My old sparing partner and AFR scribe, Christopher Joye, thinks “when [house] prices do start sliding, it is not inconceivable that we could see unprecedented 10 to 20 per cent losses across the board”.
While I am clearly worried about the current run up in house prices and can see a period where house prices will falter as the RBA moves to a monetary policy tightening cycle, Chris’ view of such large falls seems to be askew.
As a result, I am offering Chris a simple two-tiered offer based on his forecast.
If house prices do fall 20.0 per cent or more at any stage between now and the March quarter 2017, he wins big time with his spectacular forecast and I will give him $10,000 in used, non-consecutive $100 notes. If he is wrong, all he has to do is give me $1,000. For Chris, those seem juicy odds at 10 to 1 on something he thinks could happen.
If house prices fall 10.0 per cent or more at any time over the next three years (to the March quarter 2017), I will still give Chris a chunky $10,000 in cold hard cash, but if he is wrong, he has to stump up with $10,000 also. In other words, it is an even money bet on the lower band of his forecast.
I am happy for Chris to come back with me with alternative stakes if he is not a cash punter. Walks to the Snowy Mountains or nude runs around Martin Place are not my bag, so I am open to suggestion on an alternative wager.
For the sake of impartiality, the benchmark should be the ABS quarterly residential property price indexes, Catalogue 6416.0, Eight capital cities.
There will be 13 quarters of data on which to base the bet and whatever the peak in house prices may be in that time, eg, the June quarter 2014, Chris can use that to measure price falls at any stage up to and including the March quarter 2017.
The bet will be settled on the release on the March quarter 2017 ABS residential property indexes, which is likely to be around mid-May,2017
I hope Chris is a good sport – the offer is made in good faith but simply calls to task the Page 1 news his opinion has generated.
UPDATE: Chris has rejected the offer for a wager, claiming that “I’m not predicting 20pc fall in house prices. I said 10-20pc fall was a risk”