Tuesday, May 4, 2010

When will Aussie house prices stop growing?

This is my own prediction. It is not based on any gathered data. Aussie house prices will continue to grow unabated as long as the government ignores the China factor. For your information, Melbourne house prices rose 28% last year alone. Real estate agents say that 30-40% of the buyers are investors from mainland China. In recognition of this, the government last week reversed its policy of allowing non-residents to buy homes here. This has not cooled the market one bit and I think the government fails to recognize the extent of the problem. The astute will recognize that there are still ways for non-residents to buy into the market here despite the policy reversal. Non-residents, mainland Chinese in particular, seem to be on a buying spree overseas. Perhaps they are doing this to hedge the yuan, which is under pressure to devalue. Perhaps there are reasons why they do not want to keep the money in China. Surely they'll find the price of houses here to be a bargain compared with what they have to pay back home. Why wouldn't they? All the major urban areas are heavily congested and landed properties are only for the super rich.

I believe that as long as they are able to, mainland Chinese will keep buying all the properties that they can get their hands on, either directly or indirectly through a third party, either here or in another Western country. The Australian Central Bank thinks that raising interest rates will cool the housing market. I think it will only reduce the number of local buyers and make it even easier for foreign cashed-up buyers to keep acquiring properties here.

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