Market Report March 2017

By Ian Campbell

Market Update

Sydney property prices continue to surge upwards, with high auction clearance rates and strong demand fuelling the market.

“The housing markets in Sydney and Melbourne continue to defy belief,” National Australia Bank chief economist Alan Oster told Fairfax media recently.

Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) chairman Wayne Byres is among a growing group of analysts who think the country’s housing market is in an environment of “heightened risk”.

“House prices are high and particularly in this one (Sydney) they’re rapidly rising,” he told Fairfax media. “If everyone is not careful the risks are going to rise,” he said.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Chairman Greg Medcraft  fears  a  property “bubble” and says ASIC and APRA are working together to mitigate the risks of a hot property market.

Interest Rate Rise

The recent rate rise by the four big banks and several smaller competitors has left many wondering whether there will be more.  Increased wholesale lending costs are being blamed by the banks for the rise which hit investment loans the most.

Meanwhile, regulators are preparing to impose a fresh wave of constraints on the banks to slow investor lending growth. They are also planning to crack down on interest-only loans and force buyers to come up with more equity in property, according to a recent Financial Review report.

In this climate of increased interest rates and more challenging loan conditions, we advise speaking with our Loan Market representative Gary Phillips on 0413 100 302 to consider your best finance options.

Airbnb Disaster

While a parliamentary inquiry into Airbnb is due to report in April, one Sydney actor certainly won’t be renting her Redfern designer warehouse again on the short-term letting site.

Emma Lung was “cleaned out” by thieves who “took everything” a friend of the Wonderland star told the Sydney Morning Herald’s PS column recently.

“Family heirlooms, even her identity,” the friend said. “It was all stolen. It has been a complete nightmare for her.”

Emma and her director husband Henry Zalapa had rented out their million-dollar-plus home while abroad. She believes organised criminals were involved due to a lack of fingerprints or even a single human hair.

“She will never put her place on Airbnb again,” the friend said.

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