Filtering by Tag: Matthew Gross

Debunking “Brisbane City Council Ban on Townhouses and Apartments No Way To Tackle City’s Biggest Problem: Urban Sprawl”

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The following is an article recently penned by Jorge Branco and published by Domain. It is one opinion and as a property economist, I sought to express my own in contrast to it. The article Jorge wrote is in italics, my comments are made in plain text.

Brisbane City Council is on a crusade to “protect the Brisbane backyard”. In those terms, the council’s bipartisan push to ban townhouses and apartments in low-density suburbs seems almost noble.

The simple reality is that Council is in fact protecting land uses that were designed for detached housing given the relaxation and often poor outcomes that occurred during the most recent investment cycle. Council is not banning apartments and townhouses, it is simply enforcing where they can and can’t go. Some might argue from a property economics perspective that this actually creates certainty in the market place. It protects the asset values of some housing, whilst also ensuring that affordability in those low density areas does not get inflated by developers that can pay more for a site than a Mum or dad purchaser, let alone a first home buyer. I suspect you will find that many suburbs actually have a mix of low density and higher density land uses throughout.

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Interest Rates - Steady as She Goes

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So, interest rates remain on hold by the RBA at 1.50%. With an inquiry into the financial sector, it would be a very brave bank that raised interest rates at the moment. What we are now seeing is APRA growing some teeth that is supporting the muscle it used to slow investment lending and a recognition that some practices were perhaps a little too easy for some borrowers to access loans.

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This Time, It's All About You

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The latest population data has been released and it tells a very interesting story on how Australia is settling and growing. It remains a very Eastern State centric platform and with that, the challenges of how to distribute economic benefit and control economic development. This is even more apparent when consideration is actually given to the current growth profiles of each.

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RBA - A Rock and a Hard Place

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This was a link provided to us today by Goran Padezanin which highlights a recent speech given by the RBA Deputy Governor. It is not difficult to see this being a problem for some property owners that continue to leverage any equity that became available to them. Given many markets in Australia are softening in terms of volumes and prices in particular sectors, going to a principle and interest repayment structure could be problematic .

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Time to Fix The Real Issues - Stop Government Handouts for Housing

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There is in fact no real affordability problem in Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide for that matter. This perpetual drive to have the government creating more handouts is the wrong approach simply because it is putting a band aid on the wound. The real issue is how do we stop the wound from occurring in the first place. If government was serious about addressing affordability, it has to attack the problem on multiple fronts. The first is by addressing the issue of youth unemployment and underemployment.

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If Apartment Values Fall, So Will Housing ... Simultaneously

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There has been so much speculation around the apartment market and how it could impact the broader housing sector, however history tell us that this hasn't been the case in the past since 2003. The data actually demonstrates that the apartment market and housing market typically move as one, a really important consideration if you believe there will be an uplift or a fall. Often there is the expectation that every cycle is different, but that is hardly the case in property. Developers build too much on the back of confidence, they stop building and the market catches up, reaches equilibrium for a short period of time and then we over build again and hence the cycle starts all over. If it didn't, then the notion of the "property clock" would cease to exist.

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