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!


  1. O. Ponton-Silas05-07-2011

    …do we really have to, buy our own home? Paying what? 4-5 times the total amount in 25-30 yrs? Ridiculous! The Australian Dream (of owning your own home) is clearly becoming just a dream.

    Gen X and the next will have to just sit and relax (and probably do nothing but fiddle around with their high tech gadgets)and let their forefathers be the blame for these ‘sickly’ system.

    Enough said.

  2. Paul Meleng06-07-2011

    Carry your wealth between your ears and in your many friends. Learn to travel ultra light so renting and shifting is no big hassle. Keep taxable income down to $37,000 (where the tax rate rises) Invest your super in things that are part of the solution not part of the problem and it will be there for you when you need it. Then buy a (by then) nifty little sustainable cottage to retire in. Wherever and whatever you choose now won’t be it.

  3. Paul Meleng10-07-2011

    I should add that I don’t mean to keep your total income down to 37000, I mean TAXable income, or the income you need to live on. Invest the rest sensibly and with advice from a fee for service adviser. If you spend the difference between rent and a mortgage on lifestyle you achive nothing.

  4. The_Mainlander10-07-2011

    Waiting 5+ years… still waiting.

    I have seen may bubbles worked in London during my first.

    But this Melb/Australian bubble has beaten me in duration.

    I have called the pop 3x and each time the Government boosts it with more subsidy.

    Maybe just maybe this is the correction we were supposed to have.

    Let’s see… but F*** M* I am over the wait!

    Boomers who own 50%+ of the Australian Property Market – may they bleed and remember their condescending comments about the lazy Gen-X and Y’s – I say BS to them all and may ‘the meal passing through the python’ turn to a normal distribution soon with the BB’s popping their clogs an releasing the land bank they have held for greedily for so long.


    By now – no F****** Chance!


  5. graham12-07-2011

    The correction has begun but unless the underlying causes [bank’s lax lending standards, high LVR, equity loans; tax system speculative distortion – negative gearing and Interest Only Loans for second-hand property; dodgy RE practices (dummy bids, vendor bids, fake auction recording); foreign ownership by temporary residents; highest population growth rate in First World, etc] are fixed the whole thing will repeat.
    Required: policy makers with integrity.

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