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1 Aussies warned of record house price crash (John Collett in Sydney Morning Herald) American economist and demographer Harry S Dent jnr says there is a bubble in Australian house prices and Australians should brace themselves for a spectacular collapse starting this year. Dent, author of “The Demographic Cliff”, says house prices are unsustainable and will fall by at least 27 per cent in Sydney and Melbourne over the next several years. He said the trigger for the collapse of Australia’s house price bubble will be the bursting of the Chinese house bubble.
Dent says Sydney and Melbourne property markets are being held up by foreign buyers and that cannot last forever. “China has a bubble [in house prices] that makes Australia’s look like nothing,” he says.The Reserve Bank of Australia and most Australian economists say there is no bubble in Australian house prices. But Dent is sticking to his guns.
“Nobody in real estate development or government can afford to say that ‘we have got a bubble’,” he says. “They will always say it is not a bubble”. Dent says he has studied every bubble in history and every time a bubble comes whether it is in tulip bulbs, gold, stocks or housing they are always described by those on the inside as being different, and unlikely to burst. “I am saying that China has the biggest [bubble] and that is going to trigger [the bursting of] your bubble. Your real estate is so high it has to come down in the next few years.”
2 Pepperazzi and the Indian Parliament (BBC) Chaos hit the lower house of India’s parliament after an MP used pepper spray to disrupt proceedings. The MP from the governing Congress party, L Rajagopal, was protesting against a plan to create the new state of Telangana in southern India. Some members had to be taken to hospital. Mr Rajagopal was suspended along with several other MPs.
Mr Rajagopal smashed a glass and used pepper spray on his colleagues when Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde tried to table the bill to create Telangana, which will be carved out of Andhra Pradesh state. Some unconfirmed reports said another MP pulled out a knife. Several other MPs were reportedly involved in clashes with their opponents. Mr Rajagopal told Indian media he had acted in self-defence after being attacked.
“Members tried to use gas in the house… gas the house… I did not see, but I am informed that there was a knife, there was gas, there were other kinds of weapons,” PTI quoted Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath as saying. “The circumstances and incidents which took place in the house are a big blot on our parliamentary democracy. ” he added. The entire session of the current parliament – which began on 5 February – has been disrupted by those against the creation of Telangana.
Telangana, with a population of 35 million, would comprise 10 of Andhra Pradesh’s 23 districts, including the city of Hyderabad. Backers of the new state say the area has been neglected by the government. Those against the idea are unhappy that Hyderabad, home to many major information technology and pharmaceutical companies, would become a shared state capital for 10 years after which it would remain with Telangana while Andhra Pradesh would have to develop a new capital.
3 South Africa child births at record low (Johannesburg Times) Childbirths as a proportion of the total South African population are at a record low for the first time in more than two decades, the SA Institute of Race Relations has said. “Women are choosing to delay childbirth and ultimately have fewer children, so that the number of babies born per 1,000 people in a given year is shrinking,” SAIRR researcher Thuthukani Ndebele said in a statement.
“A shrinking proportion of births, coupled with better life expectancy, will result in the proportion of young people dropping while that of older persons will grow.” The birth rate (births per 1,000 people) declined by about 16 percent between 2002 and 2013, Ndebele said. Births recorded in 1991 accounted for almost three percent of the country’s population. “By 2010, that proportion had fallen to two percent and subsequently dropped to 1.8 percent in 2011,” Ndebele said.