NSW best performing economy due to housing growth
New quarterly figures from CommSec rank New South Wales as Australia’s best-performing economy overall, outperforming Western Australia. NSW has seen a significant increase in construction and housing is driving the state’s growth. New home construction has increased by 7.3 per cent and house prices are up 14.3 per cent in a year according to CommSec’s report. It’s the first time in three years that WA has been beaten but it was perhaps inevitable with the mining slowdown. Western Australia does still lead on some of the criteria for the analysis, including housing finance.
Sydney median house prices could hit $900,000 within 2 years
A new report from BIS Shrapnel predicts that the median house price in Sydney could hit $900,000 by the summer of 2016. With an increase of 17 per cent in the last year to more than $800,000, the combination of low supply relative to demand is forecast to add at least another 10 per cent to the median in the coming years. However interest rates rises could slow growth to a greater degree if the RBA was to push rates higher than a predicted 1 per cent during that time.
Labor’s Wong says investor fears are “overblown”
Labor’s trade spokeswoman Penny Wong has responded to the fears that first-time buyers are being frozen out of the property market by Chinese investors. Liberal chairwoman Kelly O’Dwyer has complained that the Foreign Investment Review Board is not doing enough to enforce restrictions. Wong says that people’s fears are “overblown” and that the debate around affordability of housing needs to be based on facts.
Households to face increased gas prices
Australian homeowners are set to face increased gas prices due to Queensland gas exports beginning next year. Think tank The Grattan Institute says that high-volume users of gas will see their bills rocket by as much as $435 over the coming years as Australians are exposed to international gas prices. Many are calling for the government to step in to protect domestic gas customers from the higher charges; the wholesale price is forecast to double over the next few years.

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