Top 5: Finance & property quotes week commencing 23 March

By the resi financial blog team, 30 March 2015

Top 5: Finance & property quotes week commencing 23 March

It was a bit quieter this week on the property and finance front - that is, until the Reserve Bank of Australia released its Financial Stability Review for March, which got things moving once more. In what's becoming an ongoing conversation, comments circulated about first home buyer sentiment and affordability once again. Here's a round up of the top five quotes from the week gone by. 

#1. In great news for the property market, first home buyer confidence has soared in March, according to the newest edition of Genworth's Streets Ahead report. It found that confidence among first time purchasers increased to a record high over the month, with 66 per cent believing that now is a good time to buy a home.

"Our research suggests that the first home buyer segment appears to be more concerned about gaining access to the property market than their ability to service a mortgage," said Genworth's Chief Commercial Officer Bridget Sakr.

#2. At the same time, CoreLogic RP Data has found that Australians are holding onto their homes for a bit longer due to rising house prices. Cameron Kusher, Research Analyst at CoreLogic, said the average hold period for properties nationwide has continued to rise, which has led to a decrease in transactions. 

"With the hold period continuing to trend higher at a national level across all capital cities, it's evident that home owners are moving less regularly than they have in the past," he said, according to Australian Property Investor on March 27.

#3. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) released its Financial Stability Review on March 25, which held some interesting insights into risks in the Australian economy. In particular, it revealed that risks in the household sector are largely a result of the buoyant housing and mortgage markets. However, it noted that industry regulators are actively working towards keeping this in check.

"In this environment of low interest rates and strong demand, it is important that lending standards do not decline, and the measures announced by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in December are designed with that intent," the report said. 

#4. The Property Council of Australia has come out with a scathing review of the federal government's proposed foreign investment tax scheme, saying that it could actually reduce affordability. In a submission on the Strengthening Australia's Foreign Investment Framework options paper, Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the system would undermine investment in the Australian market. 

"Imposing an unjustifiably high new fee will deter foreign investors and drive away the capital developers rely on to get new housing projects off the ground," he said in a March 25 release.

#5. CoreLogic RP Data research has also revealed that the median price of residential land across the country has been rising consistently over the past year and reached the highest level since October 2011. However, the report notes that reducing the costs associated with buying land - and making more available - will go a long way towards making home more affordable across the country. 

"Reducing the costs associated with producing vacant land and making more land available would be the best way to improve housing affordability in our capital cities," the report said.

"Although this makes housing in these areas more affordable, the next challenge is improving roads, public transport, local amenities, schools and health care to these areas to truly make them a desirable and practical location in which to live."

Categories: Property Investment