anyone in dubai in 2008 when shtf could see the same thing – all of the new apartments that had been bought out with washed money as value holders from offshore and sitting empty ie no lights on

    • UrbanWasteland

      +many. I was there. The similarities are remarkable.

      As news from the US started streaming in, I think it was a Thursday evening, a much more naive me was at the bar, and we were all laughing and cheersing a big, “Suckers! We sure dodged that bullet, eh boys!”

      Totally oblivious.

      By Sunday morning, everything had ground to a halt and the game was up.

      • not sure if we will have the same issues with investors parking their cars with the keys in the engines running at the airport as they scrambled to get out of dodge.

        yet it’s uncanny to see the same forces at work in oz – a washing machine of laundered funds soaking up empty apartments.

  5. my lord “i’m not good with maths” says the ‘investor’ at the end of the video.

    This is going to be one for the ages, and the banks will burn in an almighty bonfire strong enough to melt the methane ice on Pluto’s peaks.

    lol.

    Hellbourne

    • Ortega, This is true, But what happens to the rest of us when there are no jobs as the banks are burning ?
      Its quiet out there already work wise. I cant imagine how it would be if the banks end up being nationalised. Which is what will happen.

      • Yep. What happened in Greece? Spain? what happened in Ireland? People, (young in particular) were forced to leave.

        Same will happen here. It will become an exacerbated demographic meltdown.

        Its all so booooringly predictable

    • Locus of ControlMEMBER

      I was maybe a bit more generous to her – she didn’t seem like the patronizing sort who wanted to lord it over her tenants, but moreso set up an income stream for retirement.

      She’s started too late. She’s too old to pay off $1 million +. That means she’s betting everything on capital gains. I don’t like her chances.

      She’s also skipped (to her detriment) Personal Finance 101 lesson #1: diversify, diversify, diversify… If you are 100% in residential property you are not diversified! All the eggs in the one basket and if you trip = disaster!

  6. That poor lady… she has no idea whats she is doing (yes you are not good at math).

    • and yet she has like thousands of others walked into that situation with open arms.
      Hard to feel sorry for her.

      • adelaide_economistMEMBER

        Yeah, that’s the funny thing. Many of these people (and we’ve already seen it in high profile real estate failures) are happy to participate when they think they are cashing in but the first to cry they were victims when it all turns bad. We’ve probably all had to listen to more than a few of these people pontificate on their supposed investment nous in real life around the proverbial water cooler or BBQ when they simply have been riding a massive tide of credit creation.

        The real problem here is that we have a taxpayer backed and subsidised banking system that doles out astronomical amounts of credit without due regard for the people to pay it back. We simply don’t accept this ‘people know best’ in pretty much any aspect of life – we don’t let people choose their own speed limit to drive at, we don’t let people accredit themselves as doctors or nurses and we don’t let people decide how to fireproof their buildings.

        Yet we allow people with zero mathematical or financial nous and low/unsteady incomes to borrow millions on the basis ‘they know what they are doing’. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again. I still encounter people who think a tax deduction (usually in the context of their negative gearing of a house) is a ‘dollar in, a dollar out’ thing. Forgive me if I then doubt that person’s ability to accurately judge the potential risk involved in borrowing a million or five for a bog standard suburban house.

      • timbomanMEMBER

        Personally, I feel very sad for people like this who don’t really know what they’re getting themselves into, but are doing it as a way to have some money for retirement. They’re not doing it completely out of greed, they’ve been told that this is the way to sure up their retirement, whether it by friends, financial planners, or real estate spruikers in general. I have some friends in exactly the same boat.

        The thing that makes me sad is they really don’t understand the risks they have with leverage, and that they are likely to end up in a worse situation than if they’d just put their money in the bank and having to work longer and retire poorer. They are just oblivious to the risk. Talking to my friend who has 4 properties and $1.2m in debt (just like her!), and trying to outline that if the market goes down 10% they’ll have to work for 2 more years to make up the difference is very excruciating. There is so little awareness of the downside because of the last 20 years of boom times.

      • I too have seen people who think writing off on tax = get the whole lot back.

        A guy at my old work once said it was great that he signed up for a bunch of charities because it cost him nothing. I said “uhhh, you do know you only get 1/3 of that back right?”. He had NFI. Said he could cancel his charities.

        I felt bad that I just robbed a couple of charities of the stupid dollar. Oh well.

  7. reusachtigeMEMBER

    A watched bubble never pops, it just gets massaged! I was so impressed that the 4 squares report didn’t play the racialist card by telling the truth that almost all of those empty apartments are owned by pretty chinamen that have probably never ever been to Australia but are happy to outbid even the best of those local investors shown in the report. Great viewing, great coverup! I did miss the first 10 mins or so while I finished watching House Rules – a show for real Aussies rather than ABC whiners!

    • Seems like a fair trade, China sells us cheap Gee gaws by the truckload, and we return the favour by selling them an expensive piece of Australia. Plus the Chinamen have something of value too rather than a piece of paper that says IOU.

    • I was disappointed it focused on greedy boomers and not the good looking Chinamen who are sometimes outbidding the good looking boomers. It’s not fair that a Chinaman can profit from capitals gains in this country funded by tax payers, the boomers should be the only ones profiting via the use of negative gearing, it’s un-Australian any other way.

      • Yes, I also noticed that foreign (Chinese) investors were not mentioned even once during the whole program.

  8. Is there a precedent for a bubble popping where there are so many houses that no-one wants, and where a lot of them are left empty and wonder by overseas money launderers who probably won’t sell?

      • So true….. PC has beaten people into submission……. don’t point at the gapping hole in the damn wall – racist!

      • AtaraxianMEMBER

        Maybe 4Corners wasn’t driven by PC – but by clever avoidance of the usual “Racist!” attack wheeled out by the property industry in order to stifle public debate. I thought 4Corners adequately made its point about prices and the implications for the country.

      • It was very definitely the PC aspect – remember the ABC has a largely left-wing following, and the whole point of the show would have been lost if cries of racism had muddied the waters.

      • Prometheus69

        Only electing the God Emperor Trump can possibly defeat the scourge of Political Correctness.

      • Catherine Cashmore

        @Kurt + md – I spent a long time (spread over two days) with the crew talking foreign investors and tax reform. As part of that, they also interviewed two Chinese investors who won an auction in Balwyn N – a v insightful interview

        It was all cut in the final edit. I can speculate on the reasons why – however, at the time, I believe they fully intended to include it within the show.

    • Thanassis Veggos

      I think they are wanted (at the right price) but they’re either not available for sale/rent, or too expensive.
      There are loads of people in Melbourne, including myself, who have grown up in smaller apartments than that.
      And appreciate the location.
      And hate commuting.
      And gardening.

      • That might be true for me too, if they weren’t full of illegal flammable cladding and no sound insulation.

      • And appreciate the location.
        And hate commuting.
        And gardening.

        Whilst I appreciate the location, hate commuting for more than 30 mins and loathe mowing the lawn. I’d still commute and mow a lawn over living in a dog box poorly build fire trap apartment.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        I’ve always said I wanted to see the kids in the streets with pitchforks and flaming torches, preparing to slay the monster.

        I’ve just realised the flaming torches are going to be 50 storey high rises. Newman and McQueen won’t be able to douse these ones.

      • Prometheus69

        …. that’s assuming that you have something bigger than a 40 square meter human filing cabinet to live in.

  9. Yawn, been there, done that. Stephen Long did a similar Four Corners story in 2008, post-GFC, called Debtland (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2008/s2201740.htm).

    “Surely – surely! the population will come around now” I thought. Yeah, right.
    We’ll have to empty a magazine full of silver bullets to kill this craze. Only when foreign capital dries up, holding costs rise (despite RBA drops in interest rates), govt bailouts to the ‘nurses, teachers and policeman trying to get ahead’ have been exhausted, and we’re taxed to oblivion with a “Housing Affordability Levy’ (like that one?) will this monster die.
    As for removing negative gearing – good idea, but I cannot see how pent up demand will step in and buy properties unloaded by specufestors at these prices.

  10. How can such a report about CBD towers, etc leave out foreign buyers?
    Does anyone actually know how many off the plan sales have gone to foreigners?
    The pool of secondary buyers is so much smaller (given it’s not off the plan anymore) that should any number of off the plan buyers need to sell we will be looking at substantial declines…. if push comes to shove.
    This is the biggest risk in my opinion.
    I am not so worried about banks lending standards to domestic borrowers, they are much sharper than pre 2008.

  11. CleverUsername

    A new guy at work – 20 something, fresh-faced, was asked to give the office an interesting fact about himself upon introduction, and promptly proclaimed to 50 people that he bought a house on the weekend. At first I was taken aback about the implications of what kind of person expects encouragement from strangers for such a thing, but it says a lot more about the larger Australian psyche, and what is being expected from youth to be seen as successful by others.

    • did he say if mum and dad’s house is collateral?

      probably worst thing you can do in a new job – announce to the world that you are a debt slave – just gives your boss a good idea that he/she owns you

      • adelaide_economistMEMBER

        I’m not so sure. As in I think you’re right about the dynamic involved but think about the outcome. I imagine a boss looking for people to cut might keep the debt slave for two reasons – the ‘good’ one being they think they are doing the right thing ie keeping someone who desperately needs a job on versus someone who isn’t hocked to the eyeballs and two – the bad’ one – being that they want to keep someone on they know is going to be pliant, fearful and willing to put up with pretty much anything.

      • CleverUsername

        I assume there’s some daddy money in there somewhere. I’ll confess, I don’t own, and currently occupy what would be considered a dog box reasonably happily, which makes for some awkward social conversations. It is assumed that because I could afford to buy, there is no reason not to do so.

      • AE – you may be right – employers may like having the knowledge that they have their employees on the hook and cut the renters first

        CU – yeah, i feel ya. I’m more intuned with investing in skills and abilities. If there are no capital gains, just better to find a way that works without you living in debt fear in my humble opinion

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      Yeah, In Oz I would say it is akin to losing your virginity, so I can get why the kid would say that with some pride.

      Ergo, to have never purchased property is looked upon with some confusion, pity and misunderstanding. It is ok to rent with the implicit understanding that you are ‘between places’ or you current abode is undergoing some serious reno rework.

      If you just rent because you rent, well… You are moving into ‘social weirdo’ territory with the weekend BBQ crowd. hmmmmm…..

      • adelaide_economistMEMBER

        Yep. We applaud people who ‘win’ at auctions (apparently offering to pay more than anyone else is a matter for congratulations – the opposite of anything else in life) and we still feel compelled to say we are ‘only renting’ (or even worse, ‘only renters’) when housing comes up.

      • I like the one at the BBQ trying to justify the irrationality of buying a house instead of renting who says “I’m not paying off someone else’s mortgage” and then I counter with “but you are, you are paying off the bank’s mortgage” and then silence as it sinks in…..
        I wander off and come back 5 minutes later and tell them that with interest they end up paying about 3x the purchase price over the life of the mortgage, then more silence ensues….

      • darklydrawlMEMBER

        Heh, I hear you Travis, but these days I generally don’t bring logic to the party. I let them talk, smile and nod and self congratulate for a while before changing tactfully the topic. 🙂 I hear all sorts of stories – many of them completely wrong (especially with regard to US property markets), but it just isn’t worth the fight.

        As I have said before, property is very much like religion in this country and the odds of actually converting someone to your ideology (indeed vice versa) is very low and generally not worth the time and effort.

  12. TailorTrashMEMBER

    I may not be popular saying this but I have always liked Kennett ……..he has a bit of the Keating colour and dash about him ………’vertical fridges ” what an apt description
    Bring him out of retirement and put him in the PMs job and retire MT ……….a bit more of straight talking like that in Canberra would be a treat indeed ……

    • Doubt it. I think there must be a meeting between any new PM and the puppet masters. Malcom criticized negative gearing in the past but now uses a lot of political capital to defend it (poorly). Meanwhile, Hockey, after defending everything that kept house prices up criticized negative gearing the instant he was no longer in treasurer.

      The sad / scary thing is that Malcolm is rich so he shouldn’t care less about any favors from these puppet masters. He could afford to transform Australia to a truly great and egalitarian society and yet he proceeds to ass rape it with minimal lub and maximal barb.

      Sometimes I wonder whether these hypothetical puppet-masters actually threaten leaders and their families with physical harm if they do anything that helps poor/average people at the expense of the rich.

      • arthritic kneeMEMBER

        The way I see it MT has made a promise to those who got him to power while simultaneously standing on the steps of Parliament House and making a conflicting promise to the Australian people. He will be judged on which promise he breaks and the early indications are not promising for the man on the street

      • Agree with arthritic knee, MT is very much the rapidly fading lipstick on a pig. Not to mention I think many were grossly overestimating his “goodness” to start with.

    • Jeff Kennett certainly got things done when he was premier, though some of his actions like closing schools and turning them into housing developments was not something I agreed with. I was very impressed with his stance on dogboxes and I think he would do well if he got into federal politics. At least he would do better than the current crop.

    • yeborskyMEMBER

      I too have time for Kennett. Irascible, if not cantankerous , but he got things done. I’m reminded of that pre-Kennett joke “What’s the capital of Victoria? About a dollar fifty.”

      • adelaide_economistMEMBER

        One of my favourite memories of that era was the Fast Forward skit ‘What to do about Victoria’ (sung to the tune of What to do about Maria from the Sound of Music). The economy might have been crap back then but our ability as a culture to be genuinely self-critical and self-effacing seemed much better.

  13. Funny how a lot of people still believe in fairytales how property always goes up irrespective how much of it is built. Somebody should introduce them to Google Search and Youtube. But then, property investment is a religion and not a skill so why would you bother, ah?

  14. During the Irish property bubble, 12.6% of the workforce was employed in the construction industry. Greater Melbourne is no where near that….. As of Feb 2016 it was only 11.4%….

      • I dunno. I only found the Irish figure on the Wikipedia page on the Irish Property Bubble and I looked Melbourne’s figure up on the ABS. I actually used the Full Time figure by mistake. Total workforce is 9.4%.

  15. Obviously they should have banned sub 50sqm flats.

    I think SYD and Adelaide banned them – thus they have way less dogboxes than MEL.

    • adelaide_economistMEMBER

      This is one of the worst aspects of this apartment boom. If they were at least built to a ‘liveable’ specification (ie min 50sqm, natural light etc) they could at least be used for cheap accomodation for a couple of decades before they are inevitably torn down. But instead these towers have been built almost purely as an ‘investment’ with about the same utility as a million dollar tulip and a lot more downsides.

      • It’s a real opportunity cost here. All those materials and labour squandered on subpar buildings could have been going into places people would like to live in. It’s like a vast private make-work scheme.

  16. 8pm Tuesday: all the inhabitants are out at cheapskate Tuesday movies! Poor day/time to sample 😉

    • They could have set up a camera across the road and see how many people exit the building between 5am and 5pm.

    • Absolutely right on the money, Myne! This prescription will never be outdated. High prices summon more and more supply which eventually bursts the bubble. Best examples of all are agricultural commodities or metals.

      • “High prices summon more and more supply which eventually bursts the bubble.”

        Supply of what? Dog boxes? Yes, there will be a bursting of the bubble there, but unfortunately, when we’re talking about liveable housing options for families, the supply is lessening. And every house that now exists on a full block is seen as an opportunity to sub-divide and sell off a property on a smaller block for more money.

  17. There’s no discussion on overseas investors because there are no real numbers on overseas investors. There’s no central recording of overseas investor numbers, so the only evidence is anecdotal. Water usage (or lack of it) identifies properties that are vacant (or substantially vacant) and these properties could have NG (or otherwise) Australian owners or overseas owners. Of course, for a property to be able to be negatively geared it must be rented, or “available to rent”, so anyone claiming a deduction against other Australian income for a property that was not available for rent would be making a false claim. It would be pretty hard to argue that the property was available for rent if it was not listed for rent on a major portal at a reasonable price. If all these vacant properties were available for rent, then the vacancy rate reported by the usual players that use listing data as their source for calculating these statistics would show a double digit vacancy rate, so clearly these properties are not being advertised.

    • That’s if you’re talking about negative gearing, but if you’re talking about sky high prices, then foreign investment has to come into it. The show last night was about first home buyers priced out by investors, and of course negative gearing is a big part of the investment landscape. But foreign investors, although they have different objectives, still play a big role in pricing out people from home ownership.

      • Agreed that foreign investment has played a part in driving up prices – unfortunately how much of a part is currently unquantifiable which is very frustrating. Stats on investment loans are collected, but how many overseas investors borrow within Australia to fund their purchases? Anecdotally, I’d say not too many… but my anecdotes are probably not interesting and are definitely not data.

    • The Patrician

      +1
      2yrs after Kelly O’Dwyer conducted her farcical 9month long inquiry into foreign ownership of Australian dwellings, we still do not know how many Australian dwellings are owned by foreign nationals.
      She should be sacked for incompetence.
      The appalling lack of data continues
      The sham continues

      • She’s a lawyer and party machine politician. Like all of those, she’s absolutely useless. Expect nothing from her.

  18. Renovated our house in March 2015 and had to move out for a week, so did an AirBnB at Chatswood’s tallest apartment building. The first apartment we were shown was filthy and had clearly not been cleaned between occupants so we turned around and started to walk out. The man with the keys who was attempting to wipe the kitchen benchtop with his sleeve and slosh bleach down the putrid loo, miraculously then found he had a second unit available in the neighbouring tower which was almost new on one of the highest floors. We spent seven nights, listening to the wind howling under the door. Looking directly across at the original unit building from the second unit at night from the vantage point of a sofa from Vinnies, I would estimate two thirds of the building was unoccupied, with many unfurnished as well. To a downsizer, the idea of moving into a mostly empty building in the sky with zero community, dubious hygeine standards and a body corporate made up of stangers/owner representatives would be laughable. Back to my community in the burbs :). It did make me wonder at the time how many vacant apartments we have in Sydney. From the Melbourne review we cant be too far behind here either.

  19. nexus789MEMBER

    Amusing that we point to Chinese overbuilding but we are doing the same (smaller scale). I doubt if investors want to keep these places empty. More like no one sane wants to live in them.

  20. No kiddin’ bro. They build those dogboxes anywhere and everywhere on the East Coast hoping that fools never sleep. Unfortunately most fools have started fearing they’ll lose their shirts or the banksters won’t lend them anything. Best of British if you’ve got one or bought one. The only winners will eventually be the legal eagles.

  21. Two types of buyers.
    1. Chinese lower middle class & govt workers who all have been systemically looting China in corruption and fraud and then sending it offshore to park in safe haven.
    Their aspiration, maybe one day their offspring brat little emperor will do the fake student Visa to PR cycle, then we get that low class selfish unproductive brat, plus their 2 corrupt parents, plus the 4 old sick useless four grandparents.
    All on dual passports, no assimilation, no productive contribution, all on Australian PR sucking up Medicare & welfare.
    China has been shifting their useless young, misfits, corrupt, and now old & sick burden onto us for decades. 1 million useless PRC have come in and now sit here stealing and theiving, crime, drugs, prostitution, blackmarket as they did in China but now as our problem.

    2. Uneducated unskilled rural or slum workers pooling their $20k each life savings into a syndicate to buy the dog box unit in sydney or Melbourne.
    Because the agent and organiser of the proxy buyer and launder cash into Australia has promised all these factory workers and slum dwellers they will get a PR and Medicare and welfare for them and their relatives if they bought Australian propriety..

    don’t laugh, it’s 100% correct.
    And the sad fact is many do get the PR and then get dual citizenship.

    Look around at the Chinese now coming in.

    It’s no more than slum clearance by China to shift their misfits and uneducated & old or useless to be our problem.

    The only reason at least half the visitors from China even come to Australia is to check out their ‘property investment’ and launder the money as mostly cash rent being collected.

    Sad reflection that Australia is now the prime destination for offshore money laundering and and a dumping ground for China, Asia in general and even India ! slum and social misfit & useless.
    The high class educated and aspirational Chinese or Indians aren’t what is coming in or staying here.
    Our intake and settings are to just take the third world junk and useless.

  22. Willy2MEMBER

    – A LOT OF empty apartments (in e.g. Melbourne) and Mrs. Morris just bought her 3rd apartment as an investment. O.M.G.
    – The planners thought the “Empty Nester” would downsize and flock back to the city. It didn’t happen. I assume those “Empty Nesters” are also financially stretched, tapped out.