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Nightmare vision of impending property crash - Australia


John Collett  Personal finance editor

Property 'bubble' ready to pop

Personal finance editor John Collett and business columnist David Potts speak to economist Harry Dent who claims Australia is in the midst of a property bubble about the burst.
American economist and demographer Harry S Dent jnr says there is a bubble in Australian house prices and we should brace ourselves for a spectacular collapse starting this year.
Have US experts missed the point about Australian property?
For more on Harry S Dent jnr's property predictions read David Potts in  Weekend Money, with the Sun-Herald and Sunday Age.

Dent is in Australia to speak at seminars and to promote his book, “The Demographic Cliff”. He says that house prices are unsustainable and will fall by at least 27 per cent in Sydney and Melbourne over the next several years.

Your real estate is so high it has to come down.

Dent told Money in a video interview that the trigger for the collapse of Australia's house price bubble will be the bursting of the Chinese house bubble.
How high can property go?

How high can property go? Photo: Frank Maiorana

Dent says Sydney and Melbourne property markets are being held up by foreign buyers and that cannot last forever.

“China has a bubble [in house prices] that makes Australia's look like nothing,” he says.

“I think China's bubble is going to burst and I cannot see any way that Australian property prices can keep going up," he says.

If his forecasts do not come true it will be because governments “wave the magic wand and kick the can down the road again”.

The Reserve Bank of Australia and most Australian economists say there is no bubble in Australian house prices. But Dent is sticking to his guns.

“Nobody in real estate development or government can afford to say that 'we have got a bubble',” he says. “They will always say it is not a bubble”.

But what of our special factors - we are a very large country with a unique economy and most of the population concentrated in a few conurbations - don't they count against the general rules for bubbles and their ending. Dent says he has studied every bubble in history and every time a bubble comes whether it is in tulip bulbs, gold, stocks or housing they are always described by those on the inside as being different, and unlikely to burst.

“I am saying that China has the biggest [bubble] and that is going to trigger [the bursting of] your bubble. Your real estate is so high it has to come down in the next few years."


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