Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mish Thinks Australia's Housing Bust Has Begun.

In an awkward analogy, perhaps meant to soften the blow for those reading it from Downunder, Mish lays out what he sees as the state of the real estate market in Australia.

Partied Out: A Recap of Australia's Now Imploding Housing Bubble
Meanwhile, the group of bar owners and bartenders known as the “Big Four” were forced to pass along the central distributor's price hikes. Nonetheless, the masses kept drinking and partying. It was quite the spike government officials threw into the punch!

In an act of desperation, the “Big Four” bar owners finally raised prices even more than the wholesale liqueur distributor. They did this after becoming worried about the consequences of drunks passing out on the floor, in the street, and in the outback, unable to pay their "bar tabs".
It certainly took longer than I expected but signs suggest the Australia housing boom is finally over. The bubble will take years to unwind.

He goes on to cite the increase in inventory, the poor result of the Sydney Opera House auction, a fall in construction financing, and a decline in general business conditions.

I think there needs to be a bubble and bust in bubble bust calls before the actual bust is in. I'm inclined to believe the higher inventory is home owners who decided they are actually investors who would like to lock in their profits, now, thank you. Do they really have to sell, or are they just hoping to? Market wise those are not the same condition. It's when owners become desperate sellers that the air really begins to leave the bubble. Strategic cash-outs are not the beginning of the end. As well, a general decline in business conditions, given that most mortgages are adjustable, could be the adjustment in mortgage rates sucking up household discretionary funds, not a broader decline in employment or pay rates.

Basically, this doesn't feel like the end yet. If the government *dropped* rates in a desperate attempt to shore things up in the broader economy . . . that would feel like the downslope was really in. We're in the ego stage where people fight over meta realities still. They are not fighting over solid trends in numbers yet.

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