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australia propertyHaving just returned from attending a Real Estate Conference in the USA, Sandhurst Residential Real Estate Director, Peter Righetti made some interesting observations.

“The US property market is not is good shape” Mr Righetti said. “Small pockets such as New York are doing better than most, but the majority of their housing market is really in the doldrums”

He added “it is great to get back home and see the strength in our property market”

Interesting feedback from the USA included:

– Home Loans are available at around 4.5% – 5% but even with rates at those levels, buyers are not buying.

– In some areas including Las Vegas, most of Florida and Southern California, values have dropped by close 50% over the past 3 years.

– The business climate is improving but people still seem reluctant to buy houses.

– Rental levels are not increasing as might have been expected when fewer people are buying. Anecdotal evidence is that many people are moving in to live with family or friends rather than renting, so as to save money.

There is a new frugal approach in the USA, which has been, for most of the past 50 years, the World leader in “consumerism”.

Mr Righetti made the point that the Australian economy is in much stronger shape than the US because of our mineral and agricultural exports, our more conservative bank lending practices and the high levels of immigration into Australia.

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