In Brief: Home Loans, Coffee, Gas & Classifieds

Weekly Reports | Dec 01 2023

Home loan borrowers relying upon family; potential coffee shortage; stocks for increased domestic gas supply & listing trends for stocks in the classifieds space.

-Banks spurned as home loan borrowers increasingly turn to family
-Potential (withdrawal) headache for coffee drinkers?
-Stocks leveraged to increasing domestic supply of gas
-Morgans reviews listing trends for stocks in the classifieds space

By Mark Woodruff

Banks spurned as home borrowers increasingly turn to family

The decision to buy a home is becoming increasingly dependent on accessing assistance from one's own (wealthy) family, suggests Jarden, splitting home ownership along class lines.

Monetary assistance is material and takes the form of a (weighted average) family gift/loan of around $70,000, or 9% of median dwelling value, according to a November survey of 282 mortgage brokers by Jarden (in conjunction with Agile Market Intelligence/Broker Pulse).

The survey results support Jarden’s view that the types of buyers driving the housing market have shifted increasingly towards higher income/wealth buyers who have more cash and are less constrained by borrowing capacity.

Average monetary assistance in New South Wales is $92,000, consistent with higher dwelling prices in that state, and just $34,000 in Western Australia, observe the analysts.

Perth’s more affordable housing market is highlighted by only 9.5% of borrowers receiving family assistance, according to the broker’s survey, compared to around 15% across the other major states.

Over the last 12 months, Jarden believes the ‘bank of mum and dad' in Australia has contributed more than $2.7bn in financial support (or 1% of new lending flows), which poses questions around potential impacts on banks from this increasing trend.

According to combined data from Corelogic and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the ratio of home loans to housing sales has fallen to a record low of 70%, consistent with borrowers having more cash and larger deposits, highlights Jarden.

Additionally, the broker points out APRA data show the share of higher loan-to-value ratio (LVR) lending (of more than 80%) has fallen to less than 30% from more than 40%.

On the one hand, larger deposits and lower turnover increase the risk of subdued credit growth for the banks. On the other hand, the analysts note the recent trend has supported home prices and allowed new lending/credit growth to stabilise at higher levels than originally feared.

Potential (withdrawal) headache for coffee drinkers?

In a looming first world crisis for up-market latte drinkers, market dynamics suggest potential for a shortage of coffee, at least of the best quality.

We may gather from this distinction all coffee is not equal. Indeed, Central American countries, including Colombia, lead the way in producing the "best" coffee, according to XTB MENA.

Market analyst Milad Azar at XTB, explains Brazil is the world’s largest producer of arabica coffee, which is used primarily in espresso machines, while the country only ranks second for robusta-type coffee, used largely to produce instant coffee.  

Most robusta is grown in Asia, mainly in Vietnam and Indonesia.

Mr Azar provides some recent context for the coffee market, one of the most active commodity markets in the world, right after oil. 

Back in October, coffee prices rebounded after long-term declines, due to both declining stocks and potential El Nino impacts, which could expose coffee crops to lower yields, according to Mr Azar.

XTB expects a further rally in price by the end of 2023, given the combination of the usual seasonality in the coffee market, and now, speculators have significantly reduced the number of short positions in the market.

As for 2024, it will be difficult for price increases to continue, based on XTB’s projections for broadly equal production and demand.

However, should coffee production in Brazil not rebound, and El Nino takes its negative toll, the market may be close to a deficit for the 2023/2024 season, according to XTB MENA, and the best quality coffee (at least) may be in short supply.

Stocks leveraged to increasing domestic supply of gas

Jarden forecasts an upward trajectory for domestic gas prices and suggests this outcome would be most beneficial for the likes of Beach Petroleum ((BPT)) and Cooper Energy ((COE)), as they look to contract, re-contract or reprice existing gas supplies.

The combination of gas producers with uncontracted gas volumes, as well as gas prices subject to price reviews, should improve the economics of new gas supply, according to the broker. APA Group ((APA)), the owner of key gas pipeline infrastructure, is also expected to be another winner from greater supply.

However, significant supply risks remain, according to the analysts, as the Gas Mandatory Code of Conduct (which came into effect in July this year) has yet to pass through the Senate. Also, looming supply challenges are expected for the NSW, South Australia and Victorian markets from 2027, driven by declining Bass Strait output.

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