Tax loss time for property investors to test market

Tax loss time for property investors to test market
Tax loss time for property investors to test market

Do house prices always double every decade? I ponder the well versed notion every time I compare the latest price with its earlier sale.

Sydney's most affordable weekend auction acquisition was a hefty $502,500 for a three bedroom house at Windsor, in the Hawkesbury district.

Having traded at $255,000 in 2008, its price had nearly doubled over its nine year ownership, so mark that result to yes they can.

It had traded at $257,000 in 2005, showing that prices can fall too, albeit not quite off a cliff.

And it was interesting that the cottage's price had exactly doubled in amazing quick time from $110,000 in 2000 to $220,000 in boom time 2003.

These differing price surges nicely illustrate recent CoreLogic research calculating the current boom was actually subdued compared to previous times.

Over the 10 years to January 2016, Sydney home values increased by a total 78 percent - somewhat short of the so-called benchmark doubling over the decade.  

Sitting smack on 100 percent, Melbourne was the only capital city housing market where home values doubled over the decade.

Looking at the 10 years to January 2006, Sydney home values more than doubled but the 138 per cent growth was the lowest performing capital as the 2004 price reversal hit hard.

Melbourne recorded home value growth at 167 per cent, with Perth out front with 175 percent growth in that decade.

There are lessons to be learnt from what’s happened to Perth where property valuer Gavin Heaney recently recalled boom time Western Australia thought it was "infallible."

“They say in the top end of Perth on a quiet day you can hear the property values falling,” a jocular Hegney was cited by www.news.com.au as saying last month.

Some years on after the end of the mining boom, Perth is still on its knees with financial counsellors in demand with people neck-deep in debt coming to them for advice. 

People who were earning high incomes during the mining boom are now struggling to get work and pay their mortgages.

With little wage growth and eratic economic uncertainty, it is likely that even for Sydney there are limits to what people can pay for housing.

It seems Sydney is starting to see common sense and wise economics as we move through the latter stages of the autumn auction market. 

Those many consecutive weekends of 80 percent clearance rates might be a thing of the past.

Meanwhile property investors who paid reckless prices will soon emerge as tax loss selling usually begins in May before the end of the financial year.

I will be watching for how deep they go as this is when investors crystallise capital losses.

The proportion of loss-making resales over the December 2016 quarter sat at 21 percent in Perth, while Sydney saw fewer than 2 percent resale losses.

This article first appeared in the Daily Telegraph. 

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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House Prices Dwelling Values

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