Michael Matusik’s thoughts on this week’s property news

For many of us, yesterday was  our first day back after a Christmas/New Years break.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed?  Haven’t a clue as to what is going on with the property market?

Well, here’s What’s News for this week.

  • Sales of newly built homes are up about 30% on last year.

Sales of new property are expected to be even stronger during 2014.

Changes to the first home buyer grant favouring new homes plus off-shore buyers being restricted to new property purchases have helped boost sales.

Of course, low interest rates & easier lending policies are also factors.  Just under 70,000 new homes & 11,000 new apartments/townhouses were sold during 2013 according to the HIA.  HIA’s sample size is around 30% of the overall market.

  • According to the SMH – most of their readership isn’t likely to buy shares (outside of their superannuation fund) this year.

One assumes they will invest somewhere.  Property perhaps?

  • Too much property bubble talk says Peter Switzer.

Hear! Hear! – Pete.  According to RPData, house values rose by 10%, on average, across our capital cities during 2013.

They rose in all eight capitals, with Sydney (14.5%); Perth (9.9%) & Melbourne (8.5%) being the stars.  For all those bubble merchants – since 1996 – capital city prices beat last year’s 9.8% average, seven times – that’s 40%.

In fact, from 2001 to 2003, there were three annual rises over 15% in a row & no bubble talk at all.  Just chill, says Peter.

  • Analysis by Rate City shows 70% of the 2,800 home loan products on their data-base are now allowing deposits of 5% or less.

This proportion was 86% during 2008 & fell back to 49% in 2010.

Looser credit will fuel a strong residential recovery during 2014.

Borrowers were warned about borrowing too much.  Commsec – among others – expect interest rates to rise in the last quarter of calendar 2014.

  • A recent Ipsos survey found that 54% of Australians disagreed with the statement “rising house prices are a good thing for Australia”, whereas 27% strongly disagreed.  Only 13% or one in eight think that rising house prices are a good thing.

Apparently, Aussies in their thirties & forties are the age groups most worried about rising house prices.

With 2 out of 3 Australians owning their own home (with & without a mortgage), these results are interesting.

Assuming they ring true, then maybe less emphasis on price growth potential in property promotions is warranted.

  • There are five unemployed people for every job vacancy in Queensland.

Mining-related jobs in Queensland, according to the ABS, have halved in recent years.

Vacancies in the Queensland public service have also slowed to a trickle.

However, a recent survey of 1,500 employers by recruitment firm – Manpower – showed that 20% planned to hire more staff in 2014.  Employment generation will be a key factor in Queensland’s residential market recovery this year.

  • On a more positive note, Australia added about 21,000 new millionaires to its population of 227,000 high-net-worth individuals last year.

The Westpac Private Bank HNWI sentiment index (now say that five times quickly) shows investment intentions among Australia’s wealthy have now returned to pre-GFC levels.  Nice work if you can get it!

It is interesting (and somewhat consistent) how negative the headlines were for each article.  The contents were often quite positive, or at least had positive elements.  Well, of course, if “it bleeds, it leads”.   But sooner or later we will all get sick of the negativity.

WHAT’S NEWS is a wrap of current property headlines.


It’s the first poll of the year….and one of our most telling.  Market Outlook 2014 asks your opinion on what’s going to happen in property throughout the year.  Get in early; give us your two bob’s worth and we’ll report back to you with ours – in February.



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Michael Matusik


Michael is director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights. He is independent, perceptive and to the point; has helped over 550 new residential developments come to fruition and writes his insightful Matusik Missive

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