Top 5: Finance & property quotes week commencing 9 March

By the resi financial blog team, 16 March 2015

Top 5: Finance & property quotes week commencing 9 March

It's been a mixed bag this week in the property and finance worlds. Many industry bodies are still reeling from the release of the Treasury's 2015 Intergenerational Report, which raised some intriguing challenges for the construction industry over the next 40 years, while others responded to new housing finance and unemployment statistics. Here is a round up of what happened this week gone by. 

#1. The Treasury released its 2015 Intergenerational Report and it continues to have tongues wagging. With the number of Australians aged 65 and above expected to expand dramatically by 2055, the Property Council of Australia has come up with an innovative solution to help ease some of the pressure - the 'unlocking home equity for seniors' proposal.

Executive Director for Retirement, Mary Wood, said this will give the elderly generation greater choice about where they want to live. 

"The benefits of this policy will also be felt in Australia's property market - particularly in hot spots such as Sydney - where more large, family homes will become available for families and first home buyers as older Australians take up the opportunity to downsize," she said in a March 9 release.  

#2. On the economic front, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced the unemployment rate dropped from 6.4 to 6.3 per cent in February. Chief Economist at CommSec Craig James noted this is a promising result, but could mean the Reserve Bank will be in no rush to cut the official cash rate in its April board meeting. 

"The Reserve Bank can wait until the inflation data is released in late April and then look more closely at the need to cut rates at the May Board meeting," he noted in March 12 report. 

#3. The ABS also released its housing finance figures for January this week. The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) pointed out that first home buyer lending dropped over the month and is now at the lowest level since May 2004, which will likely ignite further debate about housing affordability.

"First home buyers being at their lowest level for a decade and with moderating housing lending and GDP growth below trend, the current debate on allowing first home buyers access to their superannuation is timely," said REIA President Neville Sanders in a March 11 release. 

#4. On the topic of superannuation, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) has welcomed discussion around allowing first home buyers to access their superannuation funds to purchase a home. HIA Chief Executive Industry Policy and Media Relations Graeme Wolfe said the move is absolutely necessary. 

"As a nation, we need to consider looking at superannuation in a different way," he said.

"If superannuation is about preparing for retirement, what better way is there of achieving this goal than opening the door to home ownership."

#5. Master Builders Australia also had a point to make about housing finance. In a March 11 statement, Chief Economist Peter Jones said the ABS results are a timely reminder about making sure first home buyers aren't shut out of the housing market - and construction has a big role to play.

"Only by increasing supply can we solve poor housing affordability by exerting downward pressure on house prices," he stated.

Categories: Home Loans