Australia housing market among world's riskiest, study finds

By Gerv Tacadena

Australia's housing market are amongst the riskiest globally.

While many aspiring homebuyers are looking to break into the housing market of Australia, a recent study warned not to get too excited as the country is amongst the riskiest place for home purchases.

In a think piece for Motley Fool Australia, industry watcher Brendon Lau cited a recent study by Oxford Economics which marked Australia as one of the riskiest housing markets across the globe, alongside Sweden, Canada, and Hong Kong.

According to the study, these housing markets have all experienced a housing boom followed by skyrocketing debt levels, as well as having a significant share of mortgagees on floating rate loans.

With regards to housing valuation index where the long-term average is 100, Australia sits at 160, the lowest of the four. Valuations above 125 indicate that there is a 60% chance of prices decelerating over the next five years.

In fact, Sydney and Melbourne's prices were already seeing home prices begin to decline, even before lenders started an out-of-cycle hike. With 82% of mortgagees in Australia being on variable rate loans, Australians could be in trouble if rates increase significantly.

"It may not take much to put many households under financial stress given that Aussie households are the most, if not one of the most, leveraged," Lau said.

He added: "Add in poor wages growth into the mix and you can see how things can fall like a house of cards. The latest jobs data highlights this risk. While the headline figure was better than expected, underutilisation remains elevated and economists believe it will be a while yet before we get any meaningful wage growth here."

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