Positive Expectations for 2014

January 10th, 2014

According to the latest Property Council/ANZ Property Industry Confidence Index, existing home owners have a reason to be optimistic. ; "Housing remains at the early stages of a solid cyclical upturn, buoyed by an extended period of low interest rates and tightening housing supply/demand fundamentals" said Warren Hogan, Chief Economist at ANZ. ; The Sydney and Melbourne markets are expected to continue leading the way, with Brisbane picked by some analysts as this year's new hotspot.

There is still a lot of imbalance in the Australian market, however, with investors continuing to crowd out first home buyers. ; According to The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), first home buyer commitments fell by 1.2 percent in November 2013, making a massive 13 percent drop for the year. ; Despite the fact that interest rates are at historical lows, the proportion of first home buyers continues to decline. ; However, while disparity between the property haves and have nots remains a big problem, there are some signs of conditions improving. ; ; ;

In relation to the Property Council/ANZ report, Residential Development Council Executive Director Ms Kakas said, “Home owners will benefit from rising house prices with increased financial stability for families and a bigger nest egg for retirees... And while higher prices mean first home buyers face an uphill battle to secure a foothold in the market, an expected increase in supply means more opportunities to buy a first home at a realistic price."

While any increase in supply levels will assist first home buyers, according to Ms Kakas, government red-tape and regulations also need to be addressed. ; “For years now, the biggest brake on providing more houses has been government red-tape and regulation" said Ms Kakas, adding “Real action to reduce red-tape would finally allow the property industry to meet growing housing demand and address the housing shortage." ;