Bloomberg News

Australian Housing Woes Unlikely to Abate Within Year, NAB Says

July 11, 2012

Australian home prices are expected to fall 0.7 percent in the year to June 30, 2013, as concerns about employment weigh on potential buyers, a National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB) survey showed.

Home prices across the country fell 2 percent in the three months ended June 30, with the biggest declines in Victoria and New South Wales states, the bank said in an e-mailed report today. Prices will decline a further 1.5 percent by December, before rising 1 percent by June 2014, the survey of about 300 real estate agents, developers, property owners and asset managers, showed.

Home loan approvals unexpectedly fell 1.2 percent in May from April, as potential borrowers remained cautious amid lingering global economic uncertainty, even after 125 basis points of interest-rate cuts by the central bank since October 2011. Jobs advertised in newspapers and on the Internet dropped 1.2 percent in June from May, the third straight month of declines, as Europe’s fiscal crisis kept companies from hiring, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) said this week.

Rents are forecast to rise by 2.2 percent across Australia by June 2013, slower than the 2.9 percent increase expected previously, according to the report.

A separate report showed sales of residential land rose 6.8 percent in the three months to March 31, an “encouraging” improvement, according to a report by the Housing Industry Association and researcher RP Data.

“However, the overall level of sales remains low in an historical context,” HIA Senior Economist Andrew Harvey wrote in the report. “The prolonged period of weak land sales doesn’t provide any confidence that a recovery is on the near horizon.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Nichola Saminather in Sydney at nsaminather1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net


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