Debunking bubble economies - Australia pt3

This quarter's letter of hedge fund Broyhill AM is focusing on the Australian housing bubble, one of the biggest real estate bubble on the planet, after Japan in the late 1980s and China today.

Here are some interesting quotes:
[...] the ratio of residential real estate to GDP in China looks a lot like California in 2006, while levels in Beijing and Shanghai match the Japanese peak in 1990.
Low-doc loans accounted for 10 percent of new housing loans in 2006, compared with less than one half percent in 2000.
according to Guy Debelle, Assistant Governor of the RBA, low-doc loans still account for almost 10 percent of new loans and almost half of all new home owners are opting to not make any principal repayments. We also find it curious that “investor’s” (i.e. speculator’s) share of new home loans has risen almost uncontrollably, while first time buyers disappear from the market
Australian households currently hold more than $1 trillion in debt, a record level. The ratio of household debt to disposable income in Australia was 158 percent, at the end of the first quarter.
New homes starts hit a six-year high last quarter thanks to stimulus spending on public housing. In all, home starts were almost 35 percent higher than in the first quarter of 2009, the fastest annual pace in eight years. Approvals to build new homes surged 43 percent between May and December last year, leaving a big pipeline of construction still to come. Growth in approvals has leveled off in the past few months but they still remain 37 percent above last year’s low. Yet analysts still allege that far fewer homes are being built than needed to meet demand. We shall see.
More in the next episode dedicated to Australia.

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