4 Reasons To Have Faith in Australia’s Property Market for the long run

4 Reasons To Have Faith in Australia’s Property Market for the long run
4 Reasons To Have Faith in Australia’s Property Market for the long run

OPINION:

Recently due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, journalists and economists are flooding in with their own opinions about how the property market will fall to a certain degree. 

Martin North from Digital Finance Analytics even went to the extreme in claiming that house prices will suffer between 20-30% in Sydney and Melbourne

There is still so much noise in the property market at the moment and our confidence may be shaken, despite the fact that Melbourne’s house price has just surged to the record-high values in February 2020 exemplifying a huge turnaround in a relatively short period of time.

I would like to reiterate on why I am remaining highly confident in Australia’s property market, especially on the residential market. To me, investing in property is still one of the best investments that any Australian who has the ability to do so, can make in their lifetime to secure a better off financial future. According to Thomas Corley, who has spent 5 years analysing how wealthy people accumulate wealth, he found that there are generally 4 paths to wealth which are saver-investor, top corporate senior executive, virtuoso and dreamer-entrepreneur. Among the 4 paths, saver-investor is a path that more than 80% of people can take as Australia has the world’s highest minimum wage. Saver-investor requires enormous financial discipline and long-term commitment as you need to consistently save 20% or more of your income to invest.

Personally, I have known so many people who have become financially independent through investing in property. According to the BRW Rich 200 list, which is published each year, property has consistently been the major source of wealth for Australia’s multimillionaires and it’s the same all over the world. Property investment is unlike investing in any other products like shares or funds, you need to work on borrowing from banks, manage the property (or find someone to do it) after you settle, and it may requires you to manage your cash flow very well. 

However, over the long term it pays off as you will get more experienced and you will find the process of building an investment property portfolio a fun act. 

Here are the reasons that keep me confident in Australia’s property market in this unprecedented time:

1. Continuous Population Growth

 4 Reasons To Have Faith in Australia’s Property Market for the long run
 

Australia has a high proportion of migrants. Our major capital cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide are consistently ranked in the top 10 most liveable cities in the world. Therefore, Australia is very appealing for people around the world to consider migrating over. In the year 2018, the total net overseas migration was 237,224 people. Population growth is the most fundamental element in the property market as it is always about supply and demand when it comes to capital growth. Continuous population growth will ensure there is always demand for housing. After all, all of us need a place to stay. This will lead me to my second point which is supply.

Source: abr.gov.au

2. Sharp fall in number of dwellings

In July 2017, the Australian government imposed a very strict and tight policy in Australia’s property market. The lending policy has been tightened so drastically in order to prevent the property market becoming bubbles like how the American did years ago. Besides that, the state government started to impose foreign stamp duty tax on all foreign investors. The government has also removed the benefits of stamp duty incentive for off-the plan properties. These changes had hit the property market very hard. New housing developments struggle to sell and get finance for construction. Many developers have put aside their projects as the foreign investors cooled off their interest to invest. Therefore the supply would be very limited in the coming years.

Source: Reserve Bank of Australia; ABS Building Approvals

3. 70% of residential market is owner occupiers

According to ATO figures in April 2017, 91.53% of Australians do not invest in property. It has been estimated by Peter Waxman from the Department of Land Economics at Sydney’s University of Technology that the total value of all residential dwellings in Australia is about $2.5 trillion. However the owner occupiers own about 70% of these properties. Think about it, the rest of 30% of residential properties are owned by 8.47% of Australians and foreign investors. This means that the 70% home ownership is a huge advantage when things turn sour in the market. People will not simply sell their own house as it is a roof over their heads. They might sell shares, funds, but they will do whatever they can to protect their own home. The property price will not fluctuate easily like the share market does.

4. The government and banks are in this together

No one will know the exact impact of what the COVID-19 pandemic will cause to our economy. Unemployment rates will soar, economic growth will halt, but the government will look to the housing market as an early driver of revitalising economies as we have seen that during GFC and back even in the 1980-81 recession where Bob Hawke introduced the first home buyer grant. Unlike all previous financial crises that we have witnessed, this time the government has put in so much economic stimulus to help people and businesses to get through the tough time together. Even the banks are standing by together by allowing people to defer mortgage repayment by 6 months. This has greatly prevented many people from panic selling mode. It certainly helps people with financial hardship to be able to hold on to their property. 

 4 Reasons To Have Faith in Australia’s Property Market for the long run
 

At this point in time it is hard to imagine the potential outcomes of this global event. However it is worth remembering that investing in property is a long term approach. The fundamentals are still there to strongly support the property market. With the support from the government through various stimulus packages, the casualties can be expected to be kept at a low level. When the pandemic is over and the economy is back up and running, it will be business as usual and the market will reward those who have kept their faith.

Justin Chang

Justin Chang

Justin Chang is a property investment strategist who provides investment education, guidance and support for new and experienced investors across Asia Pacific.

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