A Summary Of This Week’s Property News- Michael Matusik

Isn’t it always the way – you win some, you lose some. This week’s news finds that property prices are back, dogged by questions of affordability; the Goldie is looking good; while Sydney’s market craziness continues & Brisbane can boast a world-class airport.  And then there’s Clive.

  • RBA Chief optimistic – speaking in Hong Kong, Glenn Stevens announced “early encouraging evidence that the so-called handover from mining-led demand growth to broader private-demand growth is beginning.”  It appears that other industries such as housing, tourism & even retail are starting to come good.  Better still, the RBA’s forecast for 2.8% growth is now more likely to be 3%.  I hope you are right GS & not just lost in Honkers.
  • Coast market stating to shine – activity in the market is ramping up, with the Gold Coast in the early stages of a market recovery.  That means increasing building activity, rising sales, prices and rents.  Estimates from Matusik Property Insights are that the Gold Coast should remain in the recovery phase of the cycle for the remainder of this calendar year, entering an upswing in the middle of 2015 and peaking mid-2017.   What a winner!
  • Love thy neighbour – almost one third of SMH readers polled have never invited their neighbours in for tea.  21% did the deed more than a year ago; with equal 14% having issued an invite last year; sometime earlier this year; and sometime this month.  The friendliest, 10%, got together with the neighbours this week.  I’m with the third.  Now if only I could get away with that when it comes to family & so-called friends.
  • Kick-start – a trendy café can add dollars to the value of nearby homes.  While schools and transport are still crucial factors in property purchases, in certain areas caffeine pushes up property prices.  “Lifestyle” says Century 21’s national head, puts prices up.  It’s called Walk Score everyone. 
  • Third-best in the world – it’s official.  Brisbane Airport ranked third in the global Skytrax awards, for the second year in a row, behind Zurich & Copenhagen, for airports handling 20 to 30 million passengers.  The Sunshine capital also scored third-best airport of any size in the Australia/Pacific region behind Auckland and Sydney.  Skytrax obviously never went to the toilets, ordered a coffee or sandwich in the general lounge area, or sat for more than a few minutes in those dirty plastic seats. [sam id=13 codes=’true’]
  • Sydneysiders are flooding the market with more than 2,500 properties up for auction in the weeks before Easter.  The property rush saw almost 800 auctions scheduled this past weekend; 820 for next weekend; and 1,025 on 12th April.   Get ready for the post reporting media blitz.  Sales up = BOOM. Sales down = CRASH.  Happens most late Easters, a bit like clockwork.
  • House prices back but growth to slow down – house price growth has bounced back in our capitals, up 2.1% in the first 27 days of March, says RP Data – reigniting the debate over housing affordability.   The issue will be whether price growth continues at the heady pace of last year, where values rose 10%, led by Sydney’s 14% price surge.  JP Morgan expects price growth to slow.  Soon we will be reporting price growth before the month even starts, a bit like those investment magazines which are dated May on their late March release.
  • House prices enter danger zone – price growth picked up again this month & expected further increases risk pushing prices into the danger zone that previously has led to a market correction.  Average Australian house prices are now equal to 4.4 times disposable household income & are on track to top the valuation peaks of June 2006 & June 2010 when the ratio was a record 4.5%.  I agree but this needs to be done city by city – in Sydney for example, house prices are over 10 times disposable family income. 
  • Clive Palmer – in the news…fed up with being locked out of their own villas at Palmer’s near-empty Queensland resort & Dinosaur Park, angry owners are set to re-take their properties, by force if necessary. The showdown, between the mostly elderly investors & Clive Palmer, owner of the Coolum Resort, looms amid costly litigation & a dramatic staff slump at the resort from more than 650 to 90 employees, and occupancy to near-zero.  Spell check interestingly insisted that Dinosaur Park starts with capitals.  Now I do think that is over the top.  As for the Hyatt – been there, done that, now never to go back.



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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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