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Opinion

Westpac Forecasts 20pc House Price Gains

Westpac Forecasts

Westpac Forecasts 20 per cent gains in the housing market over the next two years.

In a report released Monday, the banking institution’s chief economist Bill Evans said he was expecting dwelling prices to rise 10 per cent nationally in 2021, and said the pace would continue into 2022, off the back of strong economic growth.

“The upturn is being supported by record low interest rates; the confident expectation among borrowers that these rates will remain low for years to come; ample credit supply; and an improving economic backdrop, as the roll-out of vaccines promises to bring the pandemic to an end and drives a sustained lift in confidence,” Evans said.

“The bottom line is that Australia’s housing upturn now has strong momentum that looks to be lifting further and will remain well supported by monetary conditions and an improving economic backdrop.”

Dwelling approvals surged 22 per cent in the final quarter of 2020, and new lending for dwellings lifted by 16 per cent in the December quarter, which Evans says demonstrates a robust and confident housing market.

“Most tellingly, buyer demand has run well ahead of ‘on market’ supply, with sales outstripping new listings by 34 per cent over the last six months and ‘stock on market’ down to just 2.5 months of sales—[where] the long run average is 3.8,” he said.

“A lift in new listings will no doubt be forthcoming but for now this is clearly a seller’s market.”

House prices forecast: Westpac

Westpac Forecasts

^ (as % change). Source: Westpac bulletin

Unsurprisingly it was the smaller capital cities and regional towns that were most likely to capitalise on these forecast dwelling price increases.

There was still concerns about lingering areas of weakness, specifically the Sydney and Melbourne high rise markets, but according to the Westpac Housing Pulse report they look to be a minor drag on the broader market surge.

Evans said it was the regions that had been largely unaffected by virus disruptions and benefitted from related shifts in internal migration flows that would see the biggest boost in property prices.

Evans said they were also predicting good news for the labour market.

“Australia is expected to see growth well above trend this year and next. The unemployment rate is forecast to decline steadily to 6 per cent by end of 2021, and 5.3 per cent by end of 2022.

“We now expect the upswing to generate stronger, double-digit, price growth near term while our expectation, back in September last year, remains that a policy response can be expected later in 2022 which will settle markets into 2023.”

 

Article Source: theurbandeveloper.com

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Opinion

Property Industry Expects Interest Rate Rise

Property industry confidence levels are near record highs but there are rumblings that interest rates could to increase soon.

The ANZ/Property Council industry survey for the March quarter found confidence levels has improved drastically since the pandemic started, led by the residential sector.

The survey canvassed the views of more than 830 respondents—including, owners, developers, agents, managers, consultants and government—across all major industry sectors and regions.

The results revealed respondents also believe there will be an interest rate increase during the next 12 months.

This comes as the Reserve Bank of Australia closely watches the housing market as “cyclically low-interest rates and rising asset prices create a risk of excessive borrowing”.

According to the RBA financial stability review, this could lead to financial instability particularly if lending standards are weakened, which could expose lenders to large losses.

Interest rate changes

Property Industry

^Source: RBA 

For the meantime, the Reserve Bank decided to hold the official cash rate at 0.1 per cent for the fifth time in a row.

Despite expecting an interest rate rise, survey respondents were confident about work expectations, national growth and house prices in the next year.

Property Council of Australia chief executive Ken Morrison said the expectations for house prices were at the highest level in the survey’s 10-year history.

“When the property industry is confident it is exceptional news for the entire national economy because it employs so many people—more than 1.4-million Australians,” Morrison said.

“While the economy still faces significant challenges, the property industry is clearly buoyed by the speed of our turnaround and the strong demand they are seeing, particularly in the residential and industrial sectors.”

ANZ senior economist Felicity Emmett said that for now the combination of record low mortgage interest rates and targeted stimulus was clearly supporting the housing sector.

“Property sentiment has improved again, reflecting stellar economic performance, a large pipeline of work for the coming year and a strong outlook for property prices,” Emmett said

The survey also revealed an easing of concerns about the office sector as more CBD workers return to their work places.

 

Article Source: theurbandeveloper.com

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Brisbane

Property confidence stages remarkable comeback

property

The latest results from the ANZ/Property Council Survey reveal surging confidence levels in Queensland’s property sector, despite the slower than anticipated return of workers to major business precincts.

Property industry sentiment in Queensland bounced from 124 points in the December 2020 quarter, to 144 index points in the March 2021 quarter. The result shows that industry confidence has nearly tripled since the height of the COVID pandemic, when a low of 58 index points was recorded during the March 2020 quarter. A score of 100 is considered neutral.

Property Council Queensland Executive Director, Chris Mountford, said the results were nothing short of phenomenal, however, it was critical that the positivity was not taken for granted.

“The results highlight a remarkable recovery for Queensland’s property sector, which proved resilient throughout the challenges of last year and is now spearheading the State’s economic recovery,” said Mr Mountford.

“The industry has recorded strong results on most metrics of success, from crane counts to property clearance rates, to our own quarterly confidence surveys.

“However, we do need to maintain some degree of caution as these positive results were recorded prior to Brisbane’s most recent lockdown, and while the benefits of Government stimulus programs continue to be felt.

“It is well documented that these lockdowns cost our economy millions and impact on the confidence of employees to return to their places of work.

“Office occupancy within Brisbane CBD has stagnated at circa 63 per cent, showing the road to recovery for our city centres has clearly not been as smooth as in other property sectors.

“With the end of JobKeeper and the ever-present spectre of another lockdown, there is clearly a need to support our CBDs and the many businesses that rely on the daily visitation of workers, students and tourists to make ends meet.

“Over the coming months, the Property Council will be working with its members, Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government, to implement a plan to support our city centre and ensure it continues to drive Queensland’s economy,” concluded Mr Mountford.

 

Article Source: www.miragenews.com

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Opinion

Home Loan Deposit Tops $100,000 for First Time

Home Loan

The average deposit required by first home buyers has topped six figures as record low borrowing costs, stimulus payments and low stock levels send prices racing higher.

Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data has revealed the national average deposit needed to secure a mortgage is now $106,743—an increase of 16 per cent since January, 2019.

It is the first time in Australia’s history the average deposit has exceeded $100,000.

For first home buyers it means a longer path towards homeownership with the burden of raising a deposit—based on higher values—greater than ever.

According to comparison website Finder, which surveyed more than 1000 first-home buyers, one in four first home buyers need between five and 10 years to save a 20 per cent deposit.

More than a third of respondents—38 per cent, require between two and five years to save for their deposit.

The ACT had the largest house deposit increase since 2019, with the upfront amount required surging by 24 per cent to $117,790 as the rise in entry-level house prices exceeds wage growth.

NSW was just 1 per cent behind at 23 per cent for an average of $128,469.

The average deposit in Tasmania has climbed to $81,438, in Queensland it is now $95,784 and up to $92,784 in Western Australia.

South Australia remains the only capital city offering stable conditions for first home buyers with the time to save for a deposit for a house or unit remaining the lowest in the country.

First-time buyers’ new loan commitments made up 35.1 per cent of February’s near-55,000 monthly loans, more than investors’ 22 per cent, and have continued to grow.

While first home buyer loan commitments fell 3.3 per cent in February, they remain near 12-year highs, up 65.8 per cent year on year.

Average first home buyer loan, deposit

Home Loan

^Source: Finder, ABS loans data. Analysis assumes a 20 per cent deposit 

The pandemic-induced downturn that gripped the nation for much of 2020 cut nearly half a year off the time needed to save for a deposit, according to figures published by the Australian Institute for Progress earlier this year.

The national figures showed an improvement due to the price falls in Australia’s two biggest cities during the quarter, even as the situation in individual cities varied.

Repayments and deposits fell in Sydney, Melbourne, and Hobart but rose in Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin, Canberra, and Perth.

Finder spokeswoman Sarah Megginson said that saving for a house deposit is a big financial hurdle for first home buyers, with more than half of first home buyers—53 per cent—spending more than 30 per cent of their income in order to meet mortgage repayments.

“Prospective buyers are being stumped by a supercharged property market, which isn’t showing any signs of slowing down just yet,” Megginson said.

“Low interest rates have made it cheaper to pay down a mortgage, but this has pushed up property prices, making it even harder to save for a deposit.”

Record low interest rates—RBA governor Philip Lowe has said the benchmark cash rate would likely stay at 0.1 per cent for the next four years—are keeping repayments low.

Current interest rates have also pushed home values to new highs while making the return on any savings minimal.

The surging prices that last month pushed the housing market up 2.8 per cent, the fastest pace of appreciation in 32 years, have created several inflection points across the market with Sydney and Melbourne staging a full recovery from earlier downturns.

At the same time, data released by the REIA showed housing prices had soared by more than 500 per cent during the past 25 years, with the median price surging from $160,000 in 1996 to $825,000 in 2020.

 

Article Source: theurbandeveloper.com

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