Australian Residential Property Market Outlook

Christopher Joyce is a contributing editor with the Australian Financial Review. He is an Australian Fixed Income Fund Manager with Coolabah Capital Investments, Financial Economist and former Government adviser

I have been a strong follower of his for a number of years and want to share his latest views about our property market in Australia. He says:

Our base case is that Aussie house prices will flatline over the next few months, with the risk of a modest softening of prices up to 5 per cent. Thereafter we forecast that the 2019-20 boom will reassert itself, with prices climbing by another 10 per cent to 20 per cent on the back of the 75-150 basis point reduction in mortgage rates over the past year.This has massively boosted purchasing power, pushing down interest repayments as a share of disposable incomes to their lowest levels in decades.

Thus far the data is proving out our contrarian case. In contrast to the bears’ gloomy expectations, national house prices appreciated in February, March and April. And in May they have been flat lining. In fact, they have been a picture of stability since mid-April. This is true in Sydney and Brisbane, with only modest softening evident in Melbourne. Auction clearance rates also appear to be recovering as we exit containment.

The four to five per cent gross rental yields available on Aussie investment properties, arguably the best performing asset class during the GVC, are likely to appear attractive as the search for yield intensifies after the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to floor the cash rate in March to its effective lower bound at 0.25 per cent.

The normalisation in housing should accelerate following our (projected) peak in COVID-19 infections in early April and the aggressive flattening of Australia’s curve, which has allowed Prime Minister Scott Morrison to pivot away from his original six-month hibernation plan to a much-earlier-than-anticipated exit from containment over May and June (as we argued in March). “

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