Tree of Life

‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.’ (Chinese proverb)
If you could live today as though it was twenty years in the future and you could return for one day, what would you do? Would you spend your day procrastinating or would you act? I’d wager that much of what made you anxious would seem insignificant when viewed through the lens of hindsight. If you’re guilty of procrastination, you’re not alone; only around 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions by the time that countdown starts again on 31 December.

When it comes to property investment procrastination doesn’t only rob you of opportunity, it also costs you money. The table below shows the increase in the median dwelling price in our capital cities between 2004 and 2016. In 2016 capital city dwelling values increased by 7%, which means you would have paid $43,000 more for a dwelling in December 2016 than you would have in December 2015. That’s more than half the average Australian income. Between 2004 and 2016, the average annual price increase in our capital cities was just over $25,000, or $300,000 in total. That’s $25,000 in additional wealth each year – more than double what the typical household saves.

Average Price Gain in Price Growth Rate
2004 $314,061
2005 $321,497 $7,435 2%
2006 $349,054 $27,557 9%
2007 $395,420 $46,366 13%
2008 $379,673 -$15,747 -4%
2009 $433,912 $54,239 14%
2010 $453,158 $19,246 4%
2011 $434,787 -$18,371 -4%
2012 $447,909 $13,122 3%
2013 $492,525 $44,616 10%
2014 $525,768 $33,243 7%
2015 $571,259 $45,491 9%
2016 $615,000 $43,741 8%

Source: ABS 6416 and Blue Wealth Property research

There are more than enough excuses you can make to delay planting that tree – you could wait for the right season or the right conditions, or even hold off until those storm clouds disappear. What you risk is being the owner of a shrub rather than a fruit-bearing tree. I know what I’d prefer.

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