Sunday 15 Jan, 2012
While the real estate lobby groups put on a brave face and shower us with news of a recovery (0.1% increase in property prices in November), surging rents, housing shortages, tight rental vacancy rates and that it is never a better time to buy – you will get in at the bottom of the market, there are signs something is not quite right in property land here in the lucky country.
The Herald Sun reported yesterday on a rental glut in Western Melbourne. This rental glut has left almost 1,000 new homes sitting empty (housing shortage) and has seen the rental vacancy rate surge to 22 percent (extremely tight rental market). New four bedroom, two bathroom homes are now renting for $275/week (surging rents) as landlords fight with each other to secure tenants and an income. If they can’t find tenants, holding costs are likely to send these investors to the wall very shortly.
The Weekend Australian Financial Review reported yesterday “The housing market on the edges of Australia’s major cities is showing signs of significant distress as banks increasingly refuse to lend against sale price valuations in a falling market.” Valuations in many new suburbs have fallen 15 percent last year. According to the article, the problem is most severe in Melbourne with Dennis Family Homes CEO Peter Levinge saying “Banks have tightened up on their finance requirements, part of which is valuation, and we are noticing a higher level or cancellations than 12 months ago due to finance issues.” Dennis Family Homes is one of the biggest developers in Melbourne’s west and says about 25 percent of buyers are walking away from contracts, up from about 10 percent a year ago.