Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Joye's Myths

An extract from an article by Chris Joye:

"A third myth is the popular claim that luxury, or more expensive, properties outperform cheaper ones. This is just not supported by the empirical data. Analysis produced by Rismark proves that mid-priced homes have actually delivered stronger capital growth than their dearer counterparts. And this also comes with considerably lower risk.

The luxury end of the market is “illiquid” – that is to say, it only attracts, by definition, a small number of buyers and sellers – and is afflicted by far greater risk or volatility. This is highlighted by RP Data-Rismark’s luxury property index, which is denoted by the red line in the chart below. Observe how during 2009 and 2010 the most expensive homes outperformed the broader market. Yet during the recent soft-landing, it has been this same cohort that has tanked, relatively speaking. ...

My sixth myth is that Australian house prices are massively overvalued and set to fall by 20 to 40%. You may recall that my regular sparring partner, associate professor Steve Keen, famously predicted in 2008 that Aussie house prices were “going to fall by 40% or so in the next few years.” Well, he could not have been more wrong. Dwelling prices in Australia’s capital cities are currently 30% higher than their March 2008 peak, just prior to the GFC hitting our shores.

Put differently, dwelling prices are nearly 70% higher than where Dr Keen expected them to be. My other mate, the economist Rory Robertson, challenged Dr Keen to a bet on this note, which the latter lost. As a result, Dr Keen ended up walking from Canberra to Mount Kosciuszko wearing a T-shirt exclaiming “I was hopelessly wrong on house prices” (or something to that effect). ...

Property Observer

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