Will the RBA governor go out with a bang?

Will the RBA governor go out with a bang?

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That’s the big question that many are thinking with his current running commentaries on the Australian economy – but will he tee – off on exactly what are the major problems facing our economy? I hope he does with his ten-year term expiring on 17 September having taken over as the Head Teller back on September 18, 2006. Interesting to note that over that time he has left the cash rate alone on sixty-seven (67) occasions, cut the cash rate on twelve (12) occasions and increased the cash rate on six (6) occasions. Surprising how time flies when you’re having fun as the last cash rate increase was back on November 3, 2011 so in essence he has spent his last term as Head Teller cutting the cash rate.

One really could not blame him for cutting the cash rate this month to a record low of 1.50 per cent – “whilst prospects for growth were positive, there was room for stronger growth, which could be assisted by lower interest rates.” It is irresponsible to use last week’s record Sydney clearance rates as a consequence for the latest rate cut as this was always going to happen and I will get to that a little later. A big problem is the Wage Price Index where seasonally adjusted, private sector wages grew 0.5 per cent and public sector wages grew 0.6 per cent in the June quarter 2016. On an annual basis that equates to private sector wages growing 2.0 per cent and public sector wages growing 2.4 per cent annually. Trying to create and then increase consumption has been the biggest challenge for central banks globally. On the other hand, controlling property prices can be achieved although this task is beyond the control of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) which may explain why Glenn Stevens appears an angry man.

HMASsydney

BUY PRINT

As I wrote last week, Blame the Governments for high property prices maybe somebody might like to explain why the latest Australia Bureau of Statistics survey reveals that last year 93,000 Australians moved overseas in the last twelve months, which is four times the average. Fifty per cent were in the 25 to 35-year-old category which is a telling statistic. According to the latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey that was recently released by the Melbourne Institute, home ownership rates among those aged 25 to 34 years fell from 39 per cent in 2002 to 29 per cent in 2014. Home values are increasing and banking regulations are demanding twenty (20) per cent deposits which highlights the dilemma facing young Australians. The writings have been on the wall now for decades and sad to say our elected politicians have done nothing to address these problems.

Housing Affordability 1

The March quarter for 2016, the Sydney median house price dropped 1.5 per cent to $995,804, while the Sydney apartment median price fell 0.7 per cent to $656,166. I would expect that both reversed that trend in the June quarter by heading back to positive territory. Over the past five years house prices have jumped almost fifty (50) per cent.

In search of answers I found this remarkable report by Professor Frank Stilwell, School of Economics and Political Science, University of Sydney. Submissions to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into First Home Ownership. This report looks at Sydney and NSW country property prices from 1986 to 2003 where property prices then rose nearly fivefold in Sydney and threefold for the rest of NSW.

Please make a point of reading the Executive Summary as this is a mirror image of what then happened over the next decade from 2006 to 2016.

“Average wages have not increased in line with inflation in land and housing. Consequently, housing affordability has declined sharply: a typical house in Sydney cost just under 4 years of average earnings in 1986, while in 2003 it cost over 12 years’ worth of earnings.”

“It is only by addressing these issues of tax reform that the pressures causing a crisis of affordability for many aspiring first home buyers can be resolved.” Yes, politicians and tax reform – as we saw at the last federal election they are petrified of those two words – tax reform.

NSW Listings

I’ve lost count how many times I have written about why Sydney property markets are recording declines in stock numbers which drives prices higher. Back to the Executive Summary for an explanation.

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“Stamp duty has become a fundamentally important source of State revenue and could not be reduced unless an alternative revenue source was found. That alternative could be land tax. Although less in the political spotlight, land taxation and interaction with the housing market could hold an important key to resolving the housing affordability crisis.”

This submission was prepared thirteen years ago and nothing has been done although Sydney house prices since that submission would have increased on average another three, four and five times depending on the area.

Little wonder first home buyers are leaving and no longer refer to Australia as being the “lucky country.” More importantly when are our politicians going to listen and act – or possibly understanding what needs to be done is too hard for them to fathom.

If parliamentary pensions could be docked for inactivity they would all be listening and acting. When Glenn Stevens delivers his final speech he must shoot from the hip and take no prisoners.

MOSMAN – 2088

Number of houses on the market this time last year – 53

Number of houses on the market last week – 51

Number of houses on the market this week – 52

Number of apartments on the market this time last year – 41

Number of apartments on the market last week – 44

Number of apartments on the market this week – 45

CREMORNE – 2090

Number of houses on the market this time last year – 2

Number of houses on the market last week – 10

Number of houses on the market this week – 10

Number of apartments on the market this time last year – 15

Number of apartments on the market last week – 16

Number of apartments on the market this week – 14

NEUTRAL BAY – 2089

Number of houses on the market this time last year – 4

Number of houses on the market last week – 8

Number of houses on the market this week – 10

Number of apartments on the market this time last year – 25

Number of apartments on the market last week – 20

Number of apartments on the market this week – 21

For this week’s sales in Cremorne real estate, Cremorne Point real estate, Mosman real estate, Beauty Point real estate, Clifton Gardens real estate, Balmoral real estate, Neutral Bay real estate, Cammeray real estate.

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Source: pricefinder

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