Australia’s Wile E. Coyote Moment
Poor Wile E. Coyote’s cunning plans never produced a meal. He invested everything, but always went over a cliff or was holding the exploding bomb. Warner Brothers mercilessly milked the moment he realizes his plot has failed – his defeated dreams had us children roaring with laughter.
Australia’s property market is pedalling air.
Buyers have discovered caution after a twenty year era of leaping in as soon as they could scratch together a minimum deposit.
On June 21 we reported on the stale stock piling up around Melbourne. Our survey of postcodes 3000-3207 show stock unsold after two months on the market blowing out from 19,700 to 26,000 properties in the last sixty days alone.
ABS May 2011 Building Approvals yesterday were dismal: down a seasonally adjusted 14.4%. The builders are rational. They have simply stopped new construction. The June figures will be worse again.
Consumers have heavy mortgages, maxed out credit cards and big car loans. Our debts as a proportion of GDP have never been higher.
The Reserve Bank has been sternly warning of interest rate rises. The economically literate could see last November’s chunky rate rise weakened the domestic economy enough to flip the property price trend
Prosper Australia – alongside the IMF, the OECD, The Economist, Jeremy Grantham and Steve Keen – has been warning loud and long Australia is in a land price bubble. No one listened. All were rendered deaf and blind by the tax free capital gains boosting personal balance sheets.
Meanwhile, Gen X and Gen Y were locked out of the lolly shop, denied The Great Australian Dream of home ownership. Never mind that home ownership in a property owning democracy ought be available to all on reasonable terms. They could only press their noses against the window and watch the orgy of consumption inside. They will not forgive this insult easily.
Pollies and boomers and bankers dismiss such concerns at their peril.
Young adults will spit on government attempts to prop up the housing market with a first home vendors’ boost or other subsidies. They will recoil from funding baby boomers’ retirements as well as their own. And if our four too-big-to-fail banks need a bailout, they will insist on extinguishing all equity before one red cent of government money is put at risk.
After pedalling air for an achingly long time, Wyle E. Coyote looks down. The ground is a long way away. This will be a hard landing. Don’t Buy Now!