Interesting article on the Australian housing market today seems rather eerily similar to my concerns and comments about Canada of late:
Government injections and an artificially re-inflated Chinese economy have translated into a final burst of excess and euphoria in the Australian housing market the past several months. The net result is that already high leverage and prices have now moved to reckless leverage and precariously perched prices:
• Aussie house prices have doubled in the past 10 years
• prices are up 13.6% over the past year, and 30% over the past 3 years
• loans are more than 120% of bank deposits
• average home price in Sydney is 9.1 x the annual median income, for the entire country it is now 6.8x (Canada is here now too), making it the most expensive real estate in the world. These numbers compare with 2.9x in the US, 5.1x in the UK, NY, London, and San Francisco are all about 7x on this metric.
• many Aussie homeowners now pay more than 50% of their after-tax earnings to service their mortgage
• rates have been historically low but are now rising. Most home owners are feeling the strain having not locked in, they are still floating their rates:
“Although the housing subsidy has been phased out, the government has created the equivalent of a sub-prime class of homeowner who probably should not own a house in the first place. If the local economy proves strong and rates climb further foreclosures are on the way, and if the Chinese worry about their inflation, putting a brake on their growth, Australia will slow as well, causing more problems for homeowners. Worst of all might be a double-dip recession in the US, slowing China and the world economy once again…”
See the whole article here: Is Australia’s luck about to run out?