Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Reader's Response

Here is a note from a reader:

I read with interest your article “Positive sign for Brisbane Property market.”. When an individual or some organisation with an interest in selling real estate starts telling the world (or anyone else that will listen for that matter), that race is on again and property sales are going just short of gangbusters, you can bet they are not.  

The sellers and marketers of real estate need to understand that the market of potential buyers has changed and we are not fools this time round. We’ve all seen someone close by with mortgage stress trying to pay for something they paid an inflated price for in the first place.  And those properties that have now become liabilities as they continue to fall in value. Just go and ask your bank for a loan to buy “off the plan”, you won’t even get an interview. What does that tell you?

About 24 months ago, a New Farm/Valley real estate agent told me he expected 2006 prices by Jan 2012.  Now he’s revised that to saying year 2000 prices and dropping. That’s no gain in 12 years.  A really good investment isn’t it.  

Take a drive around at night to any of the big new apartment complexes now on the market. Either they can’t afford electricity or they are empty, take your pick – the lights are out on half the block or more, every night. To say the rental market is tight  - well I disagree.  Down Teneriffe and Newstead way, the signs are out day and night offering 1, 2 and 3 brm apartments to rent.  There’s no shortage and dozens to choose from.

Your writer may indeed have seven positive signs to offer from a seller perspective.  Let me offer rule Number One in commerce: The smart money is made upfront during the purchase process, not at sale time 30 years later (if one is lucky enough to be able to keep up the payments with interest for all that time and, by sheer luck, the market is up at the time one wishes to sell).  

In simple terms, it’s made upfront buying at below market value. Real estate in Australia is grossly overpriced and regardless of the spin put by real estate marketers, developers the Treasurer et al, let me say to you all, stop wasting your breath, we know the joke.  Money in the bank on-call earning interest with no risk and renting beats buying at inflated prices and a life time of serfdom paying off a mortgage for an overpriced piece of real estate.  When prices fall by at least another 40%, then perhaps a property may be a consideration. Now that’s a more positive outlook.  

Please don’t come back with “investment” property with rental income or negative gearing.  Rents are already at their peak, the ability to pay will set the market, not the owner’s idea of what rent should be.  It doesn’t take too many weeks of no income to ruin an investment.  Rent is insufficient to fund an investment property. I’ve done the sums dozens of times recently. It doesn’t stack up unless you can exclude the ATO’s share of the deal, and that’s not recommended. And let’s not forget CGT later on. Need I continue.  

As mentioned, when prices fall by at least another 40%, then perhaps a property may be a consideration. The smart money unloaded in 2008 and now rent. We’re laughing at the property market now days.

1 comment:

David79 said...

That was very entertaining - I'm guessing this was written by a reader that doesn't own any property yet!