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  • Anchor (Oscar & Eliza) : Australia' Housing Market might start to slow to around 4% this

  • year and now that's according to the Global Housing and Mortgage Outlook report. It still

  • lists Australian home as the third most expensive of 22 countries surveyed. Here with us now

  • is Ben Kingsley, the Chief Executive of Empower Wealth from Melbourne. Ben, good morning.

  • Ben: Good Morning

  • Eliza: What is your take on the property market for 2015 in Australia?

  • Ben: Yeah, Eliza, what we got to realise is the property market in Australia is made up

  • of sub-markets. It is such a large population base where we are growing, the population

  • is growing. The economy is softening but we got to look at different markets, they are

  • in different cycles. So, when we look at Sydney, we do believe that the pace of growth is going

  • to slow, so there would be more growth in that particular market. But what we are actually

  • seeing is really good signs around planning approvals. Those planning approvals are going

  • to mean that there is going to be more stock that comes onto the market. From a supply

  • and demand point of view, we are going to see that supply kick in and from the demand

  • side, we are actually seeing immigration slowing. So population growth is slowing. So we believe

  • that combining potentially a slowing general economy, is going to soften the demand for

  • property and we will those price start to slow down. Certainly in Melbourne and Sydney.

  • On the other side, we've got Brisbane, which is a market place that is still in its upward

  • cycle so we suspect that Brisbane is going to do quite well in 2015.

  • Oscar: Now, you talked about the supply side of things and in your city, Melbourne, I think

  • it is well known that apartment buildings are popping up every second day it seems particularly

  • because of those investors from both overseas and locally. Now, will we see the price drop

  • as a result of this supply? I mean, you said that it will turn towards that but we have

  • seen prices go up in spite of these buildings popping up.

  • Ben: Yeah, but its early days. We are talking about upwards of 200,000 planning approvals.

  • Now, we've never seen those sorts of numbers. What usually happens in this type of cycles

  • in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane alike is that we start to see confidence around building

  • because we are seeing sentiments around property quite strong. We are seeing investors coming

  • into the market. So there is this lag effect where this building takes place in late 2015

  • and it become occupied in 2016. That is why we see with low interest rates at the moment,

  • we are actually going to see property prices continue to grow but I suspect some of that

  • gain will be given back in 2016 when interest rates start to rise.

  • Eliza: Ok, so let's look at it from the perspective of sellers and buyers. I suppose, first the

  • buyers, if you are out in this market, how should you approach it?

  • Ben: Look, very cautiously in 2015. We don't want to have the herd mentality and think

  • that we are going to miss out so we pay a premium to pay to get into a property, whether

  • we are buying for owner occupied purposes or even for investment purposes. There is

  • going to be a big supply of units that are going to come into the market but certainly

  • at those inner city areas and fully developed areas where housing stocks are at a shortage,

  • there will still be a really strong demand. So be sensible from an owner occupied point

  • of view, take a long term view. Say to yourself that this is something that we are going to

  • need to afford today and certainly tomorrow. And when we are talking about green fields

  • and new estates, there is an excitement in that particular market place. So we want to

  • say to people, be cautious out there, do your research, make sure that you understand the

  • supply that is coming along because if it is going to be oversupply then technically,

  • we are going to see flat values in those marketplaces in 2016 and 2017.

  • Oscar: Now, Ben Kingsley, you mentioned interest rates there and as we know, 3 of the 4 major

  • banks are predicting that the current record low cash rate of 2.5% is probably going to

  • go down even further. Won't that mean a rising prices as more people get into the market

  • and more people take on mortgages?

  • Ben: It's a great question Oscar and I think the important point here is that is not necessarily

  • going to be the case because what the Finch Rating Report also talked about was what we

  • called an affordability ceiling and that is a measure of household incomes with the ability

  • to be able to borrow. So if the cash rate actually comes down and interest rate goes

  • lower, the lenders aren't actually adjusting their assessment rates which means that borrowers

  • can't borrow more. So we are actually going to hit an affordability ceiling which means

  • that it won't necessarily put pressure on house prices. But in saying that, APRA and

  • the Board has got a real responsibility in making sure that we don't see the pricing

  • of house prices going too far because that could be going into a housing bubble realm

  • and we don't want that at all.

  • Eliza: On the housing bubble point, are there pockets and we see particularly in Sydney,

  • the market is really coming back very strongly. Are you at all concern about that?

  • Ben: Not yet. I don't think we are at that stage. You know, the banks do stress testing

  • on their mortgage books all the time and arrears rates are around 1% - 1.5%, at historical

  • low level. So I don't see any challenges there but I certainly wouldn't want to see double

  • digit growth in the Sydney property market in 2015. I suspect we are going to see that

  • single digit growth rate and I think we will see that in Melbourne. I do suspect double

  • growth rates in Brisbane and I suspect also, Adelaide is going to have an interesting time

  • and Perth, unfortunately, with the mining boom, it is probably going to be stagnant.

  • Canberra is also going to be another market that I think is going to be quite soft.

  • Oscar: Ok, Ben Kingsley, we will have to leave it there but thank you again for your insights.

  • Ben: Thank you very much.

Anchor (Oscar & Eliza) : Australia' Housing Market might start to slow to around 4% this

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ABC News - Australia's Housing Prices amongst the Most Expensive in the World

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