The battle for the hearts and mind of who’s telling the truth about housing prices in Australia rages on. In the latest installment SQM research’s Louis Christopher has returned serve to Michael Matusik via SQM’s newsletter.
Mr Christopher seems to have taken offence to an article written by Mr Matusik over at Jonathan Chancellor’s latest venture
It is always lovely when someone else in the industry gets their knickers in a knot about something we have done or said and most of the time we are flattered that we have attracted such attention.
For a long time we’ve been sought by the media to a lessor or greater extent based on the notion that we are TELLING THE TRUTH, which we suppose must outrage most of those spruiker analysts, vying for some pro-property coverage. It must be disappointing for them that the Australian public is becoming increasingly uninterested in hearing a biased positive spin on a falling housing market.
Last week, our regular Most Discounted Properties List also copped a bit of flak, with a particular commentator lashing out over the fact that the top ten most discounted properties supposedly aren’t in mainstream areas and therefore our list isn’t a good reflection of the current market. The commentator, Michael Matusik, went on to suggest that we release this list in an attempt to draw mainstream publicity and implied that any ‘serious analyst’ would leave out certain outliers in the list.
You can have a read of the article here –
On this note we would just like to point out that this list is compiled based on truthful data. It would be untruthful for us to spin ten properties that were in more commonly known areas just because they would be of better use to our consumers, and brand them as the top ten most discounted properties around the nation. Our list is a raw reflection of the data. It is not supposed to be a specific indication of the current market, even if it does from time to time reveal similar results to our forecasts. This point was made directly and privately to Michael Matusik many weeks ago, whom, it seems has decided he wants to get publicly personal with us. In any case, what this Queensland ‘analyst’ has failed to mention is that indeed, many high quality properties close to the CBD do regularly make the list.
In the same article, this commentator went on, asserting that “asking prices” have been declining rather than actual prices declining. It will never cease to amaze us what angle will be used to ensure that an optimistic assessment is given of the housing market. And when you can see ACTUAL prices falling, that really does mean there are home owners out there selling at a loss. Not all of them of course, because many would have bought many years ago. But nevertheless, there are MANY owners sitting on losses. Put it this way, I would not like to have been a first home buyer purchasing on the Gold Coast in 2009. We would suggest most of these buyers are facing LOSSES right now.
I know this sort of drama is probably good for publicity for the companies involved and is sure to escalate as the market’s troubles continue. However, in my opinion, this once again highlights the bizarre situation that Australia finds itself in where the value of the largest asset class in the country is a play thing for commercial interests. As I have suggested previously it is time that the ABS invested in creating its own hedonic index so that all Australians, the government and the RBA had a truly independent index of our national wealth to better inform judgements on personal and national economic decisions.