How to sort fact from fiction: reading the latest property market headlines like a pro
Let’s face it – the media are always looking for the latest and greatest story to sell. Whatever is going to get the most attention, secure a sale, or cause water cooler conversation is the name of the game for those creating content for the news cycles on a daily basis. As recently as September 2018, 60 Minutes claimed that house prices across pockets around Australia may fall by as much as 40% in the next year. For many, this has caused a flurry of concern and frantic activity (which is reasonable, if you truly believe your home value may fall by two fifths of its total value over the next twelve months!). However, this isn’t the first time a major news outlet has made unsubstantiated claims about the behaviour of the real estate market, and it’s best to learn who to pay attention to – and who’s worth tuning out in order to save yourself the trouble.
In our day-to-day work, we’re seeing a reality that’s far from these scaremongering predictions. Although property prices have fallen slightly in recent weeks, this is off the back of a substantial increase in property values in many regions around Australia over the past few years. The nation has watched in fascination as property values reached unheard of heights in Sydney and Melbourne, to the delight of some and the dismay of others.
The stress experienced by many who listen to these doom-and-gloom predictions could be saved if those in the media reported with more responsibility to the truth – and an awareness of the nature of the real estate cycle. Values rise and fall, and the nature of our increasing population, along with a healthy and growing economy, means we’re more likely than not to see property values continue to grow. With the amount of job creation across the nation, our economy – and our property market – is set to benefit from a continued influx of new citizens. With Australia’s goal to hit 40 million residents across the next thirty years from our current level of 25 million, there’s plenty of space for real estate to continue to grow to meet a booming demand and shifting residential needs.
When you’re trying to decide whether or not to pay attention to voices in the media, whether their commentary on the property market is positive or not, here’s some key elements to consider…
- How is the health of our economy?
- Is our population set to grow or decrease?
- Have I invested/am I looking to invest in an area that has a healthy level of real estate demand?
And finally… does the source of the information stand to gain attention or make sales through increasing hype, panic and confusion around unreliable information?
Perhaps it’s time to pick up a book or pop on a movie instead of listening to the ‘journalists’ – they’re not as skilled in weaving fiction from fact.