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Apartments have slumped 15%: Meriton boss

HT

Billionaire apartment developer Harry Triguboff says prices in his new projects had dropped about 15 per cent in the past year.

The Meriton founder says slow wage growth was adding to the drag on the weakening housing market.

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“Buyers still say they can’t ­afford it,” Mr Triguboff told The Australian.

“Wages here have to be higher.”

An average Chinese buyer can afford a unit in Sydney, but an Australian cannot, despite the falling prices, said Mr Triguboff.

He has previously suggested there is no bust coming when he initially signalled mid-year that prices had slumped.

Despite the weakening, Meriton’s two-bedroom unit prices hover around $1 million.

Triguboff said the average Mascot two bedders was about $1.1 million while at Pagewood it was $950,000.

Stagnant wages were “worsening” the conditions, Mr Triguboff said.

“Nobody qualifies for loans.”

Last October Harry Triguboff advised he’d been cutting prices by five per cent and covering the additional stamp duty costs for buyers of its apartments over the past year.

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Triguboff says its had cost about 10 per cent of Meriton’s $1.2 billion turnover.

“It may be too early to say,” Mr Triguboff told The Australian Financial Review. “But if you take a turnover of $1.2 billion, then you take 10 per cent, it will cost $120 million.”

Triguboff said a lot of Chinese buyers lost their 10 percent deposits last year.

This article originally appeared in Property Observer. Click to the original story here.