Twitter debate fires up (and old rivalries renewed) over whether Australian housing market has bottomed out

Twitter debate fires up (and old rivalries renewed) over whether Australian housing market has bottomed out
Twitter debate fires up (and old rivalries renewed) over whether Australian housing market has bottomed out

Usually dry ABS housing data has fired up debate and accusations among old property data commentary adversaries.

First came the ABS data this morning, showing a 0.5% improvement in capital city house prices and a big upward revision of March quarter data (a 0.1% decline nationally rather than a 1.1% decline) suggesting the market was flat rather than falling in the first three months of the year.

Not one to hold back on his opinions, Rismark economist Christopher Joye (@cjoye) was quick to tweet about the ramifications of the June quarter figures and March revisions:

joyetweet

Joye linked through to his second column in the Australian Financial Review, hitting out at regular sparring partners the University of Western Sydney’s Professor Steve Keen and SQM Research director Louis Christopher and suggesting the trough in the market may have been reached in the March quarter.

"The ABS reports that national house prices rose 0.5% in the June quarter, in contrast to claims from the likes of Louis Christopher and Steve Keen that prices were still deflating... importantly, the ABS findings correlate with similarly positive results supplied by both RP Data-Rismark and APM, albeit that there are some timing differentials between the benchmarks. The ABS’s more optimistic analysis implies that the trough in the Aussie housing cycle was realised in the first quarter of 2012, subsequent to which home values started accreting again," wrote Joye in the AFR.

Matthew Bell (@MatthewBellau), national research manager for residential at developer Stockland was quick to respond to Joye, tweeting a few minutes later speculating about the bottom of the market.

matthewtweet

Joye responded:

joyetweet2

However, Joye’s contention that “ABS findings correlate with similarly positive results supplied by both RP Data-Rismark and APM” raised questions from Bell and Louis Christopher (@LouiChristopher).

RP Data-Rismark had capital city house prices down 1.4% in the June quarter (though rising in the months of June and July), while APM was in line with the ABS over the June quarter, recording a 0.4% gain.

This apparent contradiction was picked up by Bell in an earlier tweet to SQM’s Louis Christopher.

matthewtweet2

 To which Christopher replied:

 louisetweet

And Bell questioned Joye about "timing issues" between RP Data and the ABS:

matthewtweet3

Australia’s most famous (or infamous) housing market bear, Steve Keen also tweeted separately on the subject:

stevekeentweet

Joye later tweeted:

Joye_tweet

Joye provided more details in a latter blog post – see here.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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