Monday, 16 June 2014

Property in the US - What $280,000 gets you in America


Since arriving last week I've spent 2 days in Detroit and nearly a week in Indianapolis. What struck me about Detroit in the state of disrepair the city, roads and public areas. As you know Detroit was the first casualty of the GFC where an actual city went broke.  It was the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history by debt, estimated at $18–20 billion. Property prices are still low but there is a reason for this. Cheap does not mean value for money. Poor tenants, trying to get any tenants at all is still a major problem. The feeling on the ground in Indianapolis is much better. There is a lot of urban renewal happening in the inner city and downtown that is driving growth. Fashionable areas close to sports bars, restaurants and still within walking distance malls, offices and sporting venues are value for money. You can buy a 2 bedroom walk up apartment with fantastic amenities right outside your front door for easily less than $300,000. This is value for money, good location and closeness to amenities wins hands down. It doesn't compare to Brisbane or most of Australia.

Do we see value for money in Australia? It is still very over-priced I feel. The US economy is more confident and in recovery and going well. I believe Australia is now in the reverse, record government debt at all levels, local, state and federal but we do have a current Federal government who, unlike the previous labour government, aren't in denial. Joe Hockey knows what is needed and he is doing it, even if it's not going to be popular. Australia is in it's GFC and I believe it's going to worsen. The signs have been there for years, and whoever thinks otherwise is foolish and blind.

Talking to a lot of American's I get the feeling we are overtaxed and over-regulated in Australia. With rising utility prices our cost of living is simply too high and it needs to be corrected. 

I'll be in Austin, Texas this week and I've heard that it's in the top 5 most liveable cities in the US, lets see if this is true. 

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