Real Estate Report - 27/06/11

Real Estate

The country’s largest real estate companies are getting ready for a fight with REA Group over the increasing costs of online advertising and the use of property data. According to a report by The Australian Financial Review major agencies LJ Hooker, Ray White, Raine & Horne and Century 21 are considering setting up a rival information and advertising portal. “Project Rebellion” is in full force according to David Airey, the President of the Real Estate Institute of Australia.

Meanwhile, residents in Sydney and Melbourne are settling for the wrong type of house in the wrong area according to a new report “The Housing We’d Choose” by the Grattan Institute. The report says developers are ignoring buyers’ preferences and building the wrong type of houses, if any at all. Planning laws and developers’ levies are said to be distorting the supply of new housing.

SQM Research data is showing signs of weakness in the property market. House prices in Perth have fallen 3.8 per cent from their peak, Brisbane is down 3.6 per cent, Melbourne fell 2.5 per cent, Sydney fell 2 per cent and Darwin 1.3 per cent. Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra have been less affected, all declining less than 1 per cent from their peak levels.

And the Reserve Bank of Australia released the minutes of its June Monetary Policy Meeting this week. The minutes noted that the housing market remained soft with average dwelling prices falling modestly this year, and weakness mostly in more expensive suburbs. Housing credit growth had slowed and loan approvals had fallen in the first three months of the year, although preliminary numbers for April had shown an increase. The board advised that further tightening in monetary policy would be necessary at some point, but that it wasn’t urgent.