Will Melbourne’s median house price exceed $2m by 2033?
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Will Melbourne’s median house price exceed $2m by 2033?
May 03, 2023 Episode 255
Stuart Wemyss

The unrefuted trend in all investment markets is mean reversion. It means that a period of below average returns is always followed by a period of above average returns. It is my thesis that investment-grade property in Melbourne looks attractive compared to other markets and that there are several economic tailwinds that may result in the median house prices doubling over the next decade. 

The macro environment is positive for property

In short, property prices are driven by the law of supply and demand. 

Demand for property is mainly dictated by interest rate settings, unemployment, and access to borrowings (mortgage lending). 

Supply is mainly dictated by volume of new construction and consumer sentiment i.e., whether people are willing to buy and sell property. In times of higher uncertainty, most people stop transacting, as we’ve seen over the past 12 months. 

Locking in higher discounts now will mean lower future interest rates 

All the big 4 bank CEO’s have commented that the mortgage market has become the most competitive that it’s ever been in history. Banks are offering unusually high interest rate discounts and cash incentives to win and retain customers. 

This chart (recently published in the AFR) suggests that banks are not generating a high enough return on new loans due to offering significant discounts. That means these discounts probably won’t last. I expect that banks will reduce discounting over the next 6 to 12 months once most of the low fixed rate loans have expired. 

As such, there’s a window of opportunity for investors to obtain an interest rate discount of 3% (or more) off the standard variable rate. Your discount will remain in place for the life of the loan. 

The chart below sets out interest-only investment interest rates after applying a 3% discount since 2003 (when the data set began) i.e., back testing to see what impact a 3% discount would have had. The average interest rate would have been 4.2% p.a. over the past 20 years (of course, this is theoretical because you would have never received a discount of that size). I think it’s realistic to expect your average interest rate to range between 4% and 5% over the long run. You should do your calculations assuming 6% p.a., just to be safe. 


We need more investors to solve the rental crisis 

On average, borrowing capacity has red

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