“Don’t Fear A Crash”: Dr Andrew Wilson
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“Don’t Fear A Crash”: Dr Andrew Wilson

A rapid fire tete-a-tete with the leading Australian economist and founder of My Housing Market.

By Terry Christodoulou
Wed, Apr 21, 2021 8:59amGrey Clock 3 min

Kanebridge News: Let’s cut straight to it – your response to the almost daily diatribe being espoused by the naysayers in regards to the national housing market, specifically Sydney, and predictions about its alleged imminent failure?

Dr Andrew Wilson: Such attention-seeking crash predictions have consistently proved to be wrong in the past, and will again prove just as wrong this time. The prospect for the preconditions for falling house prices – sharp increases in interest rates – has never been more remote.

KN: How do you view market movement in the major capitals the next 12 months?

AW: Strong growth in all capitals – Melbourne, Sydney and Perth top performers all likely higher by 10%. Price’s growth will likely decline over the year as affordability falls through higher prices with flat interest rates and low incomes growth.

KN: And the residential rental market?

AW: Lower vacancy rates and higher rents for houses compared to units generally across the board.

KN: Perennial question then – advice for those trying to get into the property market this year?

AW: Maximise your buying potential. Be prepared to compromise. Be prepared to be disappointed. Consider buying first and then selling. As always, consult a financial advisor.

KN: How important is data use in property and how can a novice best apply such sets in regards to a purchase?

AW: Reliable, real-time data provides the foundation for property decision making – enhanced by objective, rational commentary that joins the dots.

KN: What do you see as the most important data consideration(s) when assessing movement in a specific market?

AW: Local supply and demand factors, matched with the overarching macroeconomic drivers and real-time market activity measures of prices and volumes.

My Housing Market’s founder Dr Andrew Wilson.

KN: Clearance rates across the country, specifically Sydney, have recently hit record highs — how do you analyse such numbers, given this is unprecedented?

AW: The Sydney market is responding to high levels of affordability with prices – despite recent strong growth – still at the levels of four years ago. Over that period mortgage rates have fallen by over 1% and incomes have increased by over 6%, giving buyers the capacity to pay more for property. With credit restrictions and coronavirus impediments now eased – the market has clear air to catch up.

KN: Your take on why we’re a property engaged culture?

AW: High aspiration for home ownership and investment underpinned by a strong financial sector and enhanced taxation benefits.

KN: To those that might not know you – you formerly worked as a chief economist for the Domain group, Australian Property Monitors before launching  My Housing Market.

AW: Well, my background is in the science and philosophy of housing market economics — I was an academic researcher and lecturer at RMIT University before I worked my way to chief economist at Domain Group and, now, running my own offering and analytics through My Housing Market.

KN: What was the impetus to launch My Housing Market – and how does the platform differentiate itself from what else is out there?

AW: My Housing Market combines high-level, comprehensive, real-time data insights into property markets with detailed, credible and reliable expert commentary. The ‘what’ and the ‘why’.

KN: What is it about property that you’re drawn to?

AW: I have to live somewhere.

KN: Well played …

Kanebridge News uses real-time data supplied by My Housing Market.


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Home prices declined at a faster pace in May in major cities, while other data show a mixed picture for the world’s second-largest economy

By REBECCA FENG
Tue, Jun 18, 2024 3 min

China’s broken housing market isn’t responding to some of the country’s boldest stimulus measures to date—at least not yet.

The Chinese government has been stepping up support for housing and other industries in recent months as it tries to revitalize an economy that has  continued to disappoint  since the early days of the pandemic.

But fresh data for May showed that businesses and consumers remain cautious. Home prices continue to fall at an accelerating rate, and fixed-asset investment and industrial production, while growing, lost some momentum.

“China’s May economic data suggest that policymakers have a lot to do to sustain the fragile recovery,” Yao Wei, chief China economist at Société Générale, wrote in a client note on Monday.

The worst pain is in the property sector, which has been struggling to deal with oversupply and weak buyer sentiment since 2021, when a multiyear  housing boom ended . The market still doesn’t appear to have found a floor, even after Beijing rolled out its most aggressive stimulus measures so far  in mid-May  in hopes of restoring confidence.

In major cities, new-home prices fell 4.3% in May compared with a year earlier, worse than a   3.5% decline in April, according to data released Monday by China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Prices in China’s secondhand home market tumbled 7.5%, compared with a 6.8% drop in April.

Home sales by value tumbled 30.5% in the first five months of this year compared with the same months last year.

“This data was certainly on the disappointing side and may ring some alarm bells, as May’s policy support package has not yet translated to a slower decline of housing prices, let alone a stabilisation,” said Lynn Song, chief China economist at ING.

Economists had also been hoping to see a wider recovery this month after Beijing started  rolling out  a planned issuance of 1 trillion yuan, the equivalent of $138 billion, in ultra-long sovereign bonds in May. The funds are designed to help pay for infrastructure and property projects backed by the authorities. Investors  gobbled up  the first batch of these bonds.

Monday’s bundle of economic data, however, underlined how the country still isn’t firing on all cylinders.

Retail sales, a key metric of consumer spending, rose 3.7% in May from a year earlier, compared with 2.3% in April, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. While the trend is heading in the right direction, it is still a relatively subdued level of growth, and below what most economists believe is needed to kick-start a major revival in consumer spending.

The expansion in industrial production—5.6% in May compared with a year earlier—was down from April’s 6.7% increase. Fixed-asset investment growth, of which 40% came from property and infrastructure sectors, also decelerated, to 3.5% year-over-year growth in May from 3.6% in April.

Key to the sluggish economic activity data in May—and China’s outlook going forward—is the crisis in the property market, which has proven hard for policymakers to address.

The property rescue package in May included letting local governments buy up unsold homes, removing minimum interest rates on mortgages, and reducing payments for potential home buyers. It also included as its centerpiece a $41 billion so-called re-lending program launched by the People’s Bank of China, which would provide funding to Chinese banks to support home purchases by state-owned firms.

The hope was that by stepping in as a buyer of last resort for millions of properties, the government would manage to mop up unsold housing inventory and persuade wary home buyers to re-enter the market. In turn, Chinese consumers, who have  most of their wealth  tied up in real estate, would feel more confident about spending again, thereby lifting the overall economy.

But the size of the re-lending program wasn’t big enough to convince home buyers, said Larry Hu , chief China economist at Macquarie Group. “Meanwhile, their income outlook also stays weak given the current economic condition,” he said.

For the property market to bottom out and reach a new equilibrium, mortgage rates, which stand at around 3-4% in China, need to be as low as rental yields, which are currently below 2% in major cities, said Zhaopeng Xing, a senior China strategist at ANZ. He said that a large mortgage rate cut will need to happen eventually.

The other key part of China’s push to revive growth revolves around the manufacturing sector, with leaders  funnelling more investment  into factories to boost output and reduce the country’s reliance on foreign suppliers of key technologies.

The result has been a surge in production. But with domestic consumption not strong enough to absorb all those goods, many factories have been forced to cut prices and seek out more overseas buyers.

Data released earlier this month showed that  Chinese exports rose  faster in May than the month before.

However, the export push is  butting into resistance  as governments around the world worry about the impact of cheap Chinese competition on domestic jobs and industries. The European Union last week said it would  impose new import tariffs  on Chinese electric vehicles, describing China’s auto industry as heavily subsidised by the government, to the point where other countries’ automakers can’t fairly compete.

The U.S.  has also hit  Chinese cars and some other products with hefty duties, while countries including Brazil, India and Turkey have opened antidumping investigations into Chinese steel, chemicals and other goods.

Beijing says such moves are protectionist and that its industries compete fairly with global rivals.