Despite the doomsayers forecasting the end is nigh for the property market, high levels of equity and a strong labour market will eliminate the potential of any collapse.
While recent media reports have highlighted predictions of an imminent collapse in the housing market, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, a tsunami of forced sales was extremely remote and much more likely to be a trickle.
What we are finding is the greater the holding period in strong markets, the greater the equity people have.
Overall in Greater Sydney, based on CoreLogic data, the estimated equity is $588,000 for houses with a percentage of 127.5 per cent capital gains since a property changed hands and for units $325,000, with a median of 82.5 per cent capital gains.
In Greater Melbourne the median estimated equity is $405,909 with a percentage of 121.3 per cent capital gains since a property changed hands and for units $193,0102, with a median of 55.5 per cent capital gains.
Add to that a strong job market in both Sydney and Melbourne, with an unemployment rate of 4.4 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively, meaning people have stable incomes, it follows that even if the market does fall dramatically they are at least able to hold on to their properties for longer periods and, in the vast majority of cases, will be able to refinance due to the level of equity they have.
According to the RiskWise quarterly Risks & Opportunities Report, NSW displays strong economic fundamentals while Victoria has the highest population growth across Australia, a solid economy and a healthy job market.
The NSW economy has delivered and is projected to deliver solid economic growth.
Government spending is high, and the state also attracted a consistent level of private capital expenditure which has contributed to its stability.
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The strength of the economy has a strong connection with a healthy job market and good population growth.
While Sydney had capital growth for houses of -5.5 per cent, Melbourne of 2.5 per cent, and auction clearance rates were in the mid 50s, there were no signs of a total collapse of the property market on the horizon.
The market is really not that bad.
Yes, there have been some reductions this year and perhaps there will be some more next year but it’s not as bad as has been made out.
Also, while the auction clearance rates, which are a strong indicator of the market, are low they are still reasonable.
There could be some small pockets of increased supply and reduced profits but overall there won’t be a tsunami of forced sales.
There is only a very small proportion of people who bought very recently, experienced price reduction and who are struggling with mortgage repayments who are potentially at risk.
However, taking into consideration the strength of the labour market in Sydney and Melbourne and also taking into consideration the current default rates for those capital cities, it’s clear to see the situation is not as dire as some are saying.
The potential of a Labor win at the next Federal elections and therefore likely changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax was far more likely to have a significant impact across the entire country.
However, the RBA could in that case intervene in the market, if required, as it did during the GFC by cutting interest rates while state governments provided significant boosts to first home buyers.