Politicians have proposals but builders need more land
Joe Hockey’s proposal that people should be able to access their superannuation funds to buy homes, and Luke Foley’s idea to help first-home buyers with stamp duty have certainly fuelled a debate. Among the latest to join the discussion are members of the house building industry. Rob Sindell of building suppliers CSR says that the issue is not how to help with deposits or to make stamp duty more affordable but land supply. He told the Canberra Times that the industry can build more homes and some states are helping with that but "the natural brake on the system is the planning regime at both council and state level". Wilhelm Harnisch, chief executive of Master Builders agrees: "Access to superannuation sounds superficially attractive, but it needs to be done in a hierarchy of policy solutions. The real problem is supply.” Graham Wolfe, president of the Housing Industry Association says that any policy changes should include land supply but welcomes the federal treasurer opening the discussion on superannuation: “Accessing a portion of superannuation savings may be the difference between young families securing their future by starting the journey of home ownership, versus staying on the rental treadmill.”
Source: The Canberra Times, HIA
Brisbane’s median house price reaches new high
A growth in the number of properties selling for above $1 million has pushed the median house price in Brisbane above $600,000 for the first time. The Real Estate Institute of Queensland says that in the December quarter of 2014 there was an increase in sales of $1m+ properties of 20 per cent. Properties below $350,000 saw fewer sales, while apartments also dropped by 14 per cent in volume with a median price of $418,500.
Source: The Australian

Perth sales up in February but lower than a year earlier

Home sales in Perth improved in February but were still lower than the same month in 2014. Real Estate Institute of WA figures show the volume of sales fell by 16 per cent from a year earlier while median house prices were down by 1 per cent to $547,000. There were 1,870 sales and listings were up by 4 per cent to 13,456. REIWA president David Airey commented: “Given that sales were down by 15 per cent in January and now by a similar figure in February, it’s clear that the market is showing a trend of slow-down that is apparent even at a time when seasonal summer sales are usually stronger.” Rents in Perth were largely unchanged with a median of $440 per week.
Source: REIWA

Consumer confidence down to 3 week low

Confidence in the economy fell to its lowest point in three weeks during last week. The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index dropped 2 per cent with those feeling that household finances would worsen over the next 12 months also down. ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan says negative media coverage doesn’t help: “We suspect that elevated levels of uncertainty about the economic outlook are causing consumers to be unusually sensitive to negative newsflow and this is weighing on confidence.”
Source: ANZ-Roy Morgan