What does the 20 December 2020 Chat with HT mean for Australia?

CAAN has selected and highlighted some of Harry’s comments from this interview … it might be a good idea to reflect on how this influence has impacted our lives … where we live … and particularly the living standards and losses for our families …

HT said:

‘Years ago we were very scared of having shops under the apartments because there was no demand for shops, but now shops are in high demand. …’

CAAN:  Why is this so?  Who created this demand for shops included in apartment developments?

Until the Pandemic in 2020 up to 100% residential apartments (including those of HT) were sold to overseas buyers … particularly from China …

Meanwhile we have shops closing down in the Westfield and other like shopping centres … why?

These mixed-use high-rise residential apartment precincts can only be described as a blight on what were Sydney’s beautiful bushland landscapes … think of North Ryde … Epping … Wahroonga … Macquarie Park …

Q:  ‘ Reflecting on Job Keeper and Home Builder, the two government grants, do you think they should have been extended to apartment developers rather than just land developers?

A. ‘Definitely yeah they should be, but they helped us a bit; not enough.  The big problem is that the stamp duty is paid on the whole unit with the land, but the stamp duty is paid only on the land for the cottage. 

And our (Meriton) particular problem is that we depend a lot upon overseas people

.we need migrants

.migrants coming to the city

.students coming to the city

.these are the two that don’t arrive so that’s why our section of the market has suffered more.’

CAAN:  There you have it from Harry, a recipient of an Order of Australia.  Other recipients may have given meritorious service to this Nation, but it would seem here it is a case of personal ‘achievement’ … even self-interest $Billions perhaps?

A developer of highrise precincts constructed specifically for the foreign buyer market … and hence high immigration

Q.  ‘Since the start of the Pandemic you made a point of ensuring that you were a visible presence here in the Meriton Head Office and your staff were coming in as well.

How important do you think that was that you were here and that your staff were here rather than working from home?’

A. ‘Working from home is nonsense, and I am very disappointed that it has been done. I don’t think Australians were ever too keen on working.*  

I don’t mean it as an insult. 

I mean that’s the way they are, and once you show them that they can work from home you mix them up, and I hope that they will come back to work, and they will work as well as before, but we will see.’

CAAN:  Is this how Harry and his ilk spin the myth that Australians are not good workers?  Perhaps a useful tool to seek out Visa workers and pay them below Award wages with the lure of ‘Permanent Residency’?   To buy his apartments, as Gerry’s fridges and washing machines fly off the floor perhaps?

In fact there have been reports that productivity rose with people working from home. 

Q.  You mentioned immigration and tourism earlier.  How important is it that the Government open up the borders sooner rather than later, the international borders, do you think?

A.  ‘I like that everybody else I think is to have normal situation.  A normal situation in this country with migrants has been from the first day.  We are all migrants … now. 

When we stop it then it causes changes then we have to adjust so really the sooner we can have the migrants back, and the sooner we can have the students back the better.

But I’m not running the country.  They know what they’re doing.

My opinion on this is no stronger than anyone else I just say what I feel.’

CAAN:  Harry has already stated that with the borders being closed due to the Pandemic that the residential apartment market has suffered.  And that his market has suffered due to the migrants and students not coming.

It would appear that his opinions have held more sway with Governments than the constituents objecting for years now to high immigration because where they live has been destroyed by overdevelopment particularly with high rise precincts, and concurrently with the increased foreign competition for Australian housing, prices escalated locking Australian First Home Buyers out!

And the alleged ‘progress’ has meant the loss of many of our low-rise villages, heritage, bushland, thousands of trees chopped for the tentacles of toll roads and toxic tunnels and stacks, with schools, trains and buses all full-up!  The loss of playgrounds for demountable classrooms … FFS!

Q.  What effect do low interest rates having on the property market, and how are you finding sales and leasing activities across your portfolio?

A.   ‘Huge, huge effect because the problem was our main buyers were Chinese*, and they are now non-existent.  So I was very worried actually, but what happened was the low rates of interest came in and the Government was helping people besides that, and that overcame the problem of the Chinese.*

So we are very happy about that.  But we still didn’t overcome the problem of the investors.  We have to help them too if we want investors.’

CAAN:  Was the Morrison Government in 2020 now beginning to fulfill its role of enabling Australian citizens to buy a home? … Wow!  Rather than maintaining visa manipulation with foreigners buying our real estate and gaining permanent residency …

-however the real estate gatekeepers remain exempt from Anti-Money Laundering Laws

-it appears that the onshore ‘Proxy’ is still in attendance at house auctions …

Q.  What are your thoughts on the Build-to-Rent sector?

A.  ‘I think that the intention is very good, but it doesn’t seem to work out.  If I build I must keep it for 15 years, or I can find somebody who will buy the whole development, and then if I want to sell it after 15 years they have to approve my plans so I don’t think that they would like it.

If they want to do it I say we should only keep it say for five years, and we don’t have to get any approvals afterwards.  They have to approve it before I build quickly and that’s I think then it will work

But the main thing is not how they legislate, the main problem is that the rents have not gone up, and so the investor is not as keen to buy as he would have been if the rents were going up.’

CAAN:  Our understanding is that ‘Build-to-Rent’ is going ahead.  From the perspective of our youth seeking housing we hope that the rents will continue to be more affordable allowing the tenant to save a deposit for a home down the track. 

Perhaps it is time the investor sector looked at the lowest wages growth for 60 years in Australia?

Then rent increases if proportional could be justified?

Currently the rental market in Australia is largely owned by those like Meriton and family landlords with tenants having little or no security of tenure.  It would seem that with such landlords that is the way they like it …

Q.  Now you were born in China.  How do you evaluate the Australia/China relationship at the moment?

A.  ‘We must remember one thing that Chinese people love Australia.  They love Australia probably more than we do.  Very important to know that.  Not the government – I’m not talking about them.  They play politics that’s a different story.

I don’t know if they love or hate, that’s just politics ….

Don’t worry about it but the people love it because they went to a lot of trouble to buy apartments here, and they did it even when there was no profit they just want to have some property, something here so that’s why I know that they believe in this country.  In my opinion that’s the main thing the rest is detail.’

CAAN:  Why wouldn’t the Chinese love Australia?  With so many special benefits dating back to the Howard Years! 

‘Middle Class’ Chinese were lured by the prospect of investing in Australian homes and/or education to gain ‘Flexible Citizenship’

Then in the early 2000s there was a Housing Boom in Australia …

By the time of the 2007 Election the Howard Government had doubled the permanent migrant intake … 

Migration Agents, visa manipulation, and highrise precincts too have become a growth industry

This high immigration largely from China in fact facilitated, it would appear, the spread of the CCP

onshore … with high-rise precincts Sydney-wide on all major transport routes, and into our regions … they even own some of our regional airports and pilot schools!

Q.  What would you say  is the biggest challenge facing the Meriton business today?

A.  ‘The biggest challenge is the changes now I always like apartments so why I like apartments against cottages because apartments lend themselves to leasing, cottages don’t lend.  You have a cottage and the upkeep is great, and the people are by themselves and they don’t know what to do, and all that.

Generally, I like housing because the Government cannot allow housing to collapse.  So I have a very good partner, the Government, can’t get a better partner than that, and then I have a second partner, the Banks.  The Banks can’t allow property, the residential property to drop so with these two partners I can face the World.’

The Interview – Harry Triguboff AO

Posted by Development Ready on Dec 20, 2020



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Despite the Evidence of Norway’s Smart Economy …

AND many of us are aware that the Australian economy has become too dependent on population growth at the expense of a focus on productivity.  Bob Carr has warned of this no doubt in response to what is again emerging.

Search for this article ‘Less is More for a Smarter Economy’ published in ‘The Australian’ 21 December 2020 yet not shared on the Facebook of ‘The Australian’ … hm …

However, following on 22 December three advocates for high immigration were interviewed in this article also in The Australian, ‘Australia needs a policy refresh to support higher fertility’ … and shared on The Oz Facebook … hm …

Dr Liz Allen

Dr Shane Geha

Prof Peter McDonald

SEARCH CAAN Website to learn more about them!


Why do such media outlets seem to favour this trio?

What is all this about?  Hm?

Is it highrise?  The talk is that SydneySiders are moving out of apartment living in Sydney, and have found that they are now paying less off a loan on a house.  For some it is less than they were paying in rent! 

And apartments have fallen out of favour with all the bad press about defective developments and the fear of towers toppling let alone those built on toxic sites … 

And now with COVID-19 they resented being locked in these cellsare HT and UT mates trying to keep a lid on this?

This it seems came about when people were working from home 2 – 3 days a week, and were prepared to commute the other days.

Unfortunately for FHBs due to the increased competition for housing outside of Sydney it too has become more expensive in the last few months

It is all in the Maths, with most loans based on a 10% deposit.  If an apartment is costing $800K (or more)  then buyers need $80K + legals + stamp duty etc.

Whereas a home away from Sydney costs $600K, $60K for the deposit plus the other costs.  And apartments cost about the same as the houses outside of Sydney, or a little more expensive in more desirable areas.

Looks like the Morrison Government and Berejiklian Government are busting to get all 29,000 Aussies home so that they will then bring in the migrants (foreign buyers) with HT and his mates starting to feel the pressure from the demand for highrise having fallen;  rents have fallen …

Harry’s lot want the gates open so they can get back to selling off Australia … let’s face it he has had it all his way for a decade with no real wages growth, endless supply of foreign buyers, less regulations, lower standards, pollies in his corner, the Greater Sydney Commission doing what they can for his ilk

It’s been a feast … so is it any wonder the sector push is on for ‘A Big Australia’ following the issue of the guvment’s first population statement.

From the commentators it is obvious why there has been a fall in fertility with:

-the lowest wages growth for more than 60 years

-thus the inability to save for a home deposit while paying rent

-inadequate income to meet the cost of day care, a mortgage and day to day living expenses

the long delay to start a family rendering couples childless

-proven that high immigration and thus competition for housing has pushed up housing costs and suppressed wage growth

-Australia is reliant on the export of its finite resources

.with a bigger population this dilutes our per capita export earnings

migrants age too!

-Japan and some European countries have older populations yet enjoy higher per capita GDP growth than Australia

WHY was there a focus on drawing migrants from the PRC?  Apart from a source of 1.4 Billion people …

-the Shanghai Bank; shadow banking

-hot money laundering (aka black money) in our real estate; aided by the Onshore Proxy

-the development of a vast range of Visas including:

.family, student, PhD Student, investor stream, Significant Investor, grandparent, guardian, and Permanent Residency upon real estate purchase … even online overseas!

-the successful Australian First Home Buyers have been saddled with massive debt

WHY is the Australian economy being run contrary to the benefit of Australians?  Cough … cough … one only has to gaze at the AFR Rich Lists … and the developer lobby largely represented in the first 200 …