Three property experts fail to get there message right, while Trump is out on his own.
So a bit of a mixed bag this week. The things that stuck out for me this week weren’t so much in the data, but in the stories people are telling.
Propaganda is a fine art, even in property, and here are three complete fails and one total home run.
The first is from Real Estate legend John McGrath:
Have you noticed that the speculation has started? The property market is “grinding to a halt”. The boom is over. The banks have lent too much. The bubble is going to burst…
The key is not to panic…
… The two most likely eventualities are as follows:
- The pace of growth in property prices will slow down but not stop. Property prices will keep growing but at a lesser rate per year.
- We have a minor correction, where the market will do as it has done before and give back about half of the prior year’s growth, so that would be around 5%…
… If you are in the market to buy, don’t put it off because you think prices will plunge – it never happens that way. Take a sensible measured approach, set a budget and buy the right property for you.
If you are thinking of selling, now’s the time. It feels to me like we’re at, or close, to the peak of this cycle, so if you want to fully capitalise on this boom, now is the time to sell.
Ok, so in short, don’t believe the hype. The market is not going to crash, and now is the perfect time to buy, and the perfect time to sell.
Only a real estate agent could pull that off with a straight face. I’d agree that the negative press is overblown (again!), but I’m not convinced I see prices falling or even stalling.
This “peak of the cycle” business is classic real estate fodder. What better way to convince people to sell than tell them that the market has peaked?
But you also need buyers, who will just sit on the sidelines if prices are falling, and so we have the logical double-twist with half-pike that says prices will fall, but only a little, creating the perfect time to buy, the perfect time to sell, and the perfect time to pay a real estate agent a nice fat commission.
Pull the other one John.
The second fail is from Macquarie Bank. They reckon the Bank Levy will have a “disproportionate and unintended consequences” on their operations and they may have to move offshore.
I think the “I’m taking my bat and ball and going home” argument can pack some weight if you’re a well-loved Aussie icon, like Holden or Vegemite. But who is going to cry for Macquarie?
All it says it that your only interest in Australia and Australians is purely financial, and you’ve got a bit of a glass jaw.
Don’t let the door hit you on the arse on the way out.
The third fail was from the apartment lobby, through Sue Jong, chief operations officer of Chinese real estate portal Juwai. They were complaining about the recent changes in NSW that slugged foreign investors with extra fees. She said:
“This policy could decrease foreign investment in NSW new property by as much as 15 per cent.
With every misguided new policy proposal, foreign investment will decrease along with new housing construction, housing affordability and construction employment.
For every unit a foreign buyer purchases, they enable developers to build four more homes for first-time buyers and investors.”
I’m not sure about that last stat. Sounds a little suss to me. But one thing I could tell you is that if I owned a highrise apartment in Sydney, I’d be praying for a 15% fall in foreign demand, since, by law, that demand must go into new dwellings.
And adding more dwellings to an already oversupplied market can only lead to more downward pressure on prices.
I think there is real anger in the community about the way some shoddy highrises have been thrown together, have flooded the market, and have neglected the needs of locals just to serve foreign investors.
In most people’s minds, Ms Jong just said the government’s policy was a good idea.
Lastly, and just because I couldn’t resist having a go at it, was Trump’s ‘Covfefe’ gaffe.
In case you missed it, apparently, Donald Trump forgot to lock his phone, and arse-tweeted the free-world.
The internet, of course, went into melt-down.
The narrative, of course, is that Trump is unhinged and unpredictable, and can’t manage basic things, like his phone.
But am I the only one who thinks it was deliberate?
The tweet was left up for hours, even though the White House would have known within minutes what had happened.
And what does it say about Trump? It says Trump isn’t filtering himself. He’s not passing his messages threw focus groups, before spewing up the most banal version possible to the listening public.
For Trump’s base, he’s just reinforcing the message that he’s “authentic” and “not a politician.” They go nuts for that stuff.
And what was the complete sentence there? “Despite all the negative press…” That will mean different things depending on who you are. If you’re part of his base, he’s talking about a vindictive press that’s out to slander the President. If you’re not, then it has been a pretty gruesome month in the news.
So no matter who you are, here’s a funny word to break things up a bit: covfefe.
It’s genius right?
If only he’d use his talents for good, not evil.
What do you make of it?