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The State of Household Debt

April 15th, 2016
Household debt is rising in Australia, with private debt levels now much higher than they were before the global financial crisis. While government debt gets most of the media attention, companies and households borrow four times more than governments as a percentage of GDP. According to a recent report by LF Economics, Australian households now have more debt compared to the size of the nation's economy than any other country in the world. While private debt is not necessarily a bad thing, it can cause serious problems if interest rates rise or global conditions decline.

According to LF Economics' analysis of national statistics, Australia had around $2 trillion in unconsolidated household debt at the end of 2015. With GDP at $1.6 trillion, the household debt to GDP ratio currently sits at 123.08 percent - the highest in the world. While Denmark has long held the top position, its de-leveraged property market combined with the housing boom in Australia has given birth to a new leader. Other than Denmark and Switzerland, both of which have negative interest rates, no other country comes close to the private debt levels of Australia.

To offer a comparison, the U [...]

APRA Warns of Dangerous Lending Practices

April 11th, 2016
Risky home lending practices and high levels of household debt are raising concern in Australia, with the chairman of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), Wayne Byres, saying conditions are "eerily similar" to the period before the global financial crisis. New concerns are being raised after the release of a leaked APRA report from 2007 that warned of dangerous lending practices at the time. While conditions in 2016 are much improved thanks to tighter lending standards, the int [...]

Tech Free Homes

April 8th, 2016

As technology continues to encroach on every aspect of our lives, more people are making the bold decision to go tech-free. From bedrooms and living rooms free of electronics through to entirely unplugged homes, tech-free living is all about regaining the time and space you need to truly be yourself. While the unplugged lifestyle is certainly not for everyone, most […]

Why Spicy Food Is So Healthy

April 1st, 2016

While not everyone likes the hot stuff, mounting evidence suggests that spicy food is good for your health and longevity. Separate studies in recent years have linked the consumption of spicy food with weight loss, pain relief, increased longevity, and a range of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. While these benefits depend greatly on the type of food in question along […]

What is Augmented Reality?

March 25th, 2016

Virtual reality has become old news as a new and more exciting vision of the future takes its place. Augmented reality looks like something straight out of a science-fiction movie, with 3D holographic images and display screens beamed in front of users who are wearing little more than glasses. Instead of offering a hedonistic escape into artificial dimensions, augmented reality […]

Housing Australia’s Future Report

March 18th, 2016

Housing supply levels will become an increasingly important issue in Australia over the next few years, with property prices continuing to soar and population levels still rising. Housing supply has a direct effect on home affordability, with ongoing supply issues addressed directly in the latest ‘Housing Australia’s Future’ report by the Housing Industry Association (HIA). According to the HIA, housing […]

Upbeat Economic Outlook

March 11th, 2016

The Australian economy has grown more than expected over the last year, as the country makes a successful transition away from its reliance on the resources sector. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, economic growth increased by 0.6 percent over the December quarter, with GDP up 3 percent for the year as Australia’s economic output tops $1.6 trillion. While […]

The Indoor Garden Trend

March 4th, 2016

While everyone appreciates a nice garden, not everyone has the outdoor space needed to grow vegetables or ornamental plants. Indoor gardens have become a big trend over the last few years, with wall gardens, terrariums, and indoor herb gardens transforming lifeless indoor spaces into beautiful green areas. Whether you’re an ornamental cultivator, a gourmet home chef, or simply someone who’s […]

Common Food Myths

February 26th, 2016

When it comes to food and nutritional advice, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. While there’s more information out there than ever before, much of it is contradictory, confused, or out of date. Let’s take a look at four of the most common food myths that proliferate on the Internet in an attempt to make sense of the chaos. […]

The Arctic Doomsday Vault

February 19th, 2016

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, also known as the Doomsday Vault, is located in the Arctic Archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Hidden 500 feet inside a mountain in a remote island location, the Doomsday Vault is designed to function as a seed bank in the case of climate change, nuclear war, or widespread natural disaster. Generally kept […]

ASIC Investigate Banks over Interest Rate Rigging

February 15th, 2016

Australia’s next financial scandal may be brewing, with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) currently investigating the big four banks regarding interbank interest rate rigging. The corporate regulator has been looking into fixing since 2012, with banks tight lipped as investigations enter an advanced stage. With Commission chairman Greg Medcraft recently telling the banks to “Plead guilty”, it will […]