No hous­ing bub­ble, say Aussie banks

New Straits Times - - Business / World - Bloomberg

Soar­ing home prices in Aus­tralia’s big­gest cities don’t nec­es­sar­ily mean the coun­try is in the grip of a hous­ing bub­ble, ac­cord­ing to the heads of the na­tion’s big­gest banks.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank Ltd (NAB), West­pac Bank­ing Corp and Com­mon­wealth Bank of Aus­tralia all said while they were worried about el­e­ments of the hous­ing mar­ket, prices were not over in­flated.

“I would draw the dis­tinc­tion be­tween a spec­u­la­tive bub­ble in prices and prices be­yond what fun­da­men­tals would jus­tify,” West­pac’s Brian Hartzer told the par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee in Can­berra yes­ter­day. A bub­ble was not oc­cur­ring in Mel­bourne or here, where house prices had risen the most, he said.

“There are in­creas­ing risks, but I still be­lieve the an­swer is no,” said NAB chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drew Thor­burn.

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