Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Mortgages soak up 40% of first home buyers' pay: "First home buyers in Sydney are being forced to fork out a record 40.6 per cent of average incomes to pay for a typical mortgage, as spiralling home prices make gaining a foothold in the city's booming property market more difficult than ever. Home loans ate up more average household income in the three months to June than in late 1989, when interest rates reached 17 per cent, a Commonwealth Bank-Housing Industry Association report shows."

"In 1989, when interest rates soared to 17 per cent and higher, the monthly loan repayment needed on the typical first home loan reached 35 per cent of average household income. A year ago this proportion was 33 per cent. The number of first home buyers, as a proportion of all home buyers in Sydney, had slumped to an all-time low of 13 per cent, down from about 25 per cent two years ago"

What comes after a land boom? A bust and recession. The only question is when the bust hits and how severe the recession will be. According to the George/Hoyt/Harrison 18-year cycle of land values, we still have fully four years to reach the peak, but one wonders how long the current boom can really be sustained. The increasing involvement of "investors" in the market is a worrying sign of a speculative boom.

The only way to contain land booms and make land more affordable iis by appropriating a greater proportion of the site rent as public revenue, however this analysis cannot even be discussed in the mainstream let alone proposed or implemented. Note the constant falsehood that "house prices" or "bricks and mortar" are rising. It is land prices and nothing else.

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