The banks' delicate property balance

The year ahead will present a major challenge for the banks, with Australia's big four holding the fate of the property market in their hands.

One of the biggest question marks facing Australia in 2012 is whether global banking turbulence will affect Australian property prices. The international bears say we are very vulnerable. For example, the International Monetary Fund says that Australian house prices are overvalued by between 10 and 15 per cent. The Economist magazine reckons the overvaluation is closer to 50 per cent. By contrast, Business Spectator columnist Christopher Joye from Rismark believes our dwellings are not overpriced (Disposable house price myths, December 20).

The last word we got from 2011 was RP Data-Rismark November capital city home value index, showing a rise of 0.1 per cent in November – its first lift in 11 months.



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