Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have been struggling the last few weeks. The LNP party room back bench has made it clear that the kind of “reform” they like most is the “reform” that does least.
To make matters worse there have been confirmed sittings of former PM Abbott prowling just beyond the shark nets of party discipline in a pair of snug red speedos to a bass heavy sound track – dumb, dumb-dumb….
With the possibility of doing anything constructive ruled out, Malcolm and Morrison have resorted to running through the streets screaming the “little red books” are coming and announcing that the world will end if anyone so much as gives residential real estate policy a touch of “side eyes” action.
In this they have been assisted by a squadron of industry rent seekers who amongst other horror tales have claimed that the property market is a house of cards that requires the barest of pushes to reduce it to a pile of rubble. The RBA and APRA are deeply unimpressed at this mocking of their glorious bullet proof household debt bubble.
While everyone loves a scary movie this one is one of the lamest efforts in recent years and the Sydney property market walked out of the cinema before Val Morgan finished telling them about the joys of vocational education and the best hot chicken in Granville.
No-one believes the scare campaign and for good reason. The proposed ALP negative gearing and CGT discount reforms are minor tweaks that, if truth be told (which rules out Mal and Scotty) will do nothing more than – possibly, maybe, slightly – slow the current rapid rate of house price appreciation.
The reason is simple:
What really drives the housing market are the household debt “bait rates” set by the RBA juiced with a massive population ponzi program by Malcolm and Scotty and a complete failure to ensure that low cost new land is available for new housing development. Easy access to cheap debt, pumping up demand with more bodies seeking shelter and restricting low cost new supply is really what is driving housing unaffordability.
When one of the political parties starts talking about action on those issues then we can might be able to start talking about a massively dysfunctional Australian market for land facing a bit of stick – aka real reform.
But it is nearly complete radio silence from the LNP, Greens and ALP on all of those issues.
So lets have a look at the big thumbs down the Sydney market flashed at Mal and Scotty yesterday.
The Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Property Monitors report records that agents reported 78% of the 578 listed auctions which is a fair effort.
“Pre-Auction panic” fell slightly and “Hammer Time” remained healthy with 181 of 578 listed auctions selling under the hammer or shortly afterwards.
While the clearance rate expressed as a % of listed auctions barely cracked 50% the much more attractive number (expressed as a % of auction reports yesterday) was buoyant at 73%.
With volumes healthy and Malcolm looking nervous with Mr Abbott circling in the shallows – buyers clearly are clearly not bothered by the increasingly real prospect of LNP implosion and the ALP negative gearing reforms arriving next year.
Note: In order to encourage agents to help APM collate the most complete stats each Saturday night, the Glass Pyramid is presenting all results as a percentage of the number of Auctions Listed. The reason for this is that agents are more likely to report ‘good results’ sooner and that can tilt the figures when results are presented as a % of what agents have bothered to report on Saturday afternoon.
Anyhow – onto the good stuff!
There are two tables this week. The first contains yesterday’s APM fitter and fatter report sliced and diced. The second contains a summary of the last few weeks.
A few comments on yesterday:
- Pre-Action Panic – softened to 27% of listed auctions with 154 listed auctions not being tested by the hot forge of the market.
- Hammer Time – softened to 31% as Sydney laughed off the “reds lurking near the pillow tops”
- Seller Sadness – crept up to 11% of listed auctions .
Table 1 – Saturday 3 March 2016
Table 2 – Summary of recent results.