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What 2018 has in store for interest rates and house prices

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What 2018 has in store for interest rates and house prices
 Are Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison doing enough to avert a burst housing bubble?

Fraught as it is to make predictions, it’s that time of year, when taking a stab at what 2018 will hold is expected of business columnists.

Rather than forecast  where the stock market will travel in 2018 – because that is way too dangerous – of even where commodities will go – which would be another perilous pursuit – I will confine my crystal-ball gazing to house prices and interest rates.

In 2017, we saw definitive signs of a change in direction on residential dwelling prices. After some false starts there is clear evidence that the property market is cooling.

We should expect this to continue in 2018 but at this stage there are no immediate signs of the property bubble bursting and a crash in prices.

Other than Perth and Darwin, which have both seen sizeable declines in property values over the past year, Sydney and Adelaide are the only cities where residential prices have started to actually decline and this should continue over the next 12 months.

In Melbourne, prices have essentially just held steady over the past few months. In the early stages of 2018, Melbourne should join its northern neighbour and prices should start to drift down.

The national property market declines will be driven by the falls in Melbourne and Sydney, which will be larger.

To the extent housing prices continue to experience a soft landing we should be grateful to the financial regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

APRA chair Wayne Byres. To the extent housing prices continue to experience a soft landing we should be grateful to the financial regulator. Photo: Jessica Hromas

APRA chair Wayne Byres. To the extent housing prices continue to experience a soft landing we should be grateful to the financial regulator. Photo: Jessica Hromas

It has essentially cleaned up the mess left by the Reserve Bank, which cut interest rates to the bone and in doing so created the preconditions for the massive price rises for housing.

APRA seems (to date) to have successfully employed “macroprudential” measures that essentially put checks on bank lending – curbing the rate of growth in interest-only loans and investor loans.

In response, banks started to increase the interest rates for these borrowers – which had the effect of cooling demand.

Meanwhile, over the past couple of months the clearing rate for housing sales has fallen significantly, which suggests seller expectations have not come down to match the market so many properties are simply not being sold.

Real estates agents may not be happy with this trend but it does indicate the property sellers are not especially financially distressed. In other words, they are not forced sellers.

This augurs well for a steady deflation in house prices in 2018.

This view is echoed by the group that monitors and collates property prices, CoreLogic. It expects to see a further slowdown in national housing market conditions and continued tightness on credit policies as “regulators keep a watchful eye out for a rebound in investment credit growth or, a reversal in the trend towards fewer mortgages with a loan to valuation ratio of more than 80 per cent”.

CoreLogic is also a member of the growing band of experts that don’t see an interest rate rise coming in 2018.

I agree with them but would go one step further and predict that we won’t see interest rates rises for at least the first half of 2019, given there is little prospect of inflation and wages growth in the short term.

(In December’s mid-year economic fiscal outlook, the government revised down its expectations for wages growth.)

Treasurer Scott Morrison. In its mid-year budget update, the government revised down its expectations for wages growth. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Treasurer Scott Morrison. In its mid-year budget update, the government revised down its expectations for wages growth. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Among economists there is little consensus. Financial markets point to a 50:50 chance of a rate rise to 1.75 per cent by the end of next year from the current rate of 1.5 per cent.

National Australia Bank economists are looking for two rate rises in 2018 – one in the middle and one towards the end.

At the other end of the spectrum, Westpac sees no rate movement in 2018.

Shane Oliver from AMP pitches his expectations somewhere in the middle and is looking for one rate rise in late 2018.

And Deutsche Bank economist Adam Boyton isn’t expecting a change in rates for quite some time.

“That view reflects not just an expectation that inflation is likely to remain low and wages growth stubbornly weak; but also that household incomes and spending will remain under pressure,” he says.

While the economy is expected to continue its gradual pick-up, it will be somewhat constrained until households begin to feel good again.

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Opinion

Brisbane suburbs to watch in 2019

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brisbane suburbs to watch in 2019

Brisbane suburbs to watch in 2019

These are the suburbs to watch in Brisbane in 2019, where a window of opportunity exists to get in ahead of demand driving prices up.

These are the suburbs to watch in Brisbane in 2019, where a window of opportunity exists to get in ahead of demand driving prices up.

The list, compiled via the Price Predictor Index by Hotspotting’s Terry Ryder, tracks increases in sales demand — which is generally considered to be a precursor to increased prices.

“This precedes the price reaction,” Mr Ryder said. “Where there are sales increasing, prices will follow eventually.”

For buyers, rising demand can be a handy early warning system, particularly if suburbs they are interested in are on the list of those seeing steady rises.

“It’s a chance to buy in areas that are rising before prices really take off,” he said.

The Moreton Bay region was still the top market in Greater Brisbane in terms of rising suburbs — with seven on the list including Kippa-Ring which also made the national top 50 list.

suburbs in brisbane to watch in 2019

Brisbane is becoming a haven for cyclists with more appearing across the suburbs as infrastructure improves. Picture: Bruce Long Source:News Corp Australia

The Brisbane-south region came in second with five rising suburbs, followed by Brisbane-north and Redland City, both with four growth suburbs, while there were just two rising suburbs in Logan City.

Graceville and Indooroopilly were named along with Kippa-Ring as the top three suburbs in Brisbane.

“The whole premise is there is a time lag from when sales activity rises and prices go up,” Mr Ryder said.

“If you are already in an area where sales activity is picking up strongly, well that’s good because you are ahead of the strong price rises.”

Mr Ryder expects improvements in the Queensland economy including rising infrastructure spending — much of which was focused on inner Brisbane — to have a strong positive effect on the housing market.

suburbs to watch in 2019

Opening of Howard Smith Wharves precinct parklands and Cliff-face lift in inner Brisbane. Picture: Liam Kidston. Source:News Corp Australia

“Brisbane has definitely lagged because it hasn’t had the same drivers that Sydney and Melbourne have had. I do expect Brisbane in the coming year to be stronger than it has been.”

“We’re seeing that big infrastructure spend, population growth data is favourable as well, with Queensland now the number one state for net gains for interstate migration — and 90 per cent of that goes to SEQ. Those are all things falling into line for a rise.”

29 suburbs to watch in Brisbane in 2019:

(Alphabetical order)

Suburb/Municipality/Dwelling Type/Current Median Price

Albany Creek Moreton Bay H 585,000

Alexandra Hills Redland H 470,000

Annerley Brisbane-south H 720,000

Bald Hills Brisbane-north H 440,000

Banksia Beach Moreton Bay H 560,000

Bethania Logan H 365,000

Burpengary Moreton Bay H 465,000

Camira Ipswich H 407,000

Cleveland Redland H 620,000

Clontarf Moreton Bay H 445,000

Corinda Brisbane-south H 745,000

Eatons Hill Moreton Bay H 600,000

Geebung Brisbane-north H 545,000

Gordon Park Brisbane-north H 845,000

Graceville Brisbane-west H 905,000

Indooroopilly Brisbane-west H 905,000

Indooroopilly Brisbane-west U 475,000

Kenmore Brisbane-west H 700,000

Kippa Ring Moreton Bay H 430,000

Logan Reserve Logan H 410,000

Mansfield Brisbane-south H 680,000

Mt Cotton Redland H 550,000

Ormiston Redland H 680,000

Redcliffe Moreton Bay H 440,000

Redcliffe Moreton Bay U 415,000

Stafford Heights Brisbane-north H 605,000

Sunnybank Hills Brisbane-south H 680,000

Tarragindi Brisbane-south H 775,000

Tingalpa Brisbane-east H 555,000

Wakerley Brisbane-east H 755,000

Wynnum West Brisbane-east H 540,000

(Source: The Price Predictor Index)

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Opinion

Tim Gurner overcomes 2017 controversy to take third place in Young Rich List

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sunshine coast

IN 2017, property mogul Tim Gurner became one of the most hated men in Australia. But today, he’s having the last laugh.

LAST May, millionaire property developer Tim Gurner outraged millennials the world over after blaming their housing woes on smashed avocado and coffee.

The Melbourne man made the sensational comments during a 60 Minutes segment about housing affordability, telling the Nine network: “When I was buying my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for 19 bucks and four coffees at $4 each.”

Mr Gurner’s 2017 quote went viral, sparking hysterical headlines around the world and instantly turning Mr Gurner into a villain among young people struggling to break into the housing market.

Related article: Mortgage holders rejoice: Most Qld homes rose in value over the past year

But the 36-year-old’s comments have clearly done little to hold him back.

Last week, he was officially named as the third richest young person in Australia in the 2018 Financial Review Young Rich List thanks to his impressive $631 million fortune.

He was beaten only by Atlassian co-founders and serial rich-listers Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes, who took out the top two spots on the list for a record-breaking seventh year with a combined net worth of $14.2 billion.

According to the list, Mr Gurner, the founder and CEO of property development group Gurner, owes his phenomenal success to a number of acquisitions which pushed his “combined project value to more than $5 billion, spanning almost 7000 apartments”.

Mr Gurner was beaten only by serial rich-listers and Atlassian co-founders Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

The AFR also explained Mr Gurner had made a stack of cash by “targeting high-end buyers wanting to downsize”.

He got his start in property after taking over a lease on a suburban gym aged just 19, using $34,000 given to him by his grandfather.

A year later he sold the business and went into property development, riding Melbourne and Brisbane’s real estate boom.

At the peak of the smashed avo outrage, many of Mr Gurner’s detractors claimed he had enjoyed an unfair advantage from his grandfather’s cash.

But while the backlash has not affected Mr Gurner’s fortunes, he has previously spoken about the personal toll the scandal took.

At the time, Mr Gurner was ridiculed across social media and inundated with interview requests from local and international reporters alike.

In May this year, around a year on from the original controversy, Mr Gurner told Executive Style it had seriously impacted his life, and that his comments were taken out of context.

sunshine coast

Mr Gurner insists he has no regrets despite the backlash. Picture: Stuart McEvoySource:News Corp Australia

“I said it was really hard for them (millennials), I said I feel for them because there were real challenges, but I added I thought there was an issue in society with the amount of conspicuous consumer spending with the millennial generation,” he told the publication.

“I said a large number of this generation needs to lease (the) latest BMW, take the European holiday, buy a 70-inch TV, the latest designer suit, the latest phone, eat smashed avocado and $4 coffees every weekend.

“They took out the last bit and it all went crazy.”

Mr Gurner also described falling ill three days after the story went global as a result of stress — but said he did not regret making the comments.

“It really got me personally. We can all have a tough media facade but I am a normal person inside and it really hurt. But I learned a lot,” he said.

“I learned the haters talk a lot louder than the likers. And I think it did, ultimately, create a really good conversation around affordability and what the next generation will do about it, because it is a legitimate problem.”

brisbane

Fitness queen Kayla Itsines was ranked fifth on the list. Picture: AFR MagazineSource:Supplied

Meanwhile, Ori Allon, who built his $539 million wealth in technology and property, scored fourth place in the Young Rich list, while equal fifth and sixth went to fitness entrepreneur Kayla Itsines and her fiance Tobi Pearce.

Seventh place went to Owen Kerr, with $460 million to his name thanks to his stake in foreign exchange Brokerage Company Pepperstone.

Husband-and-wife duo Collis and Cyan Ta’eed, who founded online graphic marketplace Envato, are jointly worth $428 million, earning them the eighth and ninth places, while farming and finance capital investor Peter Greensill sits in 10th place with $412 million in the bank.

The Young Rich List, now in its 15th year, tracks the wealth of the richest self-made Aussies aged under 40.

The 100 rich-listers featured this year have a staggering combined wealth of $23.5 billion — a huge increase on $13.2 billion last year.

Source: www.news.com.au

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Opinion

Brisbane house prices tipped to rise 11pc in three years: QBE

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Brisbane house prices

BRISBANE homeowners will be the envy of their southern counterparts over the next few years, with property price growth predicted to be the strongest in the country.

brisbane house prices

House prices are tipped to rise 11.3 per cent in Brisbane by June 2021. Image: AAP/Darren England.Source:AAP

BRISBANE homeowners will be the envy of their southern counterparts over the next few years, with property price growth predicted to be the strongest in the country after Adelaide.

House prices in the Queensland capital are forecast to rise by 11.3 per cent in the next three years, according to the latest BIS Economics Australian Housing Outlook commissioned by QBE Insurance.

Brisbane’s median house price is tipped to grow to $615,000 by June 2021.

Brisbane house prices

House prices are tipped to rise 11.3 per cent in Brisbane by June 2021. Image: AAP/Darren England.Source:AAP

The report found Brisbane’s affordability remains significantly more attractive than in Sydney, where house prices are forecast to fall 3.5 per cent in 2019 before bottoming in 2020, and in Melbourne, where they are set to drop another 4.2 per cent next year.

But the outlook is less rosy for Brisbane apartment owners, with unit prices set to fall by 5.1 per cent over the next three years as the oversupply of stock continues to be absorbed and demand from investors weakens.

The median price for an apartment in Brisbane is expected to fall to $405,000 — the greatest forecast decline out of all capital cities.

Brisbane houses

Apartment prices in Brisbane are forecast to fall 5.1 per cent in the next three years. Photo: Claudia Baxter.Source:News Corp Australia

Greater competition for inner-city apartments is tipped to cause investors to lower rents to try to draw tenants from more affordable city fringe locations.

Competitive unit rents and prices due to the oversupply may encourage some potential first home buyers to remain as renters, or alternatively preference an apartment purchase over a house.

QBE Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance chief executive Phil White said tighter lending restrictions had impacted property prices nationally.

 

Brisbane houses

Phil White, chief executive of QBE. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied

“We anticipate foreign investment will further dampen in coming years owing to a number of factors such as increased approval fees, stamp duty and land tax surcharges, as well as tighter capital controls from foreign governments, most notably China, which have impacted how much money they can take out of their country,” Mr White said.

But Queensland’s increasing population growth is expected to support buyer demand.

The report is the only one of its kind in Australia that looks at what house prices will do over the next three years.

Source: www.news.com.au

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