Friday, October 5, 2012

Why haven't house prices crashed in Australia?

Voltron, spanning the globe to bring you the gouge:

Why haven't house prices crashed in Australia?  I bring this up, because I need something new to short sell!   It looks like house prices may have bottomed in the US because the Fed will continue to print money to buy bad mortgage debt and the banks stubbornly refuse to write off bad loans.   House prices in Canada are still very high, especially Toronto and Vancouver, but I can't figure out how to short this market because all the loans are guaranteed by the Canadian government (CMHC).  It's waaaay undercapitalized, but the Canadians have a printing press too.

Loans in Australia, on the other hand, are generally not guaranteed by the government and their housing prices have remained stubbornly high in the face of a global real estate collapse and debt deflation.

Why?  According to Karl Fitzgerald on Australian Community Radio (The Renegade Economist on 3CR) says that in Australia, the bank counts the "expected price increase" as "income" when deciding if you can afford the loan.  Since prices have been going up 6-8%/year, the houses are basically self-financing and it doesn't matter what your income is.

This HAS to be the reason.  That is a level of insanity not even approached in the US.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Voltron...could a play on Australian/NZ debt be a possible play? I know it is not "shorting" Aussie housing market, but it would stand to reason that the Aussies would QE when their bubble burst, thus raising the prices of Aussie debt.