All quiet before the storm

By webmaster

Finally, after weeks of hearing nothing but election talk, the nation goes to the polls tomorrow.

While both Gillard and Abbott have been pushing their agenda across a range of issues, they’ve stayed well clear of engaging in debate concerning the current state of the housing market and their grand plans for fighting affordability and making home ownership a reality for more Australians.

Only today did the Coalition finally step forward with its “Plan for Real Housing”.

Both the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) and Housing Industry Association (HIA) have welcomed the release of the coalition’s positioning after criticising the major campaigning parties for failing to acknowledge housing throughout the election campaign.

“The REIA supports the Coalition’s proposal to encourage states, territories and local government to release land, cut red tape, improve planning processes and reduce charges,” REIA president David Airey said yesterday.

Under the Coalition’s plans, states and territories would have to set targets for land release and dwelling approvals and would risk missing out on federal funding if targets were not met.

Home buying activity has all but come to a halt, with housing finance activity slowing and property listings on the wane.

According to RP Data’s Market Activity Index, published yesterday, the number of newly listed advertising properties is now 1.9 per cent below the 12 month average, while total listings are 4.4 per cent below average.

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) credit aggregates reveal housing credit growth has now been on a downward trend for 12 consecutive months.

But all of that should soon change, once the weekend of August 21 finally passes us by.

History shows that buying and selling activity traditionally slows prior to any federal election.

This year, however, Australians have been particularly tentative with their borrowing plans, as a result of speculation that the banks are planning to hike interest rates as soon as the election passes.

What awaits us in the property market we’ll just have to wait and see. While a rush to the market is unlikely, commentators are expecting buyers and sellers to gradually return

“With the spring selling season just around the corner we may witness an increase in the [RP Data Market Activity] Index over coming weeks,” RP Data said.

Furthermore, once the banks have revealed where they stand on interest rates, buyers waiting on the sidelines will be ready to make their move.

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