Finance advice

Rate rises will lead to ‘major adjustment’ in housing market: Westpac

By James Mitchell
Housing market, rate rises, house rates, investing, investment, Westpac

Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans predicts that if the RBA lifts the cash rate, the housing market will change severely.

Mr Evans is one of the few to forecast that rates are to remain on hold for at least a year. The Westpac chief economist can’t see a rate hike next year, nor in 2019, as the Reserve Bank struggles to achieve its inflation target.

ANZ has tipped two rate hikes next year and NAB believes that the RBA will lift rates by 25 basis points in August and by the same amount again in November. NAB is confident that the cash rate will be lifted by a further 50 basis points in 2019.

This would mean a 2 per cent increase to the current cash rate (1.5 per cent), taking it to what the Reserve Bank has called its “neutral” rate of 3.5 per cent.

According to Mr Evans, if this happens, the real estate market will be in major trouble.

“The RBA believes neutral is 3.5 per cent,” Mr Evans told brokers at a Loan Market lunch in Sydney on Friday (20 October). “That is 200 basis points from where we are today.

“The day they start to raise rates will be very, very damaging. I’m giving you comfort by saying I don’t think it will happen in 2018 or 2019.

“But all the other experts are saying, and the market is saying, that they will. If it does happen, there is going to be a pretty major adjustment in the market. As we saw in Canada.”

House price growth has collapsed in Canada since its central bank raised rates by 50 basis points this year. The monetary policy tightening comes as Canadian banking regulators introduced further macro-prudential measures on lenders.

Mr Evans fears that the Reserve Bank of Australia has no room left to cut rates if the market turns, particularly as rate cuts have historically been used as a lever to stimulate the property market.

The Westpac economist outlined how the central bank “rescued” real estate with rate cuts after prices fell in 2008. This boosted inflation. Rates were then raised, at which point prices in Sydney fell again in 2011. Rates were cut to 2 per cent in 2015, which rejuvenated the market.

“Every time house prices have fallen, the central bank has come to the rescue and cut rates to get prices moving again,” Mr Evans said.

In 2015, the six-month annualised house price growth in Sydney peaked at 25 per cent.

“That’s when the regulator got nervous and said to the banks they can only grow investment book by 10 per cent.

“House price inflation in Sydney collapsed. In May, the RBA cut rates again. They cut again in August and we saw house price inflation take off.”

The chief economist said that this last rate cut made APRA “livid”. Further lending curbs were introduced in March, this time on interest-only mortgages.

Now house price growth in Sydney is trending down.

Mr Evans said: “The worry this time around is rates are at 1.5 per cent. They will not cut rates again. What we don’t know is how the market will evolve when the Reserve Bank is not there to bail you out.

“That presents a big challenge.”

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  ["title"]=>
  string(51) "Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(55) "boost-for-investors-as-new-app-sets-up-off-site-bidding"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(144) "

Property investors are now able to identify and bid on auctions remotely using a new live-streaming functionality launched by Gavl.

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Called “Request an Auction”, the new functionality enables users to watch and bid on any Sydney or Melbourne auction remotely.

Through Gavl, prospective buyers are now able to register to bid on their preferred auction. The platform will obtain permission from the listing agent and confirm within 48 hours.

Vendors can also request to have their auctions broadcast to a larger buyer audience.

Co-founder Joel Smith said that auctions streamed on Gavl attract 47 per cent more viewers than traditional ones.

He said that Request an Auction will be valuable for remote buyers.

“Buyers are able to have Gavl attend any auction they nominate, so they will never have to miss out on an opportunity due to logistical complications in physically attending the auction.

“Vendors, too, have the opportunity to directly book an auction with us, so they can open up their event to buyers all around the world. With more potential buyers, they’re giving their property the chance to receive more bids and maximise their sales result.”

Mr Smith said that prior to the Request an Auction app, buyers were limited to what they could achieve through the Gavl technology.

Gavl is a live-streaming and bidding platform for real estate auctions.

Mr Smith said that it has streamed more than 6,000 auctions, which have achieved 3.5 million views from 50 countries.

Gavl’s Request an Auction function is currently being offered in Melbourne and Sydney only.

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Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding
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Having to split her time between Hong Kong and her original base of Sydney has not slowed Julia Tita’s goal of building a high-performance Australian property portfolio. Instead the resulting alterations to her strategy have positively impacted her investing success.

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Having recently purchased her 6th property, Julia joins host Tim Neary to discuss her journey, share her ups and downs over the years, and reveal her thoughts on why some properties are better than others.

Julia also explains why she no longer makes a move without the help of a buyer’s agent, why working with a strong team of specialists is extremely important and discloses her long-term property ambitions.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

Why is Australian property so unaffordable?
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Going global
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AREAS MENTIONED:

Eagleby
Charters Towers
Townsville
Brisbane
Paddington
Sydney
Orange
Melbourne 
Glen Iris
Bondi

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["secure"]=> int(0) ["page_description"]=> string(11) "sample desc" ["page_rights"]=> NULL ["robots"]=> NULL ["access-view"]=> bool(true) } ["initialized":protected]=> bool(true) ["separator"]=> string(1) "." } ["displayDate"]=> string(19) "2018-06-18 03:15:56" ["slug"]=> string(72) "18171:how-a-move-to-hong-kong-impacted-julia-s-australian-property-goals" ["catslug"]=> string(28) "45:smart-property-investment" ["link"]=> string(92) "/investor-stories-1/18171-how-a-move-to-hong-kong-impacted-julia-s-australian-property-goals" }
How a move to Hong Kong impacted Julia’s Australian property goals
object(stdClass)#1215 (52) {
  ["id"]=>
  string(5) "18159"
  ["title"]=>
  string(88) "‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(82) "common-referrer-practice-of-being-paid-on-both-sides-of-the-fence-coming-to-an-end"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(246) "

The practice of property investment firms sharing undisclosed kickbacks among the supply chain involved in development sales will be outlawed in NSW on 1 July this year under the Real Estate Reform being handed down by regulators in NSW.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2238) "

Property commentator and valuer, Suburbanite’s Anna Porter, said the reform will address conflicts of interest.

She said they arise when a mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner receives part of the commission from the property firm, who receive their fees from the developer or seller.

“This puts the broker into a position by which they are being paid on both sides of the fence,” she said.

“Until now this has been a grey area and there was nothing stopping this practice.” 

Ms Porter said this has been a common practice in the industry.

"Some well-known mortgage broking firms openly admit to receiving $5,000–$10,000 per referral in their pocket.”

She also said this process has been going on for decades.

"Property investment firms commonly pass some of their commission on to the mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner as a reward to them for passing on the referral. This means that many brokers or financial service providers are making significant amounts of money just to refer on to a property firm, often totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars a year," Anna Porter said.

Ms Porter said the Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Property Industry Reform) Bill 2017 will be in force from July this year, and will prohibit this practice unless the broker or referring partner also holds a real estate industry license.

"Under the new laws, if the broker takes a referral fee from the property firm, they will have to be a licensed real estate agent and also hold a corporation’s license,” she said. 

“Subsequently, every transaction that they receive a referral fee from, they will be putting their license up against the transaction and taking full liability for the conduct, practices and outcome of that transaction, even if they have little to do with the transaction; they are a party to it financially and therefore take as much risk as everyone else in the transaction.”

Mr Porter said where a referrer holds a real estate license, and receives a part of the sale commission, they may find themselves in breach of the ethical requirements under the act.

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‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end

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