Pete Wargent blogspot

Co-founder & CEO of AllenWargent property buyer's agents, offices in Brisbane (Riverside) & Sydney (Martin Place), and CEO of WargentAdvisory (providing subscription analysis, reports & services to institutional clients).

5 x finance/investment author - 'Get a Financial Grip: a simple plan for financial freedom’ (2012) rated Top 10 finance books by Money Magazine & Dymocks.

"Unfortunately so much commentary is self-serving or sensationalist. Pete Wargent shines through with his clear, sober & dispassionate analysis of the housing market, which is so valuable. Pete drills into the facts & unlocks the details that others gloss over in their rush to get a headline. On housing Pete is a must read, must follow - he is one of the finest property analysts in Australia" - Stephen Koukoulas, MD of Market Economics, former Senior Economics Adviser to Prime Minister Gillard.

"Pete is one of Australia's brightest financial minds - a must-follow for articulate, accurate & in-depth analysis." - David Scutt, Business Insider, leading Australian market analyst.

"I've been investing for over 40 years & read nearly every investment book ever written yet I still learned new concepts in his books. Pete Wargent is one of Australia's finest young financial commentators." - Michael Yardney, Australia's leading property expert, Amazon #1 best-selling author.

"The most knowledgeable person on Aussie real estate markets - Pete's work is great, loads of good data and charts, the most comprehensive analyst I follow in Australia. If you follow Australia, follow Pete Wargent" - Jonathan Tepper, Variant Perception, Global Macroeconomic Research, and author of the New York Times bestsellers 'End Game' and 'Code Red'.

"The level of detail in Pete's work is superlative across all of Australia's housing markets" - Grant Williams, co-founder RealVision - where world class experts share their thoughts on economics & finance - & author of Things That Make You Go of the world's most popular & widely-read financial publications.

"Wargent is a bald-faced realty foghorn" - David Llewellyn-Smith, MacroBusiness.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

2014a vs 2014f

The next two weeks are absolutely corkers for economic data. However, this week is relatively slow on the domestic front, despite a string of very strong US data overnight which bodes well for the ongoing US recovery.

To fill in for today in the absence of much interesting local news of note, I'll take a look at how Aussie property prices are tracking against our 2014 forecasts, by benchmarking against RP Data's Daily Home Value Index for the year-to-date.

Forecasters often back off from their previous predictions, but there's not really too much point in that. The very concept of accurately forecasting dwelling prices is flawed, since it is not possible to anticipate all future events which impact the economy.

Nevertheless, below is what we came up with for 2014. It may also be worth reading here the rationale behind our predictions, in particular why we came in lower than most, if not all, other forecasters.

2014 forecasts

Hobart -1% to 2%
Canberra -1% to -4%
Perth 0% to 3%
Adelaide 0% to 3%
Brisbane 2% to 5%
Melbourne 2% to 5%
Sydney 6% to 9%

The year to date...

The RP Data Daily Home Value Index does not cover daily figures for Hobart or Canberra, but we note that according to Residex prices have been flat or falling moderately, in line with expectations.


Our strongest 2014 forecast was for 6% to 9% capital growth in Sydney.

The home value index has historically recorded seasonal dips in May, the reasons for which have been well documented elsewhere.

We should now be through that seasonal dip and the outlook for Sydney suggests further price growth in 2014, 2015 and 2016 according to BIS Shrapnel.

I tend to agree that we'll likely ongoing growth for Sydney but at a slower pace than has been seen in the last 12 months (click chart).


Melbourne is a tricky one, the data always seems to imply higher vacancy rates and plenty of stock, and yet dwelling prices have often defied the data in this regard, presumably due to much of the new stock being less sought after.

We opted for 2% to 5% capital growth on the grounds that the market has already been heated for some years now. Our prediction was lower than what others expected. 

The daily home index has been a wild ride for Melbourne, first "booming" and then "busting" in 2014.

The net position is that the market is tracking at around a 2% annualised pace in 2014, which is consistent with the bottom end of our forecast range. 

Some talk of the Melbourne market having peaked around in media circles. Watch this space (click chart).


The market with the strongest 3 year prospects according to BIS Shrapnel who forecasts 17% capital growth over that time.

For similar reasons we plumped for 2% to 5% growth in 2014 for Brisbane and Gold Coast.

Tracking quite nicely (click chart).


It's been a recurring theme in Australia that every year the experts predict a "boom" in Adelaide but it never comes to pass.

To be blunt, I'm not a fan myself due to the weak and faltering local economy, a brain drain to other states, weak state population growth and rising unemployment, as documented here many times.

In fact, I will always be wary of experts recommending that you invest into an economy where unemployment is rising towards 7%, particularly if they are vested interests in that market.

If net jobs growth returns then fair enough, but until that time...pass.

For these reasons, our forecast was only for 0% to 3% capital growth, which may have been unpopular, but with the local press reporting an increasing number of foreclosures, I doubt we'll be too far off track with that prediction (click chart).


2013 was a great year for Perth, driven by the strongest rate of population growth in Australian capital cities. 

We see 2014 as being a flatter year as the mining boom reinvents itself as an export boom from a construction boom.

Over the longer term there will be opportunities in Perth, particularly for houses located near transport hubs as the city population swells (click chart).