Agents feel post-election pick-up

Original article by Michael Bleby, Tim Boyd
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 24-May-19

AMP Capital’s chief economist Shane Oliver is predicting that Sydney and Melbourne house prices will not fall as far as previously expected, and that prices will bottom out by the end of 2019, rather than during 2020. Oliver cites the federal election result, which put an end to uncertainty regarding negative gearing and capital gains tax, as one reason for his change of forecast. Other factors that suggest a pickup in housing sentiment include expectations that the Reserve Bank will cut interest rates soon and the Coalition government’s plan to assist first-home buyers.

CORPORATES
AMP CAPITAL INVESTORS LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Warning as housing stock piles up

Original article by Ben Wilmot
The Australian – Page: 25 : 17-May-19

Data from CoreLogic shows that based on current rates of sales, housing supply across Australia’s capital cities is currently 5.3 months, up from 3.9 months a year ago. Meanwhile, Macquarie Equities says Reserve Bank data suggests that 2.5-3.5 per cent of house buyers with bank-issued mortgage loans are in negative equity following the downturn in the housing market. RiskWise Property Research CEO Doron Peleg says Labor’s proposed changes to the negative gearing and capital gains tax regimes would make residential property investment less attractive.

CORPORATES
CORELOGIC AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MACQUARIE EQUITIES LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, RISKWISE PROPERTY RESEARCH, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, GRATTAN INSTITUTE, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, STARR PARTNERS PTY LTD, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED

Property taxes will hit safe Labor seats

Original article by Duncan Hughes
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 10-May-19

The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales has urged Labor to reconsider its proposed negative gearing and capital gains tax reforms. CEO Tim McKibbin says most of the 50 suburbs across Sydney that will be hardest-hit by the reforms are in Labor-held electorates. The median values of rental properties in some of these suburbs have fallen sharply in the last year, and the REISW warns that Labor’s reforms could result in a further decline.

CORPORATES
THE REAL ESTATE INSTITUTE OF NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, HERRON TODD WHITE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Asians still biggest investors: Knight Frank

Original article by Lisa Allen
The Australian – Page: 25 : 9-May-19

The federal government’s restrictions on foreign investment in residential property have not been a deterrent for Asian buyers. Liam Bailey of Knight Frank says people from China and Southeast Asia are still the biggest investors in the local residential market. The global head of research notes that a number of other countries have imposed similar restrictions on foreign investors. Bailey forecasts growth in demand for geographically diverse property investments as global wealth increases.

CORPORATES
KNIGHT FRANK, CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN

Embattled Purplebricks to quit Australian market

Original article by Larry Schlesinger
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 8-May-19

UK-based online real estate agent Purplebricks has advised that its Australian operations will be discontinued, citing factors such as challenging market conditions. Purplebricks entered the local market in September 2016, with co-founder and global CEO Michael Bruce forecasting that the Australian business would succeed. However, its fixed-fee sales model proved to be problematic for real estate agents, particularly given the downturn in the housing market.

CORPORATES
PURPLEBRICKS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PURPLEBRICKS GROUP PLC, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

The end of an era for Lowy family

Original article by Turi Condon
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 30-Apr-19

Peter Lowy will step down from the board of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield at its AGM in May, having flagged his intention to retire from the board in March. Steven Lowy retired as a director of Scentre Group, which owns and operates Westfield shopping centres in Australia, in April. Peter Lowy’s decision means an end to the presence of the Lowy family on Westfield boards after more than 50 years. Meanwhile, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield CFO Jaap Tonckens says Unibail-Rodamco has "zero regrets" concerning the $32 billion Westfield takeover.

CORPORATES
UNIBAIL-RODAMCO-WESTFIELD – ASX URW, SCENTRE GROUP – ASX SCG, WESTFIELD CORPORATION, UNIBAIL-RODAMCO

Sydney house prices fall 3.1pc over March quarter

Original article by Ingrid Fuary-Wagner, Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 30-Apr-19

Domain Holdings analyst Nicola Powell says Sydney’s residential property market downturn is close to being the longest on record. She adds that the median house price in Sydney will fall below $1m if prices continue to fall at the current rate. The median house price has fallen from $1,161,083 to $1,027,962 in the last year. Data from Domain shows that house prices in Sydney have fallen by 14.3 per cent since peaking in mid-2017.

CORPORATES
DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC

Rate cut could aid housing recovery

Original article by Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 29-Apr-19

Preliminary data from Domain Holdings shows that the national residential auction clearance rate was 52.9 per cent on the weekend of 27-28 April, with a total of 1,019 properties going under the hammer. Sydney and Melbourne recorded preliminary clearance rates of 52.2 per cent and 56.6 per cent respectively. Shane Oliver of AMP Capital says the bottom of the housing market’s cyclical fall could occur sooner if the Reserve Bank reduces official interest rates in May. Oliver has forecast two rate cuts in 2019.

CORPORATES
DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, AMP CAPITAL INVESTORS LIMITED, CORELOGIC AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Lendlease and Vicinity both takeover targets, says JPM

Original article by Nick Lenaghan
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 23-Apr-19

JP Morgan’s Global REIT Radar report suggests that a sharp fall in the share prices of Lendlease and Vicinity Centres could make them potential takeover targets. Ben Brayshaw of JP Morgan says both stocks are currently trading well below the firm’s estimate of their net asset value. The report also notes that real estate investment trusts have delivered a total return of 18.5 per cent over the last year, while global equities have returned just 7.6 per cent.

CORPORATES
LEND LEASE GROUP LIMITED – ASX LLC, VICINITY CENTRES – ASX VCX, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CROWN ESTATE, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Tax Office to ramp up audits of landlords

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 18-Apr-19

The Australian Taxation Office has signalled that it will audit about 4,500 taxpayers who claim deductions for rental properties in 2018-19. The ATO undertook 1,500 such audits in 2017-18, after random sampling of tax returns showed that 90 per cent of claims for rental deductions contained errors. Assistant commissioner Gavin Siebert says the ATO uses data analytics and information from a range of third-party sources in its audits. It imposed penalties totalling $1.3m for incorrect rental deductions in 2017-18.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE