Stockland chief warns against super plan, dismisses ‘bubble’
Using superannuation funds to buy real estate is a danger according to the chief executive of building firm Stockland. Speaking at the Gold Coast’s Bond University Mark Steinert warned that as the property market will not always be rising first-home buyers would be better sticking to an investment policy of diversifying assets. Steinert also dismissed talk of a national housing bubble, calling the claims “ridiculous”. He noted that Sydney and Melbourne were “hot” but that in other areas there was a very difference story; Perth for example is flat and “will probably go backwards for a few years”. On the subject of shopping centres, something Stockland knows well, he is confident in their future and highlighted that even big online players such as Amazon have started opening bricks and mortar stores.
Source: The Australian

Sydney’s Lord Mayor calls for “urgent action” on affordability
Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney, says that “urgent action” is needed to tackle the affordability issue in the city. Speaking at an industry summit last week Moore, who has been Lord Mayor since 2004, said that the housing crisis in the city means that young people in particular are unable to afford a mortgage as it costs five times as much to buy a home now as it did 23 years ago. Even renting is too much for many with median rents having increased by 60 per cent since 2006 while incomes have increased just 48 per cent in the same period. With just 1 per cent of the city’s homes deemed to be affordable the Lord Mayor warned that if those on lower-incomes were unable to live in Sydney it will make the city unsustainable. She called for change to help current and future generations.
Source: The Domain Group

Smaller homes, higher prices
Homes in Sydney are getting smaller while prices continue to rise. Figures from the Housing Industry Association reveal that in 2010 an average property in the city was 312 square metres; now it is 285 square metres and ‘shrinking home syndrome’ is likely to continue. With population growth demanding more homes but land either unavailable or at a premium, packing more homes into vacant space is key. Changes in regulations have also made it easier for developers to build on smaller plots. Kristen Brookfield of the HIA told The Daily Telegraph that home prices have meant families needing smaller options: “Many families have ditched their dream of owning a quarter-acre block, because they can’t afford a house that size without it being more than an hour commute from the CBD.” Mortgage brokers have seen an increase in applications for apartments and a decline in loans for detached homes.
Source: The Daily Telegraph