Beyond the Fringe is the second in a series of three books written by Brian Haratsis, leading Economist and founder and Chairman of MacroPlan Holdings Pty Ltd. In Volume One, Australia 2050 (2011), Brian generated genuine debate about a ‘Big Australia’. That book argued that by 2050, Australia’s population was likely to be around 40 million, and that this is not in fact ‘big’ as it would still only constitute an urban area less than 1% of Austral’s landmass and represents a slower growth rate than 1970–2010.
In Beyond the Fringe, Brian re-examines Australia 2050 and demonstrates that the situation is now worse as Government loads on red and green tape, infrastructure remains under-funded, and Australia is in the grip of inter-generationally important structural change in the economy and its property markets.
Brian’s new book is intended to develop the idea implied in Australia 2050 that growth and structural change should be planned for. The book’s central idea is to assess the effectiveness and property market implications of the traditional foundations for Australian urban planning based on the CBD/Suburban Growth Limitation Model, coupled with traditional regional development.
Beyond The Fringe offers new ways to understand, plan for and profit from property in Australia. While interest rate and inflation affected property cycles have historically driven the highest property returns, this book argues that structural change (economic and social) will create the opportunity for lower risk and higher return projects.
Structural changes from 2015-2030 will be driven by ageing and health, IT, globalisation, and exports (AIGE factors).
These will generate business sector demand for new property products, new locations and highly mobile labour forces. The household sector will become both a producer and consumer, initiating a dispersed, dynamic microbusiness sector, and new, highly mobile labour markets. As a result, new city shapes and property development opportunities will emerge.
Ageing will drive the health sector as Australia’s number one employment and number one public expenditure sector. Today the sector is not seriously considered as an investment target and is rarely the subject of planning policies.
Information and Communication technology is changing urban geography in obvious ways (e.g. car sales.com and realestate.com.au) and in more subtle ways (e.g. by creating a major new micro business contractor sector.
Globalisation will restructure Australia. The likely outcome is a new grid of regional cities and towns, and major restructuring of urban areas. Currently, understanding and planning for areas like globalised freight is in its infancy, and is almost non-existent for tourism and international students.
Exports are an exciting growth engine for the Australian property sector. Around resource extraction points, major new projects have been delivered. As exports in energy grow even faster than minerals, major new regional developments are emerging in northern Australia.
Property cycles will continue and will drive profit from property, but extracting value will require thinking Beyond the Fringe.