Although global equity markets are looking strong for 2018, local equities may be hurt by troughs in the domestic property market, says Tribeca Investment Partners.
According to Tribeca Investment Partners portfolio manager Sean Fenton, there is mounting evidence that the Australian housing cycle has already reached its peak, further reinforced by APRA’s efforts in curbing mortgage lending.
“A heavily indebted household sector that is experiencing flat to negative real income growth, as well as dealing with higher energy and healthcare costs, and which has drawn down its savings rate, is unlikely to fill the gap in growth,” Mr Fenton said.
“Further downside risk to the economy may emerge if the current tightening in mortgage lending standards pushes house prices lower and generates negative equity effects.”
With global markets encouraged by “easy monetary conditions”, central banks would be unwilling to make any sudden moves and lower the interest rate too quickly, “particularly as inflation has remained quiescent”.
“This provides fertile ground for equity markets to rally, but also creates an environment of heightened risk as areas of stretched valuation become more apparent,” Mr Fenton said.
Tribeca would continue to underweight sectors sensitive to the interest rate as well as increase its underweight to the building materials, retail and property development sectors.
“Domestically, we are positioned more defensively in gaming, select industrials and a small overweight to banks,” Mr Fenton added.