Saturday, October 11, 2008

Predictions and Guesses

A lot of people seem to think that it is the end of the world as far as property investment is concerned. These are my thoughts.


  • Interest rates are going down
  • There is low unemployment in Queensland
  • There are few vacant rental properties, and rents are still increasing in Brisbane
  • According to REIQ and RP Data, medium prices have fallen less than 3% in the past 6 months, and over the past year prices have still increased
  • Property is still selling. For example, a three bedroom apartment is Admiralty One sold in less than a week. At auctions in Mooloolaba this weekend, which has been a tough market, there were 2 two bedroom apartments that had bids of more than $1 million: Oceans 503 had a highest bid of $1,200,000; and Sirocco 604 had a highest bid of $1M.
  • Banks are still lending money, but they have tighter lending requirements
  • For most of Brisbane, there are very few delinquencies.
  • In outlying areas (such as Forest Lakes and Springfield) and low quality bulk highrise marketed to investors (e.g., Charlotte Towers, and other recent Devine buildings), there are distressed sellers who are selling for less than they paid.


  • Matusik, who is a very bullish property consultant, has the following assumptions in most of his presentations, but I am not sure how many of them will turn out to be correct (and some from his September 2008 presentation are already wrong):
    • interest rates to drop by 0.5% in fiscal 2009
    • $A remains high – above 85 US cents
    • migration to oz remains high US economy has a mild recession, mild recovery in 2009
    • demand for our resources continues
    • share market settles down unemployment remains below 5% and wages growth remains constrained
Opinion and Predictions (Guesses?)
  • Property in inner Brisbane will take longer to sell than over the past 3 years (e.g., time on market will return to a more normal period of time, from 15 days to 30 or 40 days).
  • Prices for poor quality apartments will fall by 25%
  • Prices for apartments that have their views destroyed (e.g., Charlotte Towers, 212 Margaret, River City, and some in South Brisbane) will fall by 25%
  • Prices for apartments without carparks will fall
  • Some new apartments for off-the-plan developments) are priced too high for what they are, and will have difficulties selling in the short term (e.g. Waters Edge, Empire Square, Vision)
  • Anything priced over $6,000 per sqm will struggle to sell, unless it is really special
  • Off the plan developments will not sell well until completion -- in uncertain times, people do not want to make bets on the future, especially where the product being sold is intangible -- people want to touch and feel in uncertain times.
  • Really good stuff will sell, and will not reduce in price by more than 5% (if at all)
  • In February 2009, the market will pick up, but will not have growth of more than 10% per year for at least two years
  • Due to lack of building today, things will get better for investors in good locations in the short term
  • This year, my property portfolio looks better than may stock portfolio.

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