Property doom advocate, Steve Keen, a professor of economics and finance at the University of Western Sydney lost a wager made in September 2008 with Macquarie Bank interest rate strategist Rory Robertson will embark on his 225-kilometre trek up to Mount Kosciuszko today.
One of the conditions of the wager is that Keen will be wearing a T-shirt with the words “I was hopelessly wrong on house prices – ask me how”. The words are superimposed over a chart which compares house prices between the US, Japan and Australia over the past 23 years whereby real estate prices in the US and Japan have plummeted while Australia remains strong and growing.
Keen is however determined to have the last laugh as he predicts home prices to fall towards the latter part of 2010. Home loans have been decreasing for the fifth consecutive month in February 2010 and he predicts that with mortgage debt falling, house prices will soon follow suit.
“To me the irony is I’m marching uphill and house prices will start marching down because as you’ve seen in the lending figures the trend seems to be very strong,” he says.