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Cruising not losing: How Brisbane could avoid the looming real estate bust

Business

Queensland residents could be forgiven for feeling slightly wealthier in relative terms than their interstate cousins and the property boom could be about to deliver even more riches.

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While there are an abundance of predictions of how the housing boom will end, including some that predict a dramatic slump, there are others indicating that Queensland could stall a fall for some time.

That will add to the already strong state economy which is running above the national average and the ANZ Bank labelled today as “cruising” with strong interstate migration and Queensland residents helping the tourism sector through the border closures.

SQM Research has released a Boom and Bust report which indicates Brisbane could see a house price increases of anywhere between 3 per cent and 16 per cent depending on what banking regulators and the Reserve Bank do.

APRA, which regulates banks, has already made one attempt at reducing the risk of the property market imploding and many economists expect it will act again by raising the serviceability buffer, which is an assumption banks must take when approving a loan that a customer can afford repayments if interest rates increase.

If that happens, SQM’s Louis Christopher said the Sydney and Melbourne markets will be the worst affected.

“If the Australian housing market does not slowdown by mid-2022, APRA will likely keep intervening in home lending until the market does slow down,” he said.

“We cannot afford another year of 20 per cent-plus gains across the national housing market. And so, to ensure a soft landing for the market, it is best we see additional intervention sooner rather than later to reign in property valuations.”

That APRA intervention could occur as early as next month, he said.

If APRA holds off until June and the the Reserve Bank cash rate remains unchanged he predicts the Brisbane real estate market could grow by between 8 and 14 per cent in 2022.

A 9 to 16 per cent rise for Brisbane in 2022 was predicted if the cash rate remained unchanged, inflation grew between 3 and 5 per cent and APRA remained on the sidelines.

The worst case scenario for Brisbane would result in a 3 to 6 per cent increase in 2022 and that was only if the RBA lifted rates, inflation jumped between 4 and 6 per cent and APRA intervened by March.

He also predicted a correction in regional Australia, particularly inland communities.

 

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