Property locusts swarm as first home buyers strike

Last week, we witnessed two of Australia’s main housing groups – the Property Council of Australia (PCA) and Master Builders Australia (MBA) – call for massive subsidies to stimulate new home construction.

Then, Prime Minister Scott Morrison flagged massive housing stimulus.

Now, Housing Industry Association (HIA) president Simon Norris says many prospective house buyers are holding off making a purchase decision due to expectations that they will receive a government grant. This view has been backed up by Tamawood’s executive chairman, Robert Lynch, who is “livid” that people are waiting to see if there will be cash incentives before committing to buying a home from the residential builder:

“Our numbers were coming back to close to what it was pre-COVID and while we’re still seeing a number of people, nobody is willing to commit – they’re waiting to find out what the government’s going to do,” Tamawood executive chairman Robert Lynch told The Australian Financial Review.

“Everyone who was going to buy a house is saying, ‘I’m not going to buy a house because I’m going to get $50,000 by hanging on'”…

“We’re livid. For industry bodies who should understand the effect of what they’re saying – to come out with announcements like this is just ridiculous,” he said…

Tamawood is not alone. Industry veteran and Housing Industry Association president Simon Norris said on Wednesday other builders were also finding potential buyers were suddenly sitting on their hands in expectation of a cash grant…

“We are hearing that purchasers are delaying their decisions to buy or build, which is unfortunate,” Mr Norris said. “It’s stopping them from committing.”

Always fun to watch the swarm is eating itself.

Leith van Onselen

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