Anyone Think House Prices Will Begin Falling?

I’m going to be contrarian
Mortgage moratoriums are over, Jobkeeper is over, Rental eviction moratoriums are over, Business rent payment deferments are over.
Rental vacancy rates in Melbourne & Sydney are at their highest in many years (Melbourne over 6%)
FOMO occurred due to the Liberal Party socialist handouts creating a false economy (while racking up both the biggest budget deficits & national debts in history). That false economy is now exposed

Evictions ramping up with worse to come, tenants groups warn

So, not sure where all this demand is coming from


  • House prices in Sydney apparently went up $50K in a month, if that answers your question.

    • This is a media inspired frenzy and they need to just shut the heck up about property prices…they are pushing this idea of property prices going up and fomo, and they are causing this bubble that will pop badly. I live in Sydney and i can tell you that most people cant afford million dollar mortgages, its all gonna come tumbling down . Politicians and the media are making Sydney unliveable.

      • House prices going up is good for:
        1) government / councils
        2) real estate agents
        3) sellers
        4) banks
        5) buyers (six months later) / Investors

        did I missed anyone?

        • 1) Government/Councils - benefits them to an extent. But higher house prices means more money tied up in mortgage/rent payments, which results in less disposable income to use elsewhere, such as local businesses.

          2) Real Estate Agents - Of course

          3) Sellers - wrong. It helps if you’re selling an investment property, but if you’re selling your primary residence then it’s redundant because you’ll be buying your new home in the same inflated market. If anything, it’s a risk to single occupiers who sell and experience a delay in getting their new home, watching the prices soar as they wait.

          4) Banks - Of course

          5) Buyers - same as for sellers. It’s only helpful for people who are buying a property that is their second or more.

          tl;dr - great for real estate agents, banks, and housing “investors”, only. For a majority of the population, the increase in house prices is a neutral thing, at best, and more likely to be quite deleterious.

          • +10 votes

            @Strahany: Good for sellers who sell out of Sydney and then move to say Cairns with a fat wallet. Knowing they have a better lifestyle and can work from anywhere.

            • @2jzzzz: Yup so True I meet a lady who just move from Mel sold for 3.3million now live in Townsville she dream beach home 750,000 pay out kids house in mel. all away want to live by beach she has big C said life too short to be lock down. husband work remotely.

          • @Strahany:

            is a neutral thing

            Never neutral at all if you're looking at buying the same or "trading up." Higher prices mean higher differentials in trading up, higher taxes, higher fees.

            Increasing house prices are good only for those who don't use them as their own housing.

          • @Strahany: PPOR buyers also participate. As we age, we generally downsize and free up capital.

          • @Strahany:

            For a majority of the population, the increase in house prices is a neutral thing, at best

            I’d say its negative, as high prices increases the cost of bother residential and commercial rents. The result of the former is felt by those that rent obviously but the latter manifests in inflations of goods and services as businesses pass that on to the consumer.

            Basically the concept of property as an investment is eroding everyone’s way of life, it’s the ultimate manifestation of human greed.

          • @Strahany: And the Construction Industry?The one PM determined to protect

          • @Strahany: 1) Governments love the higher house prices. Great stamp duty collection for the STATES, land values go up and thus LOCAL council can charge higher council rates.

          • @Strahany: I know your comment is more popular here but,
            Government make big money, from capital gain, stamp duty, etc, which is negligible from the money coming from consumer spending. People still spend, may be via CC, more for the banks again. Even with the first home loan grants ( I have noticed this usually make the house price drive up more)

            Councils rates are based on the value of the house, big winners. Every year they make more money but the service is the same.

            Sellers - House you bought year ago now, 50k more? so is the surrounding houses in the market. So you saying, just make your house goes up in value not the surrounding houses?.

            As a buyer, I want my house price to go up? who wouldn't?

            Of course there are disadvantages, but going up is what you want based on the supply, demand and the economy.

          • Builders
          • Tradies
          • Home (building and pest) inspectors
          • Mortgage brokers
          • Mortgage insurers
        • ATO……sorry you mentioned the Gov

        • 2) Up or down doesn't really matter for real estate agents: volume matters for real estate agents. The FOMO is great for them, but higher prices tend to result in lower commission rates and, in the longer term, lower volumes.

          Right now though, volumes are high and prices are high and it looks like it's a good time to be a real estate agent.

          5) needs to be split, buyers (owner occupier) and buyers (investors) are totally different, and this is related to 3) - prices going up doesn't really help owner occupier buyers or sellers, unless you're planning on existing the market - if you're buying something comparable, all it means is that your stamp duty is going to be higher, so you're marginally worse off.

        • 6) whoever owns and

          pretty sure one is murdoch, so it is unsurprising the media is happy to report massive growth yet again.

      • Not how it works. We need a major down turn to force houses to sell significantly under their current prices.

        Some developers will continue to develop more remote greenfield sites further and further away from the city. There is plenty of land out west.

        Other developers will continue to redevelop houses into apartment blocks.

        Or you can save your deposit, buy well within your budget in the outskirts, pay it off quick while waiting for capital gains then either reinvest or buy something nicer for yourself.

        If you want to redistribute wealth, lobby for reduced regulation so less responsible firms take on unreasonable risk and fail tanks prices, lobby for stupidly low thresholds for death taxes meaning children can't inherit the family home and/or lobby for increasing capital gains tax while removing all discounts.

      • No one can afford it, yet the houses are sold at record prices consistently.

        • No one can afford it, but people are materially richer than they have ever been in the history of man

      • What makes you think that media is on your side?

      • +1 vote

        It was unliveable before house prices went ballistic - but that's another story

        A deeply overrated city

      • House prices going up is currently being driven mostly by cheap money - interest rates are so low, it cost little to borrow lots (TODAY)…

    • Prior to March 31st

    • May be the case for Melb as well. My mate’s house was valued at 1M a year ago and he said it’s currently valued at 1.4M. 400k in a year during covid… that’s bonkers!

    • Media often doesn't talk about this - rents in apartments in Sydney and Melbourne have fallen by 15-20% in last one year, irrespective of the region (probably even more in CBD). In the same duration, more apartments would have come into market with finished construction and many are still under construction that will be ready in coming months/ year. Even if borders open partially, there is no way enough demand will be generated for all these apartments (for both, rent and buy). On a side note, it's good in a way for the society because our infra, schools, hospitals, parks and other facilities are simply not ready for this level of population in already congested suburbs.

      I know apartments is only one section of the market but it cannot operate in isolation - eventually this significant dip in rental yield (or lack of rental demand) will start showing some impact on whole market directly or indirectly. It's just property economics. Time will say what that impact will be but it is inevitable.

      In the context of the first home buyers' market, what's annoying is how the grants under the new schemes go almost directly into developers' pockets and buyers have hardly got any benefits. e.g. When $25k grant is announced, all developers increase the price of the same product by $25k knowing that buyers now can afford that much more. Very few buyers realize that the effect of the grant therefore gets nullified and they simply end up paying $25k more for the same property. I am wondering why govt isn't doing anything to fix this ongoing issue.

      • Re the first home grant, I think that's the real purpose or ulterior motive ie its more for construction industry benefits than for first home buyers. I read that construction industry is 10% of AU economy so they will prop it up as much as they can.

        You are right that the builders will just increase the price similar to the grant amount.
        I think similar effect will happen when NSW abolish stamp duty and change to land tax model, assuming it will happen.
        The govt says this is so that first home buyer can enter the market easier without big cost upfront, but what I suspect will happen is it will just make the price higher as buyers have more budget to spend and will ultimately benefit the sellers instead and govt via recurring yearly tax which they can keep increasing over time.
        May also benefit investors if they do flipping in short period of time hence increased speculation activities in the market.
        Yet another tool that govt can use to prop up the market even higher..

        • Builders getting screwed over by the LNP. The cost to build a home compared to 1 Year ago is between 4 to 5%

          Many builders will go under honouring their pricing.

          Price gouging, import constraints, local manufacturing can't keep up.

          • @Korban Dallas: Lol
            Please tell me how building subsidies screw over builders?

            • @Drakesy: There are material and trade shortages, can't keep up with demand.

              Downvote me all you like but it's true. No opinions here.

              Some trades have increased their rates by 30% without any warning or notice.

              Builders have to wear the cost. If you build a home now you certainly will not be getting a 25k discount.

              Have a look. It is just becoming mainstream news. Also have a look at how many stories of people counting on the grant and going back to builders and getting charged 30k or more because of price increases and they didn't sign a contract

              • @Korban Dallas:

                The cost to build a home compared to 1 Year ago is between 4 to 5%

                So this on say, an average home build price of $350k is $17,500, just under the government subsidy.
                The overall cost to the consumer hasn't risen it's just the government subsidy has been absorbed into build costs offsetting the subsidy, increasing the build price, be it trades or materials. Subsidies never have and never will work, private industry will just absorb the extra supply of money.

                Similar to allowing people to access super early to buy a house. House prices just go up by the price of super accessed, sellers win, buyers lose in a big way.

                The builder will still be making the same profit.

              • @Korban Dallas: Can confirm, there are huge trade/supply shortages at the moment, even getting timber is difficult and prices for trades keep rising due to demand.

      • The way NSW designed the whole first home buyer benefits is so poor compared to rest of the states. The only way one can get first home buyer benefits in NSW is to buy the overpriced house and land packages away from civilization. These are so overpriced and they are taken as reference for setting the price for the non fringe suburbs. I feel the moment the first home buyer benefits are normalised to be similar to rest of the states, the prices start coming down

      • re: the 25K grant, it's actually worse than this.

        If the buyer is leveraging that deposit at 80%, then it adds 125K of pressure to prices rather than 25K.

  • +32 votes

    The gov will probably open the market to foreign buyers before they let it substantially drop.

    • There is a list of tools as long as my arm they could deploy if push came to shove. Close to the top (IMO) would be releasing our $2,000,000,000,000+ pool of superannuation for use in real estate. As they effectively began last year, a hint of what's to come.

      • The one-year returns on both the Australian Shares and Overseas Shares options of my Super fund are 38-46%.

        In that context the increase in Real Estate prices is not so exciting.

        • after dropping 30% in march 2020, and to get back to where you were you'd need a 50% increase. there's a certain element of catch up with house/asset prices as it was on the way up prior to covid which was fuelled by the low interest rate and money printing everywhere

        • One year returns at the moment are pretty worthless to look at 12 months ago was peak lockdown.

          • @Krankite: I get your point, but not everyone lets their investments languish at the whim of the market, some actually actively manage their money.

        • Only 38-46%?
          Mine is hovering between 500% and 1000%.

        • i know same own house to live in other shares for me

        • What fund and option was that?

    • Wait, foreign buyers aren't already pushing up prices?

    • Agree, this is my rationale to holding investment residential real estate
      The government have levers to pull and push
      - lowering interest rates
      - subsidies / cash hand outs for home buyers
      - loosening overseas investor rules

      All of these are more palatable politically than watching house prices drop

    • Yep, the government and their mates have too much skin in the game to let it fall.

  • no side of politics wants to own the inevitable crash

    things are getting crazy out there. We've been to a couple of open homes for our 2nd home lately, heaps of buyers, contracts same day, agents want signed contracts and best offers on a weekend, without even making sure finance is sorted and contract is looked over by the solicitor/conveyancer and building&pest inspection done!

    to be honest I'm actually hoping things in our area go to auction instead of this backyard closed auction scam the agents are running… at least you know what is going on then.

  • +45 votes

    Seems like a bubble building in the property market but I have thought that for 20 years and it still hasn't burst.

    • Ditto.
      But there are 2 points I would make:-

      1. The primary driver for teal estate prices is interest rates
      2. Nobody, absolutely nobody, could have predicted interest rates as low as they currently are. Interest rates are lower that they have ever been in human history.

      So now with RBA official rates at 0.1% there isn't much scope for rates to fall further. It is possible but probably unlikely. Inflation appears to be slowly coming back to life and that also reduces the chances of further interest rate cuts.

      Wait until interest rates start to go up (and they absolutely positively will go up some day) and then watch RE prices drop.

      • Plenty of people myself included predicted interest rates would first go to zero then get stuck there. It happened in Japan, it was happening in Europe, it seemed to happen whenever a country reached a certain stage of economic maturity.

        Just the RBA thought it'd never happen.

        • Correct. Governments can't afford higher rates. If rates go up so will taxes. Increase in taxes work like interest rates. People will get caught out.

          • @netjock:

            Governments can't afford higher rates

            But they don't have a choice.
            If the markets demand a greater return then that's the way it is. Look at US 10 year Treasuries. Sure the Fed can print more FIAT to prop them up but ultimately that debases the currency and makes the situation worse.

        • Plenty of people myself included predicted interest rates would first go to zero

          20 years ago you and others made that prediction? I'd be extremely surprised if that were the case.

          • @Bystander: Twenty years ago I predicted interest rates would be sustained below the very long run average of capitalism (about 2.5% real) by about now, though I didn't foresee how extremely low they would become. I made my prediction as part of a critique of the folly of Australian superannuation policy.

            The reasons were plain for all too see - the demographic transition (ie population growth slowing worldwide, with population aging in all rich countries) combined with economic convergence (ie some big third world countries become rich) combined with a slower underlying rate of technological change all lead to a massive capital glut (or, equivalently, a shortage of good income-earning investments). When there's a glut of something its price drops, and the price of capital is the interest rate it generates.

            In these cirumstances some of Karl Marx's analytical points become true for the first time. As Piketty spent a very thick book pointing out. I dunno that either Marx's or Piketty's suggested solutions will work, though.

        • Im no economist but apparently huge growth will push interest rates up. Has Australia plateaued? Dunno, but seems like a tough sell doesnt it

      • Yes I think around 2023/24 we should see some drops

      • RBA says interest rates staying put for 3 years, so its going to be a solid wait and continual boom till 2024

  • Scomo will come up with new trick to keep it going up further

    • They have already flagged the next move is to allow people to use superannuation savings to keep inflating prices.

  • I’m going to be contrarian

    Ok, you do that and I'm going to be an Apache attack helicopter

  • They won’t fall. Might stabilise.

    • Depends, if there is a strong economic recovery post COVID (not meaning Australia necessarily), the subsequent demand for capital will see interest rates rise.
      Those who have borrowed to the maximum allowed may be pushed to default.
      I have it on good authority that one of the big 4 has revised upper limits of mortgages down to a max of 90% of purchase price, where they had been exceeding that until recently.
      Defaults in sufficient numbers can exert downward pressure on localised prices.

    • Yep basically the bottom end of the market will never go down. The mid range market might dip a little though.

  • +49 votes

    So long as politicians have large property portfolios they will do everything in their power to ensure the price does not go down.

    • Strongest argument against falling prices put forward yet
      FYI, LNP pollies individually hold more investment properties on average than those from One Nation, Greens & Labor

      • Not surprising really.

      • FFS this isn't reddit. Ease up on the LNP instahate.

        • But they make it so easy.

        • What did he say that was incorrect?

          • @RecklessMonkeys: nothing incorrect, but the reality is ALL pollies cash in on this, it doesn't matter which party is in power they all feather the pollies nest so trying to pretend this is an LNP problem is just pathetic, none of the parties have done anything to rectify the problem, they all just provide policies that they think pander to their own voting base.

            • @gromit: I don't want to get into defending any political party… but -
              Labor went to an election trying to address the issues and lost to a scare campaign.
              Have a look at the declared investment properties of politicians. Last time I looked it was dominated by LNP.

              • @RecklessMonkeys: Labor did not try to address the issue at all, all they did was pander to their voters, not even labor believe just turning NG off is a smart idea. Labor were just hunting for ideas to attack the LNP, unfortunately for them they also isolated a large chunk of their own base with their ideas.

                • @gromit: Fixing NG was their policy. I agree with you that to some extent some of their base felt they'd be missing out. In my opinion this was part of the scare campaign, as it actually makes housing more expensive by sucking people in to flipping houses.

                  • @RecklessMonkeys: Unlike traditional scare campaigns like Medicare, their was at least an element of truth to this one. Labors changes would absolutely disadvantage mom and dad investors the most as they would need to carry forward their losses, where larger investors would not be hurt as they would have other investments to offsets the losses against or could afford to carry the losses forward. So really the NG changes hurt the small investors the most. NG needs some change, but it needs some very carefully thought out change not the bull in a china shop approach that Labor proposed.

                    • @gromit: From memory, wasn't it going to be grandfathered and phased in?
                      Agree that any changes must be senstive to genuinely small investors.
                      The thing is, we had a large segment locked out of buying their first home, let alone an investment property.

                      Barry O'Sullivan from the Nationals had 30+ investment properties. That's 30 examples of why NG should be reformed, as it was not it's intended purpose. That wealth could otherwise have been spread to 30 families,and the prices would be lower because supply and demand would be better matched.

                • @gromit: So they did try and address the issue… What we really need is a land tax so people aren't sitting on empty properties and are encouraged to downsize.

                  • @saltysalt: No they tried to pander to voters with poorly thought out policy that would just make the problem worse. yes I agree Land tax on empty properties would be an interesting idea.

              • @RecklessMonkeys: Perhaps you should have looked harder. From The Guardian less than 2 years ago:
                "Twenty-nine lower house Coalition MPs have declared interests in a total of 49 investment properties, compared with 26 Labor MPs, who declared 40 properties."

                • @Rescue 26: I saw that. It's dated after the May 2019 election.
                  LNP went to the election arguing for NG, Labor Against.
                  Those that stood to gain the most had a conflict of interest if they were for NG.

                  I never said Labor politicians didn't own property.

                  From your reference -
                  "Karen Andrews, a Queensland LNP politician, declared five investment properties, the most of any lower house MP."

                  That was August 2019, after the election.
                  She still has them by the look of it.
                  Do you think she is more or less likely to kill off NG?

                  All politicians should be required to divest, IMO.

        • Boohoo…

    • Unless they are cashed up and ready to buy.

    • Henry Tax review recommended in 2010 for progressive Land Value Tax and replace stamp duty. Discourage speculation and encourage house mobility. Yet nothing has come out of that.

      Also Australia has a huge NIMBY problem, someone has start smashing down the houses that are 5 minutes from the CBD in Sydney.

  • Depends.

    • Economy manipulated to have a positive growth quarter to look we are not in a depression.
    • Employment figure manipulated to not look too high.
    • Hand down a budget to pad themselves on the back.
    • Election.

    If Liberal miraculously wins again, the bubble will get bigger. Labor can't do f all.

    If Labor takes over, the mortgage bubble will burst. A correction will be described by Liberal as Labor not a good economic manager.

    Why? Cuz we are living in a bubble. We see everything outside through distorted lenses.

    • Thankfully i think we'll revert back to a recession again by Q4 2021, just in time for the election.
      There's no way that the economy has grown since covid. It's all funny money, next stop is the inevitable inflation and interest rate hikes which will push the limit of their mortgage.

      • It's all funny money

        haven't you heard; it's called Modern Monetary Theory

        apparently governments never need to worry about debt because they make the money in the first place! 😏

        i wish i could /s but that's a genuine simplification of what our overlords actually believe now

        the LNP were dead against it during the GFC when the ALP spent all the surplus and wayne swan won an economics award for doing so

        now the LNP seem to be big fans as well

        as usual the economists are experimenting on us all 🐭🐹

        i wish i had my own money machine 🤔