Analysts at MasterCard say a change in Australians' spending habits indicated by a marked slowdown in expenditure on household goods shows the housing sector can expect softer conditions ahead.
MasterCard's new SpendPulse report shows growth in household goods sales has been under the three-month moving average for five of the past six months and the slowdown is expected to accelerate.
MasterCard analyst Sarah Quinlan said, "We are seeing a pronounced slowdown and it's deepening each month," she said. "Therefore we fully expect real estate will weaken further."
"It's the same correlation in the United States," she said. "We saw a drop in appliance sales for eight months and sure enough we saw the housing recovery basically slow to a crawl - it's a very correlative indicator."
A global card payments giant has said a downturn in the property market may be on its way, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.