Reality bites for million-dollar club

Original article by Mackenzie Scott, Remy Varga
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 15-Feb-19

New data shows that just 649 suburbs across Australia now boast a median house price of $1m, compared with 741 in January 2018. There are now 366 suburbs in New South Wales where the median price exceeds $1m, while there are 129 such suburbs in Victoria. Nerida Conisbee, the chief economist at realestate.com.au, says price rises in recent years were unsustainable and some suburbs simply did not belong in the million-dollar price bracket.

CORPORATES
REALESTATE.COM.AU, CORELOGIC AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Reforms to help protect buyers

Original article by Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 11-Feb-19

State and territory building ministers agreed to a ban on the use of unsafe aluminium composite panels in new apartment buildings at a Council of Australian Governments meeting on 8 February. However, the meeting did not define "unsafe". The meeting also agreed that builders have an ongoing duty of care to apartment owners to provide a building that meets required building code standards, and that builders will face extra liability if their buildings do not comply with such standards.

CORPORATES
COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, OWNERS CORPORATION NETWORK OF AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, MASTER BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF NEW SOUTH WALES PTY LTD, UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES. DEPT OF PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE

Housing lot defaults hit 25 per cent as finance hard to secure

Original article by Larry Schlesinger
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 7-Feb-19

Satterley Property Group CEO Nigel Satterley says the default rate among buyers of housing lots in Melbourne is now 20 to 25 per cent, compared with just five per cent in late 2017. He adds that Perth and Sydney boast default rates of around 35 per cent and 15 per cent respectively. Satterley attributes the high level of defaults to factors such as tightened access to credit for both local and overseas buyers. Simonds Group CEO Kelvin Ryan notes that there has been a spike in the number of housing lots that are been offered for sale on the secondary market.

CORPORATES
THE SATTERLEY PROPERTY GROUP PTY LTD, SIMONDS GROUP LIMITED – ASX SIO, OLIVER HUME REAL ESTATE GROUP PTY LTD, RED23 PTY LTD, GUMTREE.COM AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Housing bust, lower wages hit retail sales

Original article by David Uren
The Australian – Page: 2 : 6-Feb-19

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that retail sales fell by 0.4 per cent in December, while sales grew by just 0.1 per cent in the December quarter. The figures also show that Western Australia is the only state that did not experience a decline in retail sales during December. Gareth Aird of the Commonwealth Bank says consumer spending is being affected by the downturn in the housing market. He notes that this is particular evident in New South Wales, where house prices have fallen the most and retail sales were down 1.1 per cent in the December quarter.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Apartment approvals hit four-year low

Original article by Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 5-Feb-19

Official figures show that just 53,590 units in apartment towers of at least four storeys were approved in 2018, which is about 12 per cent lower than 2017. The number of approvals for stand-alone dwellings fell slightly, to 119,668. Overall, a total of 212,316 apartments, houses and townhouses were approved in 2018, which is the lowest level in four years. JLL has forecast that just 16,000 apartments will be completed across Australia in 2019.

CORPORATES
JONES LANG LASALLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, BIS OXFORD ECONOMICS PTY LTD

Banks, rules to blame for house prices

Original article by Michael Bleby, Su-Lin Tan
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 1-Feb-19

Chris Richardson of Deloitte Access Economics claims that both the banks and regulators are to blame for the current decline in house prices. He says that regulators were too slow to realise that record low interest rates were causing the housing market to overheat, while the banks suddenly went from being too generous with their credit to being too stingy. Figures released by the Reserve Bank on 31 January show that lending to owner-occupier borrowers grew by just 6.5 per cent in 2018, the weakest annual rate since 2014.

CORPORATES
DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

Housing faces year of downturn

Original article by Turi Condon
The Australian – Page: 17 : 25-Jan-19

National Australia Bank now expects dwelling prices in Sydney and Melbourne to fall by 15 per cent from peak to trough. NAB’s latest survey of property industry professionals shows that respondents generally expect New South Wales and Victoria to incur the biggest fall in housing prices over the next several years, although prices are also tipped to fall or remain flat outside of the two largest capitals. NAB’s separate survey of consumers shows that they are more upbeat about the outlook for the housing market than property professionals.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, CORELOGIC AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AMP CAPITAL INVESTORS LIMITED

Prices of big city houses to fall 25pc

Original article by Melissa Yeo
The Australian – Page: 26 : 24-Jan-19

Shane Oliver of AMP Capital says residential property prices in Melbourne and Sydney could fall by up to 25 per cent from peak to trough. Oliver had previously flagged a potential fall of up to 20 per cent, and he has warned that the downturn in the housing market could impact on Australia’s economic growth. Oliver also expects the Reserve Bank to reduce the cash rate by 25 basis points in August and November, although he says weak economic data could prompt it to move sooner.

CORPORATES
AMP CAPITAL INVESTORS LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, CORELOGIC AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, DEMOGRAPHIA

The great Aussie dream severely unaffordable

Original article by Ben Wilmot
The Australian – Page: 17 : 23-Jan-19

Demographia’s latest International Housing Affordability survey shows that residential property in Australia’s five largest capital cities remains expensive, relative to income. Sydney now ranks third behind Hong Kong and Vancouver among the least affordable housing markets of the 91 that were surveyed; Sydney’s median house multiple is 11.7, ahead of Melbourne with a median multiple of 9.7. Gladstone and Rockhampton are now the most affordable housing markets in Australia, with median multiples of 3.2 and 3.9 respectively.

CORPORATES
DEMOGRAPHIA

Approvals for new apartments slump

Original article by Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 10-Jan-19

New figures highlight the downturn in Australia’s residential construction market. Just 5,921 units, townhouses and semi-detached dwellings were approved in November 2018, which is 18.4 per cent lower than in October. In contrast, some 12,823 dwellings were approved during November 2017. There was a 9.1 per cent decline in approvals for detached dwellings in November, which is the lowest monthly level since July 2013.

CORPORATES
HOUSING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION LIMITED, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY