This Week in Real Estate – 2nd June 2023


 Migrants Not Cause Of Crisis

Stopping international migration to Australia may not be the easy fix to the housing crisis, many suggest.

Senator Malcom Roberts of One Nation told a recent public meeting on the Gold Coast that he believes it is the best solution.

“More than 150,000 Queensland houses are already under housing stress. The government cannot open the floodgates to this record amount of new arrivals that will drive rents and house prices higher,” he says.

The housing crisis actually started during the height of the Covid 19 pandemic when Australia’s international borders were completely shut.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the problem may lay in part with the reduction in the number of people living under one roof.

Its figures show the average household size fell dramatically during the period of pandemic border restrictions.

Many people changed the way they lived, which meant fewer people under one roof, meaning thousands of more homes were needed to accommodate the existing population.


 Search Begins For New GC Arena

The majority of Gold Coast city councillors are behind a push for an indoor stadium for the region.

Eleven councilors joined Mayor Tom Tate at a full council meeting last week to recommend that potential sites be explored for the stadium.

Gold Coast City CEO Tim Baker will conduct the first stage of a market engagement process for the potential project.

In support of the proposal, Councillor Glenn Tozer told the chamber it was good to embark on a “market-led process”.

He says the stadium could accommodate between 8000 to 12,000 fans for sporting and music events.

Mayor Tate says he hopes any stadium that is developed will be suitable to be used for various events for at least 40 weeks of the year.

Leading entertainment promotor Harvey Lister has previously said while an indoor stadium is needed for the Gold Coast, the best option is to upgrade the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre rather than a build a new facility.


 Quote Of The Week

“If we care about housing affordability and having a city that better meets the housing needs of its population, we need a planning and approvals system that is easier for home builders to interact with, rather than one that is complex, expensive and corruption prone.”

Tony Richards, Former Reserve Bank of Australia Economist


Auction Market On Fire

The auction market is on fire with clearance rates continuing to rise hitting the highest levels since November 2021.

The latest CoreLogic figures show a national auction clearance rate last week of 75.9%.

Adelaide once again recorded Australia’s highest clearance rate of 81.8%, followed by Sydney, 78.5%.

Melbourne’s clearance rate was 77.1%, Canberra was 67.8% and Brisbane, 60.3%.

Rising clearance rates come at a time of rising house prices with CoreLogic showing values have increased 3% for the combined capital cities since the start of February.

SQM Research managing director, Louis Christopher, says both investors and first- home buyers are active in the market, although all buyers are keeping an eye on the RBA and what it will do with interest rates.

“If the RBA were to lift rates again next week that could pause the market, it could create the false dawn in the market that we’ve been a little cautious about for the year,” he says.


Westpac Eases Lending Buffer

The big banks are easing back on their “mortgage wars” and calling time on big incentives for new customers.

But while cash back will no longer be on offer, one major lender, Westpac, is offering another carrot to those refinancing by easing its serviceability buffer to just 1% for borrowers with good credit histories.

Currently APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) requires banks to include a 3% buffer when assessing a borrower’s capacity to repay.

The buffer is in place to ensure that borrowers can meet increased payments through rate rises, although APRA has said there can be “exceptional cases where borrowers do not fit the standard approval process”.

It says in these circumstances its standards don’t stop banks from lending to those borrowers.

APRA will continue to closely monitor economic conditions and says: “Should risks to financial stability change, APRA will adjust its macroprudential policy settings accordingly after careful consideration and consultation with other agencies on the Council of Financial Regulators.“


Housing Crisis Blamed On Council

Council zoning and red tape coupled with vocal “not in my backyard” agitators have effectively resulted in 1.3 million fewer homes being built in the past 20 years, according to new analysis.

The report, by former Reserve Bank of Australia economist Tony Richards, says housing supply has expanded at just 4.5% ahead of population growth over the 20 years to 2021.

This compared with a rate of 17% above the population growth in the previous 20 years.

He says approval powers may need to be removed from local councils to facilitate the building of more homes.

He suggests medium-density homes which make better use of land that is already zoned residential could be effective.

“If we care about housing affordability and having a city that better meets the housing needs of its population, we need a planning and approvals system that is easier for home builders to interact with, rather than one that is complex, expensive and corruption-prone.”














Continue Reading.

Want the latest Niecon News?

Subscribe to our newsletter for news and property market updates.