Angry mob no guide to prices

Posted on 4/12/2010  
BRITISH novelist Terry Pratchett writes that "the IQ of a mob is the IQ of its most stupid member divided by the number of mobsters".

I think about that rather biting observation whenever I see residents shouting and waving banners over plans for affordable housing in their suburb or a Muslim school down the road.

The imagined horrors that will decimate the agitators' lives include destruction of property values.

No one has ever produced any research to show proximity to allegedly undesirable things such as mosques or government housing actually hurts values. My three decades in Australian property suggests it isn't so and that many protesters fit the Pratchett definition.

It's often assumed suburbs with high crime rates or social disadvantage show inferior real estate performance, but I continually find the opposite. Inala is a stigmatised area of Brisbane but, with a long-term annual growth rate of 14 per cent, it has pulled ahead of most of the city's suburbs. There are many similar instances.

From Terry Ryder's Hotspotting column published in the new Property Section of The Weekend Australian.

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