As the debate between property boosters and doomsayers continue, some changes have emerged to the housing market in recent months. These threats have the capacity to seriously damage home prices if they continue.
One of them is the rising mortgage rates, which is no longer moving in sync with the official rates that remain at two per cent. More than 20 lenders have recently introduced small interest rate hikes, including the Bank of Queensland, which has raised its standard variable home loan rates to 5.86 per cent and investor rates to 6.28 per cent. Others are expected to follow suit, which makes the official rates misleading.
Another threat to house prices are the low rental yields, which are beginning to decline particularly in Sydney and Melbourne. Super low rental yields are fine when prices are rising and rates are flat, but with the current situation, these yields are going to hurt investors if prices further drop.
Defaults for former resource boom towns are also soaring, according to industry research group Core Logic. Though the national average for defaults is only at 0.2 per cent, defaults are 30 times more prevalent in Mackay and 47 times more common in North Western Australia.
Oversupply is also a huge problem as towers actually get built especially in inner Sydney and Melbourne. CoreLogic data shows that around 30,000 units are expected to settle within the next 24 months in Melbourne, though the city's annual run rate of apartment sales is only around 8,000 units.
Finally, major banks are now coming up against investor lending limits as they try to stay beneath APRA's 10 per cent investment lending growth limit. Less lending means fewer sales, which doesn't help the apartment and housing glut in the market.
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