Mainstream media only interested in the negatives of property: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder

Mainstream media only interested in the negatives of property: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder
Mainstream media only interested in the negatives of property: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder

EXPERT OBSERVER 

The many positive market indicators 

Here are some questions that go to the heart of how mainstream media reports residential property:- 

  1. Why does most of the media ignore the data from the ABS, realestate.com.au, Domain, SQM Research and the REIA? 
  2. Why are growth figures for Regional Australia markets seldom published? 
  3. Why are alternative measures of property markets - like vacancies, rents and land prices - seldom published? 

The answer to all those questions is this: mainstream media is interested in negatives. They publish CoreLogic data because it’s the most pessimistic. Most other sources contradict CoreLogic figures, providing a different perspective on what’s truly happening in our markets. 

Mainstream media ignores Regional Australia because that’s where most of the big growth markets are – or because events outside of our major cities are deemed to be unimportant. 

Media seldom focuses on vacancies/rents because they tell a positive story. Vacancies are falling in most capital cities and rents are up in most city markets. 

According to recent price data published by Louis Christopher’s SQM Research, half of our capital city markets are up, compared with a year ago. In some cases, they are up only marginally, but they are up nevertheless. 

City markets with prices higher than a year ago are: 

  • Adelaide houses 
  • Brisbane houses 
  • Canberra houses 
  • Canberra apartments 
  • Darwin apartments 
  • Hobart houses 
  • Hobart apartments 
  • Melbourne apartments 

Most reports on prices exclude regional Australia, which means our most upbeat markets receive little or no airplay.

Regional Victoria is, I believe, the strongest market in the nation. Big price growth in being recorded in many of its markets, including Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.

Pretty much everywhere in Regional Tasmania has rising prices. In Regional New South Wales, 85% of locations have rising prices, according to our recent location-by-location survey. 

Parts of Regional Queensland have strong growth markets – with the top end of the Sunshine Coast market, including the Noosa precinct, up more than 20% in annual terms (the median price for Sunshine Beach has risen 36% in the past year).

This contradicts constant media claims that prices are falling across Australia. 

The situation is even more positive with the rental markets of the capital cities. 

Of the 16 capital city markets (each city has a house market and a unit market), 12 have rents higher than a year ago. Only four markets, those in Sydney and Darwin, have rents in decline, according to the SQM Research figures. The latest numbers from rent.com.au have similar conclusions. 

This reflects vacancy rate figures, which show that most of our major cities have vacancy rates lower than a year ago, with four of them - Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart and Adelaide - having vacancies below 1.8%. The capital city average is a little above 2%. 

Equally, the ongoing rise in residential land prices in our major cities receives little coverage in mainstream media. If it’s not negative, they’re not interested. 

Research shows that most households with mortgages are comfortably handling their repayments. There’s positive news on affordability from our biggest cities. There are growing signs that banks are moving to make borrowing easier. 

If journalists had a different mindset, they could be writing upbeat articles – rather than afflicting consumers with relentless negativity designed to generate clickbait headlines.

Terry Ryder is the founder of hotspotting.com.au

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Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder is the founder of hotspotting.com.au.

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