Nine Quarters of Weak Land Sales



19 April 2012

Australia has experienced nine quarters of falling land sales volumes with the last five quarters flatlining forty per cent below long term averages. Current high land prices have no visible means of support and must fall, Prosper warns.

The data was released today by the Housing Industry Association, emphasising the recent shocking five quarter falls to bolster their case for large interest rate cuts, fiscal expansion and weak regulation.

“If the government took the HIA’s advice, it would prop up current prices and enforce the personal nightmare of committing 40 per cent of dual incomes to housing costs to merely get on the first rung of ownership,” Prosper Australia Campaign Manager David Collyer said today.

“We have all privately done our sums. Citizens see buying at current prices as financial suicide and banks will only lend to ideal customers because the prospects for repayment are so poor.

“Anyone who buys on those terms faces a lifetime of poverty or bankruptcy,” Collyer warned. “Debts that big are absolutely crippling.

“The HIA’s figures are up until end December 2011. Auction volumes since then have been very weak so the trend they identify has continued and consolidated.

“The real problem is property prices broke from their affordability anchor a decade ago when housing flipped from providing shelter into a Ponzi scheme.

“The house price to rent ratio is now so compressed private renting, set at the threshold of pain, is a relative bargain. Further, the price to wages ratio is now between six and nine time earnings, depending on assumptions. House prices are typically 2.5 to 3.5 times wages.

“Prosper has been warning potential homebuyers to stay out of the market for just over a year now. The big falls in prices we have been predicting are now a certainty.

“Don’t Buy Now!” Collyer concluded.

The HIA release and residential land sales volume data is here.

Media Contact: David Collyer david.collyer@prosper.org.au

About Prosper: Prosper Australia is a tax reform lobby group and think tank that is now 120 years old. It seeks to move the base of government revenues from taxing individuals and enterprise to capturing the economic rents of the natural endowment, notably through Land Value Tax and Mining Tax.

3 Comments

  1. Bryan Kavanagh19-04-2012

    Keep up the good work, David Collyer! I reckon your warnings over the past year would have saved many young Australians from putting their heads into the mortgage noose as the residential market still hovers around the top of the bubble – and, as you show, saved themselves on average more than $58,000. Well done. You should be on a commision on their savings, David. :)

    And, of course, the valuation profession should distance thmselves from their real estate brethren who still say “the market can only go up”. [!]

  2. Paul19-04-2012

    Do you think it is developers holding out for high prices or is it Landcom controlling this market?

  3. Leaf19-04-2012

    We had our first baby November 2010.
    We were in a panic to get into the market before
    Prices rose even further out of reach… That was
    Until I started reading your articles. Thank you
    For putting our fears to rest and keeping us in
    The mindset of saving for a bigger deposit. Also
    Gives me great conversation points with the real estate
    Agents who have all refused to admit prices ARE dropping
    Here in Melbourne

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