Sunday, November 29, 2009

Australia, meet Dubai

The property market is Dubai is crashing and burning as we speak.  It was inevitable of course, but never underestimate the perseverance of a property boom.

On that note I want to talk about the future here in Australia.  In 2010 and beyond I foresee the following sequence of events.

1. Rate hikes of another 0.5%
2. Property prices will flatten and fall in some areas
3. The government will run out of ways to keep housing demand propped up – we had more cash injections and foreign buyers (although as yet I can’t imagine what else may be dreamt up).
4.  Inflation will be a major concern again – the USD will recover and the fuel price here will head up.
5.  September 2010 will lead to another correction on the share market, taking the ASX200 down below 4000 again.
6.  But then a strong rebound in November up to 4400
7.  House price will stabilise at 10% below their peak (in nominal terms) but real growth in house prices will not occur until 2015.
8.  A Current Affair and Today Tonight will has specials about house prices crashing in certain areas and people being forced out of their homes by mortgagees.
9.  Even while this is happening, people will continue to shout and scream about a housing shortage and argue for reduced taxes on developers (even though we have the world's biggest houses)
10.  The 2011 census data will show that demolition rates were less than expected and that the total number of dwellings in Australia is higher than expected (the remarks by the RBA’s Ric Battellino seemed a bit pushy on the supply constraint issue).

It’s not a catastrophic forecast, but it seems reasonable to me. Anything I've missed?


  1. Cameron, I would be interested to hear your opinion of Dubai in a general sense.
    Dubai: the neo-con free-market Utopian dream as only a dictatorship could realize. We can all be shocked by the slave labour, the environmental recklessness, sparkling forgivingly with wealth like a polished turd. We may be shocked and outraged, but it is the shock and outrage of a father when his son turns out to have the same failings as he does. We all live a charmed life, driven around in carts hauled by pregnant women on their hands and knees living in the work-houses of the world. The only difference is that in Dubai it is painfully obvious. We prefer to have our slaves hidden: 'Until a few years ago they (the imported laborers) were shuttled back and forth on cattle trucks, but the expats complained this was unsightly, so now they are shunted on small metal buses that function like greenhouses in the desert heat.'
    Anyway, I believe that Dubai is a scourge of humanity – and an irrefutably despicable test-case of neo-con globalization.

  2. I think you forgot about fashion: What will we be wearing in 2010? Shiny Space/Scuba suits to protect against the toxic air and then to dive underwater to get into our homes?

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