Is PM Abbott right about rising house prices?
OPINION: This article by property analyst Terry Ryder is thought provoking when he says Tony Abbott is absolutely right:
"There's something I never imagined I would ever say, but the Prime Minister is spot on with his comments this week about house prices.
"He said on Monday he thought rising house prices were a good thing.
"He sought to make his comments as a home-owner at Forestville in the northern beaches area of Sydney, as well as the nation's Prime Minister.
"The Federal Government has got a lot wrong on real estate, with its pointless inquiries and its equally pointless targeting of foreign investors in a sabre-rattling attempt to be seen to be taking strong action.
"But Abbott was right on the mark about house prices.
"It's long overdue for someone in authority to make the point that for people who own homes - which means the vast majority of Australian households - rising property values are a good thing.
"They're also a good thing for the nation.
"For way too long, mainstream media has characterised any rise in house prices as a national crisis.
"It's been the dominant tone in newspapers since the start of the century, which began with a genuine national property boom from 2001 to 2003, and it's reached the point of absurdity more recently with coverage of the Claytons boom centred on Sydney.
"Media have also lost all sense of balance with its treatment of affordability.
"They've turned first-home buyers into a kind of protected species, to be fussed over to the exclusion of everyone else, including the seven out of 10 households who own their homes and want their values to rise.
"Here's what the Prime Minister said on Monday: 'This government is trying to make housing more available, we've tried to make housing more affordable, and the best way to make housing more affordable is to keep interest rates low and stable and that's exactly what's happening and trying to make sure the economy is strong.
'As someone who, along with a bank, owns a house in Sydney I do hope that our housing prices are increasing.
'I do want housing to be affordable, but nevertheless I also want house prices to be modestly increasing."
"That's probably the only time in his reign Abbott has spoken on behalf of most Australians."
Mark Spearing is the Gladstone zone chairman for the REIQ