The Australian Financial Review’s Rob Harley: Lessons from a life in property


The Australian Financial Review’s property editor, leaves the industry after three decades. I joined the The Australian Financial Review as a young property writer. The cities were full of cranes building office towers underpinned by the seemingly inexorable growth of financial deregulation and the supposedly inexhaustible finance from the Japanese miracle. In the suburbs, house prices were about to rocket as the Reserve Bank of Australia cut rates in the wake of 1987 share price crash.

This week I left The AFR after near 29 years with a ringside seat of Australian property. In those years the cities have been remade, 4.5 million new homes have been built; property investment has surged; commercial property has busted twice, and housing has been through three cycles of surge and pause.

Today, cranes once again rise against the city skyline, this time building apartments for the seemingly implacable rationale of housing undersupply and the supposedly inexhaustible demand of Asian investors. In the suburbs, prices have soared, in Sydney up by 60 per cent in four years, but well short of the supercharged doubling of price in one year, seen in 1988.

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Source: The Australian Financial Review’s Rob Harley: Lessons from a life in property | afr.com