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12 October 2011 @ 08:49 pm
Housing market slide  
Had an email this afternoon from another lender, bemoaning the fact that he lost a $1M loan because the security properties didn't value up. Huh. Welcome to my world. I've knocked back over $6M in loans so far this year for that very reason.

The market correction is quite widespread now. While Qld / Brisbane is feeling the most pain, other states aren't too much better off. I get a weekly email from a real estate website which brings me the latest listings within a particular price range in a couple of states; at the start it only returned results for listings in country towns but over the last few months there are more and more Sydney and Melbourne properties creeping in. Time was you couldn't buy anything under $300,000 in any capital city but now we' re seeing them appear as desperate vendors strive to meet the market. It's a brilliant time to buy, if you don't need to sell as well.

The absolute hardest-hit region in Qld, though, would have to be the Gold Coast. Even six months ago our valuers were saying that they were putting 2005 prices on property valuations. When you consider the number of apartments that sold off the plan there over the last few years - apartments that have either only just been completed or have yet to be finished off - and the prices that those units sold for off the plan, you start to realise just how badly some people must be hurting. It's all very well to have bought these things a few years ago based on a deposit down and a bank approval - but when it comes time to re-value the property prior to handover the purchasers get a rude shock. All of a sudden their 80% loan is nowhere near enough. Valuations have dropped but the contracted prices do not.

A number of purchasers have turned to the courts to try and have their contracts voided but so far no-one has been successful. Vendors are standing firm and insisting (quite rightly) that purchasers honour their contracts as they don't want to be left holding a block full of vacant units. Even cashed-up purchasers are facing the problem of paying way more than current market rate, meaning that the market would need to rise by a considerable amount just for them to break even on a sale, never mind a profit. And just about all of these were sold to investors, not owner-occupiers; they're really feeling the pain.
 
 
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