Today in property: national growth lowest in a decade, be patient on price recovery, ANZ in the cold

This may take a while.


The most common topic at property developer and real estate agent dinner parties at the moment is surely, when's the recovering coming? Robert Harley's given us an excellent indication in today's AFR: settle in.


Get hold of this article if you can. It includes graphs from CoreLogic showing how long it's taken the property market to recover from declines in the past 30 years...the biggest takeaway is, in times of low economic growth - where we are now - and recession, the recovery takes a lot longer.


The Q1 national accounts were released yesterday. Australia's economy grew by just 0.4 per cent over the period, the slowest growth in more than a decade. In the same quarter, demand for property slumped by 20 per cent. Ex Liberal opposition leader John Hewson is in Nine's tabloids today saying a recession is almost inevitable - and may even be a good thing if it forces the government to do what the Reserve Bank is asking it to do: focus less on reaching a surplus, and more on stimulating the economy.


Various reports released this week have showed us that retail spending, productivity and economic growth are all at alarming levels. Little wonder business leaders have Reserve Bank Philip Lowe's back as he breaches protocol to implore action from Scott Morrison's government.


The bank-bashing theatre that has characterised the past 48 hours may have been a lark, but Josh Frydenberg's cries of "look over there!" have started to lose their effect today. Today's The AFR View quotes Dr Lowe's advice to the government that our best options now are policies "that support (businesses) expanding, investing, innovating and employing people."


Tax cuts, easy money


The first order of business for JoFry though, has to be getting the tax cuts through. Labor has said it will support the rapid passing of stage one of the government's tax cut package, to kick off July 1.


This will need to work in stimulating the economy in order to help the RBA get out of the corner it's been backed into this week. The only real fix for the economy now, according to ex-RBA deputy governor and now Lowy Institute fellow Stephen Grenville, is fiscal policy.


The name of the game is getting people to spend - which is why the government and RBA are tag-teaming to pressure banks to pass on the full 25 basis point rate cut. ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott defended his bank's decision to hold some of that back on the basis that savers will suffer - and that his bank has more saving accounts than borrowers.


(And yet...ANZ has also applied the full 25 basis point cut to seven term deposit rates, and by 80 basis points on its 11-month term deposit saving products.)


The other banky bad guy of the hour, Westpac has decided to shine some sunlight on much-demonised-of-late property investors. It has cut 35 basis points from interest-only loans - a full 10 basis points more than Tuesday's RBA cut - and reintroducing incentives for refinancing customers. Looks like ANZ's going it alone on this one.