Australians on the move as housing affordability worsens
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Australians on the move as housing affordability worsens

Analysts say more people may leave capital cities for the regions in 2024 as the housing crisis deepens

By Bronwyn Allen
Fri, Dec 1, 2023 9:49amGrey Clock 3 min

Frustrated aspiring home buyers and renters fed up with high runaway prices in certain markets may resort to moving interstate in 2024, according to analysts. In the latest Housing Affordability Report released by ANZ and CoreLogic, analysts say housing affordability has worsened due to rising migration and interest rates on top of longer-term factors such as governments not building enough social and affordable housing to keep up with demand.

There is no quick and easy supply response to rising rents and home values,” according to the report. As a result, 2024 may see more internal migration of prospective first home buyers and renters to markets with relatively low price points.” ANZ and CoreLogic point to data tracking historical net internal migration trends against the current median value of dwellings. Internal migration was higher across areas with relatively low median values at that time,” the data shows.

During the pandemic, internal migration patterns changed as more people left Sydney and Melbourne, in particular, and relocated to the regions. Being able to work from home enabled many families to move to lower-cost markets and attain a better lifestyle. Queensland – especially the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, along with regional NSW and Victoria — were key beneficiaries of this trend. In 2022, NSW lost 31,560 residents and Victoria lost 9,955 due to net internal migration, while Queensland gained 34,545 residents, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ANZ/CoreLogic report also predicts that more Australians will choose to share a property to save money in today’s cost-of-living crisis. Multi-generational living among families is a rising trend among home owners, and in the rental market, there is surging demand for share houses to make the rent more affordable for individuals. This represents a reversal of pandemic trends, say the analysts.

In addition to changing location preferences, there could also be some preference shifts around the number of people sharing a household in 2024. The pandemic period saw a notable drop in average household size from 2.55 people per household to 2.49 as of 2023. This may have reflected greater demand for space as more time was spent at home, a temporary rise in available rentals at the very start of the pandemic, and high levels of fiscal stimulus supporting incomes. However, this trend could reverse as more people take up share housing to alleviate housing costs.

The interest rate hiking cycle is likely coming to an end, which will ease pressure on mortgage serviceability, but the analysts note that a steady or falling cash rate typically results in upward pressure on prices. Additionally, the current drop-off in new dwelling approvals may hinder housing supply growth for some time. Ultimately, improved housing affordability in the long term is likely to depend on deliberate initiatives to increase housing supply, rather than relying on a temporary downswing in prices or cyclical reduction in interest rates.

The report also finds that regional markets are not as affordable as they used to be following the pandemic boom. As of October, regional home values are 44 percent higher than at the start of COVID compared to capital city prices being 26 percent higher.

The report also notes a widening price gap between Sydney and Melbourne, with Melbourne the only capital city where affordability for buyers has improved over the past five years.

More modest dwelling value increases in Melbourne, which has led to Melbourne being more affordable relative to Sydney over time, comes down to more supply of dwellings over the past 15 years,” the report states. “ABS building activity data shows there were around 850,000 dwelling completions across Victoria in the 15 years to June 2023, which is 21% higher than in NSW over the same period.”


Consumers are going to gravitate toward applications powered by the buzzy new technology, analyst Michael Wolf predicts

Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

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Hong Kong Takes Drastic Action to Avert Property Slump

The city’s real-estate market has been hurt by high interest rates and mainland China’s economic slowdown

Fri, Mar 1, 2024 3 min

Hong Kong has taken a bold step to ease a real-estate slump, scrapping a series of property taxes in an effort to turn around a market that is often seen as a proxy for the city’s beleaguered economy.

The government has removed longstanding property taxes that were imposed on nonpermanent residents, those buying a second home, or people reselling a property within two years after buying, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in his annual budget speech on Wednesday.

The move is an attempt to revive a property market that is still one of the most expensive in the world, but that has been badly shaken by social unrest, the fallout of the government’s strict approach to containing Covid-19 and the slowdown of China’s economy . Hong Kong’s high interest rates, which track U.S. rates due to its currency peg,  have increased the pressure .

The decision to ease the tax burden could encourage more buying from people in mainland China, who have been a driving force in Hong Kong’s property market for years. Chinese tycoons, squeezed by problems at home, have  in some cases become forced sellers  of Hong Kong real estate—dealing major damage to the luxury segment.

Hong Kong’s super luxury homes  have lost more than a quarter of their value  since the middle of 2022.

The additional taxes were introduced in a series of announcements starting in 2010, when the government was focused on cooling down soaring home prices that had made Hong Kong one of the world’s least affordable property markets. They are all in the form of stamp duty, a tax imposed on property sales.

“The relevant measures are no longer necessary amidst the current economic and market conditions,” Chan said.

The tax cuts will lead to more buying and support prices in the coming months, said Eddie Kwok, senior director of valuation and advisory services at CBRE Hong Kong, a property consultant. But in the longer term, the market will remain sensitive to the level of interest rates and developers may still need to lower their prices to attract demand thanks to a stockpile of new homes, he said.

Hong Kong’s authorities had already relaxed rules last year to help revive the market, allowing home buyers to pay less upfront when buying certain properties, and cutting by half the taxes for those buying a second property and for home purchases by foreigners. By the end of 2023, the price index for private homes reached a seven-year low, according to Hong Kong’s Rating and Valuation Department.

The city’s monetary authority relaxed mortgage rules further on Wednesday, allowing potential buyers to borrow more for homes valued at around $4 million.

The shares of Hong Kong’s property developers jumped after the announcement, defying a selloff in the wider market. New World Development , Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land Development were higher in afternoon trading, clawing back some of their losses from a slide in their stock prices this year.

The city’s budget deficit will widen to about $13 billion in the coming fiscal year, which starts on April 1. That is larger than expected, Chan said. Revenues from land sales and leases, an important source of government income, will fall to about $2.5 billion, about $8.4 billion lower than the original estimate and far lower than the previous year, according to Chan.

The sweeping property measures are part of broader plans by Hong Kong’s government to prop up the city amid competition from Singapore and elsewhere. Stringent pandemic controls and anxieties about Beijing’s political crackdown led to  an exodus of local residents and foreigners  from the Asian financial centre.

But tens of thousands of Chinese nationals have arrived in the past year, the result of Hong Kong  rolling out new visa rules aimed at luring talent in 2022.


Consumers are going to gravitate toward applications powered by the buzzy new technology, analyst Michael Wolf predicts

Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

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