Talk of a crash in the Australian property triggers sentiment shift to wiser investment places: Shane Oliver

Talk of a crash in the Australian property triggers sentiment shift to wiser investment places: Shane Oliver
Talk of a crash in the Australian property triggers sentiment shift to wiser investment places: Shane Oliver

GUEST OBSERVER

Consumer confidence slipped 2.2 percent in March seeing it continue to lag behind business confidence which is a bit more upbeat.

Both consumer and business confidence are around their long term averages though.

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Talk of a crash in the Australian property triggers sentiment shift to wiser investment places: Shane Oliver

Source: NAB, Westpac/MI, AMP Capital

Interestingly, all the talk of a crash in the Australian property market looks to have led to a sharp fall in the proportion of Australian’s nominating real estate as the wisest place for savings. It fell from 23.4% in December to 14.7% in March. With interest in shares also falling slightly and superannuation remaining low this saw a renewed spike in interest in bank deposits and paying down debt.

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Talk of a crash in the Australian property triggers sentiment shift to wiser investment places: Shane Oliver

Source: Westpac/MI, AMP Capital

Housing finance fell a greater than expected 3.4% in January with both finance to investors and particularly owner occupiers falling. The loss of momentum in lending to investors tells us that the APRA measures continue to impact and would probably be welcome by them and the RBA. The slowing in lending to owner occupiers may be more of an issue, but it’s dangerous to read too much into one month’s data. Nevertheless it is consistent with slower growth in housing related debt this year which in turn will likely see slower gains in Sydney and Melbourne property prices compared to last year.

Today’s consumer confidence and housing finance data while soft is unlikely to be enough to prompt the RBA to act on its easing bias just yet.

SHANE OLIVER is head of investment strategy and economics and chief economist at AMP Capital and is responsible for AMP Capital's diversified investment funds.

Tags: 
Housing Finance Spending

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