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Today in property: govt responds to calls to act fast on economy, loan arrears up, buying cheaper

What a day this has been, what a grand mood I'm in

So, a massive week. We've laughed, we've cried, we've had heroes and villains. And today, with the pundits reckoning that the Reserve Bank's words and actions over the past week signal there will be not one, but two more rate cuts before Christmas, we're starting to see (talk of) more action in Canberra.

Responding to the cacophony of calls from economists, business and the RBA to do more to stimulate the economy, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has told the AFR that, once the Morrison government's tax package is squared away, they'll focus on new measures to boost productivity performance.

What measures, I hear you ask? For that, JoFry has opened it up to the floor. "I'm open-minded to new ideas and I'll be having discussions with my international counterparts about productivity enhancing reforms in their own economies."

Friday's Villain Of The Week award has to go to ANZ chief exec Shayne Elliott - firstly for having the temerity to not pass on the full 25 basis point cut to his bank's borrowers, and then to sting savers with the full cut to their interest rates. The icing on the cake is today, he's blaming tighter restrictions and costs imposed on the bank following the Royal Commission as the reason why the full cut couldn't be passed on. Mr Elliott couldn't have done more this week to smear mud on his own moniker in Canberra.

Speaking of ANZ, we're seeing reports on the bank's joint report with CoreLogic today showing property prices will start rising in 2020. It's not really adding anything new to the conversation as far as we can see - but it's encouraging to see another study reinforcing predictions on recovery.

On the topic of hip pockets, we're about to see petrol prices drop in Australia as global oil prices tank. (Sorry, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.)

It was also nice to see our new federal housing minster, Michael Sukkar pop his head up in today's reporting - although his topic of conversation was less than friendly. He's fired a shot across the bows of developers looking to purchase crown land for their projects, only to neglect creation of affordable housing. "The good old days are over," apparently.

That affordable housing is about to be in more demand. Standard and Poor's Global has released figures showing an increase in home loan arrears in Australia, resulting from the combination of high debt and low wage growth. Investors are suffering more than owner-occupiers, but the numbers are increasing across both groups.

That situation will only be exacerbated for affected homeowners in some of these suburbs, which have shown the greatest declines in value in the 12 months to February. This piece from TUD picks the eyes out of CoreLogic's property report on suburbs with the biggest jumps and drops.

Last year we had the Daily Telegraph drawing our attention to zombie apartments, today the focus is on ghost shops in high-density residential projects. A challenge for the industry is, when retail inclusions are stipulated by Council but the leases don't eventuate, what's the alternative?

To end on a positive note, I'll take us back to the ANZ/CoreLogic report and the finding that with housing affordability looking the best it's been in 30 months, there are parts of the major eastern seaboard markets where it's cheaper to buy than rent. These figures are based on data from last December - so a little out of date - but it's a compelling message.

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