IN 1997, when the film The Castle was released, viewers smiled at the naivety of the Kerrigan family when son Dale described their home as “worth almost as much today as when we bought it”. It tapped into the common expectation of continuing rising values.
But this year we are seeing a protracted weaker market and, although it may mean bargains, buyers are cautious. They cannot afford to make a mistake in a flat market by paying too much or buying the wrong property.
And many Australians are concentrating on saving more and cutting debt. RP Data says the higher cost of living and debt consolidation remain at the forefront of consumers’ decision-making, which is reflected in the high household savings ratio and low transaction volumes for housing.