Adam Carr – “even the English are referring to Australians as ‘whinging Aussies’.”

Brilliant article from Adam Carr highlighting the disparate nature of our sound economy and the morbid need for gloom. While an interest rate cut could well see overall confidence drop further once again we wonder just how long and how much larger an event will it be to trigger a change of leadership in government consequently allowing the turn of sentiment, something so many are crying out for. More…

Buyers on Green Light.

With the NAB revising its June assessment of the RBA’s predicted movement, indicating a reduction in the cash rate, and Bill Evans from Westpac now predicting rates will hit record lows by the end of 2012 (try 2.75%), investors and first home buyers have been given a green light. Add to this changes in lending criteria from banks which now take into consideration casual and secondary incomes when assessing mortgage applications and you have a primed demand equation as we progress toward Spring.

Winter is coming, momentum counts…

Positive signals across the board supporting our more recent posts on market activity in Sydney and Melbourne. Over the weekend Sydney recorded a 61.8% clearance rate from 359 properties whilst Melbourne recorded a clearance rate of 63% out of 591. More…

Housing finance surprise, don’t tell…

Today’s ABS housing finance data for March showed a surprising seasonally adjusted 0.3 per cent rise, running contrary to the touted fall of 2.0 per cent by many analysts. So, what’s the story? A deeper analysis indicates a swing to locking in rates at their current level in anticipation of forthcoming rises. Some have been keen to delve deeper into the state by state data (clearly showing a surge in WA), cutting through the spin we relate the weekends’ Sydney and Melbourne activity with a possibly a deeper current. Call us optimistic, but, could the tide be on the turn? More…

Rate change, meh…

Interest rate changes no longer have an impact on buyer decisions. That’s the underlying theme being expressed by a number of commentators after yesterday’s RBA surprise slashing by 0.5 points. Commsec analyst Craig James pointed out “we do know that there‚Äôs plenty of bargains out there for cashed-up buyers. But the missing ingredient is basically confidence”. Even industry veteran John McGrath sneses we have left the traditional interest rate link to buyer activity in the past. Increasingly buyer activity has become subject to a larger group of global influences which gives reason for us to reflect on the theory of compressed market shifts. Given the uncertainty of Europe, most recently Spain’s difficulties, and the disjointed recovery in the U.S. as they head into an election period culminating in our own fractured domestic political landscape all of which form part of the daily soup served up to home buyers, is it any wonder there is reason for a lack of confidence in the market? That being the case, what will it take to restore security to buyer perception? Welcome to the “NEW” normal.

Land – Undersupply or Oversupply?

Interesting article from Adam Carr reflecting on the most recent housing data and what impact RBA action (or inaction, depending on your viewpoint) has had on housing activity. Comments got heated on the whole oversupply / undersupply discussion, but I thought these little gems worth sharing, “There is no shortage of residential land! Look at the state government body statistics on residential lot approvals!” – HQ. And from Bruce Meaney, “The housing industry needs more new homes, but it’s not interest rates holding back the starts, it’s the over valued price of blocks of land.”

A quick scan of realestate.com.au shows 20 new land releases advertised in Queensland, 20 in NSW and 30 in Victoria. So is that enough land released to satisfy demand? Or are developers happy to drip-feed the market to retain their best return?