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Foreign investors have “very odd” views about Australian property and fret that housing prices may yet collapse, according to a senior Australian banking executive.

“Overseas investors have a very odd set of views about Australian property prices,” Phil Chronican, ANZ’s chief executive of its Australian operations, said today.

“They on one hand look at the stability and take a lot of comfort from it. The other is they cannot believe Australia was able to not have a property price collapse.”

Questions about the health of Australia’s property market continue to surface in talks ANZ has with investors overseas more than four years after the financial crisis battered real estate markets in the US and UK, Mr Chronican told the American Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne.
Australia’s capital city home prices have lost 4.4 per cent in the year to March, and the outlook remains subdued.

While home prices have turned positive in the past two months, building approvals and dwelling starts have plunged and a shortage of affordable homes remains.
In the wide-ranging speech, the executive in charge of ANZ’s domestic market said the mining boom was passing many Australians by, contributing to a drop off in consumer activity in recent years.
“Despite our strong economy, many Australians feel worried about our prospects in the face of uncertainty in Europe and many, particularly outside the fast lane of the mining and resource sector, feel they’re not seeing the benefits,” Mr Chronican said.


Story by Chris Zappone,

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