The NAB Residential Property Index is forecasting price growth this year and next year – and that’s significant because it’s rare for this report to find any thingpositive to say about Australian real estate.
NAB has been publishing this quarterly index report for many years and its hallmark is being extremely negative or conservative about property prices across Australia.
It forecast price decline in 2020 but prices rose and it forecast very moderate growth in 2021 and we saw an extraordinary property boom.
So to have the NAB Residential Property Index predicting solid increases in house prices not only this year but in 2024 as well is, I think, quite significant.
The NAB index rose sharply in the second quarter of 2023, underpinned by rising home prices and solid rental growth. Confidence levels also bounced, with market recovery expectations now much firmer.
The NAB survey findings point to a substantial undersupply of rental property across much of the country.
NAB has revised up its outlook for property prices with the demand/supply imbalance offsetting the drag from reduced borrowing power and affordability as rates rise.
The report says: “We see the RBA lifting rates to 4.6% by September, then staying on hold until 2024. That sees property prices rise by 4.7% this year and around 5% next year as rate cuts begin to add some support.”
Housing market sentiment improved in most states in the June Quarter and was highest (not surprisingly, given the strength of the Perth market) in WA, with solid uplifts also recorded in SA, VIC and NSW.
Confidence also lifted sharply with recovery expectations now much firmer.
The report also reveals the opinions of survey respondents on how best to deal with the rental shortage.
Two-thirds believe that fast tracking planning permissions and developments would be most effective in reducing Australia’s housing shortage, while 60% favour financial incentives for property investors and half of respondents want incentives for older Australians to downsize.
Other ideas include building more affordable or public housing, allowing more sub-divisions, and making negative gearing more attractive.
All of these ideas have merit but the most important one, I believe, is creating incentives for property investors to get into the market and supply homes for rent – the exact opposite of what we have seen for many years, which is a steady stream of disincentives for investors, which collectively have created the rental shortage.