Get Set for the Next Property Boom!! Says BIS Shrapnel

If you’re looking for a good laugh to start off the working week, you’d be hard pressed to go past the latest Property report released today by BIS Shrapnel.

According to BIS Shrapnel, real estate prices across Australia are tipped to increase by as much as 20% by 2012.

As reported by, BIS Shrapnel’s Angie Zigomanis said activity in the lower end of the market – buoyed by the boost to the first home owners grant and low interest rates – were generating “green shoots” of recovery.

The report says average house prices in most capital cities will grow by between 11 and 19 per cent over the next three years. In real terms (where prices are adjusted for inflation) the level of percentage growth is about half.

Mr Zigomanis, who said actual prices were more indicative than prices adjusted for inflation, predicts the boost to the first home owners grant combined with low interest rates would kick start further activity in the “upgrading” market.

“Kick start further activity in the ‘upgrading’ market?” Really? Based on what exactly? A flight of fancy?

According to BIS Shrapnel, we can expect:

Sydney – Total price growth forecast at 19 per cent to 2012

Melbourne – Nearly 20 per cent increase in prices to 2012

Brisbane – House prices to rise by 16 per cent to 2012

Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast – Expected to grow by 14 per cent to 2011

Adelaide – Tipped to jump 19 per cent to 2012

Perth – House prices to increase by 12 per cent to 2012

Hobart – To jump 15 per cent in the next three years to 2012.

Darwin – To grow by 11 per cent in three years to 2012

To the unititiated, this report would perhaps be the catalyst to “get in quick” before the property boom begins, but the catch cry to “BUY NOW” is beginning to sound all too familiar.

For one thing, it is widely accepted that the FHOG has artificially maintained current property prices at the low-to-mid range of the market. So, on what basis does BIS Shrapnel base their prediction that property prices are going to continue to rise after the FHOG expires?

An environment of rising interest rates and escalating unemployment are hardly factors that would contribute to a real estate property boom.

So what has led to this bizarre prediction? Well, funnily enough BIS Shrapnel’s report has been based on data from the Real Estate Institute – an organisation that has the following mission statement:

“The Institute continues to identify, formulate, encourage and promote public policies that contribute to an economic and political environment favourable to the real estate industry, and small business generally. ”

So not only does this call into question the integrity of the data supplied by the Real Estate Institute to BIS Shrapnel, the fact that the institute is fundamentally concerned with lining the pockets of real estate agents should be ringing alarm bells everywhere.

But not so, the mainstream press just regurgitate the BIS Shrapnel media release without giving it a moment’s worth of critical analysis.

It also makes you wonder about the ethical standards at BIS Shrapnel. But then they did get paid by the Real Estate Institute to write the report, so perhaps in their minds, that’s all that really matters.

A satisfied client.

An invoice paid.

The so called report’s “findings” plastered everywhere in the media.

It would be sickening, if for the fact that it’s all so mind-numbingly predictable.

61 Responses

  1. Speaking of ‘experts’, I couldn’t help noticing the ABC last week switched their go-to guy on all things financial from “Chris Richardson of Access Economics” (I’d like a quid for every time I’ve heard that in the last 12 months) to some guy from the Westpac (whose name I haven’t heard enought to recall – yet).

  2. (Maybe the relatively good economic news of late doesn’t suit Richardson’s doomsaying narrative.)

  3. I’m speechless Reb (wink) I completely agree.

  4. on old bessie the computer and so didn’t have your email address…was of course hoping that you might have time to make a comment or several.

    With due regard to above and having absolutely no specific data whatsoever, the above is the most ridiculous piece of twaddle that I have read for a very long time.

  5. Hi Min

    I’ve been really bogged down with my case of late and haven’t had much time for anything else. Hopefully, I’ll get a clear direction shortly so I can start planning my life again.

    You’re welcome to email me any time

  6. might be sorry..but I’m about to email you.

  7. Hey John! Welcome back 🙂

    On the subject of real estate, I think I agree with you. Anyone thinking the current economic environment is going to lead to increased property prices is pulling your chain. And if you believe them, I have a bridge that is bound to increase in value once I sell it to you 🙂

  8. Ben

    Thanks Ben.

    I was watching a news piece recently and it focused on a young couple (around 23 years old) who were both working and they they landed a new home for the bargain price of $445K.

    She expressed outrage that the banks may start lifting interest rates from their record lows. She said ‘we’ve left a little room for an increase, but not much’. Lets hope one of them don’t lose their jobs or decided to have children anytime soon either.

    And now we have BIS forecasting outrageous gains in price. Lets see how many people get the idea that investing in housing for the next 2-3 years is a good idea and when these gains magically manifest themselves they can off-load to some other poor unsuspecting fool for a healthy profit. Joke’s on them though, I’m sure.

  9. I actually believe we are in a very similar RE market to that of 1990 to 1993. The main market (average homes) were generally sluggish but in some areas they boomed. Similar today where the western suburbs of Sydney are stagnant but interest rate falls have allowed a great number of people to stay put A year ago there were for sale signs all over the Liverpool/Campbelltown corridor but then rates began to fall and suddenly there are not that many distressed sales.

    Inner Sydney will do quite well with 5 to 7 percent increases but the outer areas will plateau. E.g Look at Erskineville/Newtown. These are becoming the new Paddington/ Surry Hills for Sydney now that its gentrified. Shortly we will begin to see more $1million plus terraces from that area

    But BIS Shrapnel are a joke and have been since I can remember.

  10. God damn, a “bargain” of $445K. My wife & I are looking in the $300K range because any higher (on my decent salary) is pushing the limit should interest rates go back up to 8-10% (which they will as the economy manages to get back on track)

  11. G’day, JMc, are you (like me) still waiting for the storm to hit?

  12. The storm will hit but the ordinary people will be the only ones to suffer.

    The government has created shelter for the ones that deserve to cop it most!

  13. I don’t dare comment on this thread.

  14. Are you ducking any commentary, migs?

  15. Joni, it’s not the sort of environment to reveal my next property investment. It goes against the grain. It makes me a hated man.

  16. LOL – buying property to rent to WCP (reb and Turnbull)?

  17. MIgs, not sure its just your property acquistion that creates all that hate …? 😉

  18. TB, what’s there to hate? 🙂

  19. Shhh..let’s just get friendly with the duck because when we’ve all lost our homes, we can all lob on the doorstep.

  20. Ben

    “God damn, a “bargain” of $445K.” Lol I was being sarcastic. My wife came home and told me that one of her customers was telling her that her daughter and son-in-law just got approval for $475K first home loan (excluding what the government’s putting in). Combined salaries of around $110K annually.

    BIS have estimate the average house price in Sydney to rise to something like $630K in the next 2 to 3 years, from what I heard on the news (Lol)

    Hi TB

    Truthfully, I’m more sure than ever that things are going to turn sour, unfortunately. It’s always difficult to time it, however, now that banks have signaled that the only way is up with interest rates – I’d say the pressure is only going to mount. Where did we get the idea that having access to record low interest rates was a good thing?

    Ben’s a classic example, his assessment of his ability to meet his obligations and live comfortably within his means, is realistic and sensible. He knows it could really get tough if interest rates rise to a certain level even though he’s pulling in a decent salary

    So many people have slim to non-existent ‘margins of safety’ on their loans and sadly increasing numbers of workers who are fortunate to hold a full-time jobs are having their hours cut back substantially, so even if the unemployment figures seem to be holding up well, it doesn’t help people to continue meeting their debt obligations as well as having money to spare to spend and keep the economy ticking over at previous levels.

  21. John, I would keep an eye on the price of crude, I suspect it could be the trigger.

  22. LMAO whilst reading the article on impending property boom.

    Here’s what I think of the property market as sung by Malvina Reynolds:

    And the Lyrics:
    Little boxes on the hillside
    Little boxes made of ticky tacky
    Little boxes, little boxes
    Little boxes all the same

    There’s a green one and a pink one
    And a blue one and a yellow one
    And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
    And they all look just the same

    And the people in the houses all went to the university
    Where they all were put in boxes, little boxes all the same
    And there’s doctors and there’s lawyers and business executives
    And they’re all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same

    And they all play on the golf course and drink their martini dry
    And they all have pretty children and the children go to school
    And the children go to summer camp and then to the university
    Where they all got put in boxes, and they all came out the same

    And the boys go into business and marry and raise a family
    In boxes, little boxes, little boxes all the same
    There’s a green one, and a pink one
    And a blue one and a yellow one
    And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
    And they all look just the same

  23. God damn! $475K on $110K pa? I’m not going to name my income level, but I’d sure like to know how the hell they got that loan – cos banks are not telling me that’s possible.

  24. Ben

    I thought it was a stretch, but my wife insists it’s true and that her customer had similar concerns about the size of the loan.

    Maybe your problem is that you’re self-employed perhaps? Or maybe her customer has got it wrong?

  25. Scaper

    Perhaps you’re right about crude. My central view is that our economy (with its high level of personal debt and low savings) is fragile. Triggers such as increasing interest rates, unemployment, or increased fuel prices often can act in isolation or in combination to trigger major shifts in consumer spending and debt deflation (i.e. an avalanche of personal and business bankruptcies claims and/ or property foreclosures).

    I’ve also noticed that the stock market’s been behaving as though it’s on drugs just recently – it doesn’t know which way to go, which is a reflection of the broader uncertainty, in my opinion.

  26. God damn! $475K on $110K pa?

    Piece of piss to get a loan like that. Just don’t mention that you’ve got any credit cards, and they’ll hand that sort of money to you on a silver plate…

  27. Reb

    It’s crazy and has been for a while. From last October:

    THE BIG LIE EXPOSED: Big banks ignored sub-prime troubles

    AUSTRALIA’S big banks ignored the sub-prime crisis in the US and actively took greater risks in the home mortgage market to see off a challenge from rival lenders.

    The banks not only relaxed their lending standards in recent years – ultimately luring many customers into financial distress – but held off tightening their terms of credit to build a better market position.

    Reserve Bank documents, obtained by The Australian using Freedom of Information laws, show the change in lending standards was driven by competition and the housing boom.

    In the last six months of last year, banks informed the Reserve Bank that the proportion of new mortgages described as non-standard – such as low-document loans and those with high loan-to-valuation ratios – was increasing.

    That was despite the sub-prime crisis, rising interest rates and evidence that more of their existing mortgage customers were unable to make repayments.

    In April this year, as the Reserve Bank ended its run of interest rate rises, an RBA analysis found the relaxation of lending standards had allowed some Australians to take on extraordinary debts. Households with annual incomes of $60,000 or more could borrow up to five times their annual income – up from 4 1/2 times in 2004 – requiring repayments of about 50 per cent of gross income, up from 45 per cent in 2004 and well above the common cut-off point that lenders applied of 30 per cent.

    Single individuals could borrow amounts requiring repayments of 50-75 per cent of their net income, about 5 per cent higher than in 2004.

    Although most borrowers had not utilised their greater borrowing capacity, the analysis found “recent low-income home buyers do appear to have taken on relatively larger loans”.

    The median mortgage debt servicing ratio – the proportion of income spent on a mortgage – for recent mortgagors had risen from 20 per cent in 2003-04 to 22 per cent in 2005-06 and had been “accompanied by an increase in financial stress”.

    Based on income scales, the largest increase, 4 per cent, came from lower-income households and first-home owners.

    The analysis noted that new and poorer mortgagors had increasingly found themselves in financial trouble; since 2004 there had been a gradual increase in the proportion of loans that were at least 90 days in arrears.

    A follow-up analysis in July this year, based on data collected in May, found that for households earning $90,000 or more, their borrowing capacity had fallen by 6per cent since late last year. But most of that was due to rising interest rates as lending standards were “still much looser than in 2004″.

    That month, the Reserve Bank’s financial stability department also warned that the relaxation of standards, and particularly the rapid growth in low-document loans, “may mean that the average borrower in arrears is now less able to ’self-cure’ than in the past”.

  28. Reb

    Lol, it seems all the experts read this post yesterday

    House price forecast ‘inaccurate’,26860,25643313-5015795,00.html

    * Property forecast slammed
    * Research group ‘gets it wrong’
    * Price growth: BIS Shrapnel’s original forecast

    A BULLISH property forecast predicting 20 per cent growth in house prices over the next three years has drawn strong negative reaction from industry experts.

  29. The Daily Reckoning has an interesting take on the supposed housing boom and the ‘Buy Australian” campaign being launched by the NSW Government, in its daily newsletter:

    –Question: should investors get out of stock and back into real estate? If you ask BIS Shrapnel, the answer is probably yes! Yesterday, the firm released a study that concluded Australian house prices will go up an average of 20% over the next three years. We’re not making that up.

    –“We expect rising confidence in the prospects for an economic recovery in 2010, so investors are likely to return in greater numbers, attracted by increased rental returns and low interest rates,” says BIS Shrapnel senior project manager Angie Zigomanis, who was apparently not informed that Australian banks have begun raising home loan rates.

    –Blah blah blah. Yammer yammer yammer. Lies lies lies.

    –Well, okay. Maybe not lies. And to be fair, the BIS report actually admitted that the inflation adjusted gains in Aussie house prices, should they actually materialise, would actually be about half the nominal figure. You’d have something more like a 9%-11% gain over three years, or about 3% compounded after inflation-which is about seventeen percent smaller than twenty.

    –Even three percent a year seems generous to us, given that Aussie unemployment is still rising. More importantly, the low point of the interest rate cycle has been reached. It’s hard to see how that’s bullish for housing-unless BIS is right and investors dump shares and try to lock in new financing before interest rates rise even further (double digits by 2011, we reckon).

    –And let us not forget that first home buyers accounted for 28% of all new housing finance in April, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That’s the highest percentage since 1991, the ABS added. The first home buyers aren’t just a marginal force in the market any longer. The lure of government grants has sucked them into the residential property market at a peak in prices and a low point in interest rates. They may be propping up the market now. But when their financial strength fails, it could crush them AND the rest of the market too.

    –This is simply a disaster waiting to happen for the unlucky first homebuyers, as we’ve said before. Nor does it bode well for the rest of the residential property market. Real estate agents always tell you that the sooner you get on the housing ladder the sooner you can move on up. Buy a house, sell it. Buy a bigger house, sell it. Buy an even bigger house, and so on. There are many mansions in Australia’s property market.

    –What happens, though, if the lowest rung on the ladder is violently ripped off? If you bring forward years of demand by first home buyers and concentrate all that demand into a thirteen-month period (October of 2008 through the end of this year) what will happen? Hmm.

    –Well, for one, you will have structurally altered demand for housing finance for years to come. Eventually there’s going to be a drought of new buyers who cannot get credit or cannot afford to get on the ladder without a $30k boost from the politicians. But even that is an optimistic view.

    –The more negative view is that a large percentage of the FHBs who’ve come in on the current grant package are going to get wiped out. They will be renters for a long time to come. This removes them from future demand for housing finance too.

    –And so who will investors low on the ladder sell to? Who will people on the second rung of the property ladder sell to if there’s no one from the first rung looking to climb up? And if people in the middle of the housing market can’t sell to trade up, where will demand and the top end come from?

    –Maybe we’re wrong. We often are, and will be again (and again). But we suspect that the government’s policy to bring demand forward at the bottom end of the market will destroy future demand at ALL levels of the market. And one more point about housing. Quit sending in e-mails telling us it doubles every ten years.

    –Seriously. Stop it. We’re tired of reading them. Housing does not double every ten years. That is simply not true.

    –To get the doubling time for any investment you divide the interest rate you’re getting by 72. This is known as “The Rule of 72”. For example, an investment earning seven percent per year compounded would double in 10.3 years (72/7=10.28). You can see how absurd it is to suggest that it’s possible for housing (or any investment really) to grow infinitely at a rate of 7%.

    –By the way, if you want to see more on inherent possibility of exponential growth-and you are not easily bored-give this video a try. And after reading it, tell us if you agree or disagree with the following statement: a fiat money system accelerates the depletion of resources and the misallocation of capital.

    –Hey did you see the government of New South Wales has come up with a nifty new policy of buy Australian? The Rees government has said that NSW government departments and agencies have to give preference to Australian-made products when buying uniforms, cars and even trains, according to Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

    –It’s not exactly a Smoot-Hawley tariff war to kick off the next Great Depression. But in principle, this is an equally stupid policy. It’s again a case of what is seen versus what is unseen. What will be seen? The jobs that go to Australian companies that make these things.

    –What is unseen? The cost to NSW taxpayers will most certainly be higher to “buy Australian.” The government will pay more for these things, leaving it with less money to pay for other things. Or, it will raise taxes in order to pay for the higher spending, and the higher taxes leave New South Welshmen with that much less to spend on other products.

    –Either way, someone always pays the price when the government favours one group over the large group. About the only compelling argument for this kind of policy, in our opinion, is that competition for these goods or services from China (and that’s who this targets) is “unfair.”

    –That is, if the Chinese-or any other labour market for that matter-are using slave labour to produce goods, it’s a sound principle not to buy those goods. But if it’s not a moral issue and is just an issue of economics, the relevant question is whether these goods and services can be produced in Australia at competitive prices.

    –We suspect that for industries like textiles, the answer is simply no. Australia, like so many other Western countries, can’t compete on labour or raw material costs with lower-cost manufacturers. Where Western post-industrial economies ought to be able to compete is on quality.

    –Consumers will always pay more for superior quality for certain goods (textiles, electronics, and manufactured goods). In fact, Japanese and Chinese consumers seem to love French luxury goods, as we recall from our time dodging them outside the shops on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris.

    –The point is that Western firms can carve out a niche in high-margin manufactured goods and even textiles, provided the quality is excellent. But it’s not something you can do simply be changing a government policy. You have to compete. In the meantime, while we’re measuring how many jobs the NSW policy saves, can we also measure what the higher costs mean to everyone else in NSW?

    I suspect that this UNION led inititiative to buy only Australian, is going to really put pressure on ALP/Union relations in NSW.

  30. A thought..that the only thing that has been keeping the housing market buoyant in recent years has been readily available credit. That is, here is your housing loan and with it, we are offering (wait for it), here is your credit card (not stated of course, but just in case you default).

  31. Just in from Macquarie Bank via Dow Jones Online Services

    Macquarie Bank : “We believe it is likely that we are about to return to the ‘big and sharp’ economic cycles of the ’70s and ’80s. If this is correct, this has major implications for the volatility of corporate earnings, particularly cyclicals and equity returns.”

    Macquarie continues to expect inventory cycle and extremely positive monetary and fiscal policy to drive “V” shaped global economic recovery. But broker doesn’t expect global economy to return to long duration, low amplitude economic growth. “Rather, the cost of saving the system is likely to see a more volatile economic cycle that is shorter and larger.”

    I tend to agree with this as the Credit Markets are a long way from where they were in September last year.

    So I dont see a “Storm” coming. More likely a series of “waves” in the forseeable 5 to 6 years. Or a “W” shaped recovery cycle

  32. Maybe even a “Double W” recovery or “WW”………….!

  33. Lol, it seems all the experts read this post yesterday – House price forecast ‘inaccurate’

    LOL!! Remember John you heard that it was all bollocks here first!!

  34. Does this mean I need to put the cheque book away?

  35. Migs..hope that you don’t mind but I’ve mentioned your cellar on Victor’s cooking blog at: ..that is, it’s suitable as cooking wine 😉

  36. Thanks for the laugh Min. Like you, I’m bedridden today and thus a miserable old soul.

  37. I’m bedridden today and thus a miserable old soul.

    what makes today any different?

  38. He got a big fright when offered the position of “corporate barista” (tea lady) yesterday.

    Consequently, he’s had a sickie.

  39. Hey, maybe we should all bunk in together 🙂

    I don’t know whether I have the porkie flu (I do not do either dentists or doctors) but have confined self to barracks just in case.

  40. Tom..reminds me of eldest telling us that her b/f was a barrister..and yes she meant, he was a barista.

  41. Min, at least he had a job where he could make a valuable contribution to the community!

    Your daughters b/f was able to make an ethical living!!

  42. Reb

    Got to admit you made me really proud and I was glad I heard it here first. Lol

  43. Go on. Laugh, make jokes.

    Meanwhile I lay here dying.

  44. Meanwhile I lay here dying.

    Oh sure. Don’t you mean “meanwhile I lay here filling out workers’ comp forms and flicking through the real estate guide while my servants fix me a cup of lemsip”

  45. Miglo – “Meanwhile I lay here dying.”

    Then hurry up, you seem to be taking your time about it.

  46. Tom re daughter’s b/f was able to make an ethical living.

    Sadly daughter is now in a long term relationship (the ring being on the finger shortly me thinks) to…a..wait for IT journalist. Where did I go wrong? She could have had a barista and now it’s a…journalist.

    Obviously kidding, P* is the sweetest bloke.

  47. Min – “an IT journalist.”

    I have a daughter that won’t be ready for boyfriends for about a decade.

    I’ll learn from this mistake Min. Perhaps you would share with me where you think you went wrong?

  48. Migs..I think that Tom got you with that one..

    And you lot, stop making us sick persons laugh.

  49. John Mcphilbin, on June 15th, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    The more I think of it I believe the price of crude could be the trigger.

    I have noticed that after the last crude spike prices rose but when the crude price went down the prices stayed high.

    It was a gouge, if and when the spike occurs expect another round of price rises and watch the dominoes fall after that.

    A good excuse it will be just like the GFC is being used by all and sundry regardless if there is any actual fallout.

    A good example is at my wife’s work which is a legal practise and we all know that their business booms at the bottom of the economic cycle.

    Still shaking, been on the end of a jackhammer most of the day!

  50. Tom..I always thought, lots of sport, piano lessons and a university education and yet B* has ended up with an IT journo who plays keyboard and who surfs. It was a joke.

    This is very obviously kidding re further above, my dad was a factory worker, hubby’s dad drove the baker’s cart (as in a horse).

  51. Yes Min, i was joking.

    It is unusual that my comments are acknowledged as such sometimes.

    If future son in law surfs, he can’t be too bad.

  52. Then hurry up, you seem to be taking your time about it.

    I would have thought Tom, that you of all people, would derive great pleasure if my demise was slow and painful.

  53. Conceptually you are correct. The imagery is very appealing, you carking it, miserable, in Canberra, with an irrational public servant for a boss, with Port having been thrashed.


    The problem is that you keep telling us.

    Just get your loved ones to post a draft copy of the death notice please.

    *this is an attempt at humour Miglo.

  54. *this is an attempt at humour Miglo.

    Tom, I get more laughs from the posts where you attempt to be serious.

  55. Tom, thought that it could indeed be humour (hugs).

    Where does son in law surf? Down at Bells? It’s certainly double wet suit weather there at the moment.

    Migs and I are bunking in together while we have the flu and hubby and Jedda are going to wait on us hand and foot with chicken soup and TB’s toddies until we get well. And given the threat of bunking in together, this should take about 4 minutes. I’ve never seen a duck run so fast!

  56. Miglo – “Tom, I get more laughs from the posts where you attempt to be serious.”

    Ummmm, are you suggesting that you think I’ve posted something serious?

  57. Min, I’m pretty familiar with Bells.

    So, it is best that I don’t disclose my blogging hobby to anyone I happen to talk to in the surf.

  58. I saw recently (somewhere that I can’t recall right now) that US credit card companies are writing down about 10-12% of their loans, and empowering their frontline customer service agents (i.e. the lowliest tier who man the phones) to cut deals with delinquent customers. They reported on a “typical” case where the customer offered to repay 50% of the outstanding debt and call it quits, and the offer was accepted immediately without requiring approval from a supervisor.

  59. Lotharson

    Why don’t I doubt that this is likely to be the case?

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