Meriton boss Harry Triguboff slams interest rate rises as he expands property empire

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Billionaire property developer Harry Triguboff has slammed ‘silly’ interest rate rises claiming it won’t be enough to stop property prices rising.

The Meriton Group managing director blasted the Reserve Bank of Australia while speaking at the Property Council’s Gold Coast Market Outlook lunch on Friday.

The RBA has increased interest rates nine consecutive times bringing the cash rate to 3.35 per cent and warned of more rate increases to come.

‘They say that because the interest rates go up, the prices will go down – I don’t believe that,’ Mr Triguboff said.

‘If there’s nowhere for people to live then the prices will go up despite that. This is the lucky country … we make silly little mistakes but we never make big mistakes.

‘We make silly little ones, but thousands of them.’

Meriton boss Harry Triguboff slams interest rate rises as he expands property empire

Billionaire property developer Harry Triguboff has slammed ‘silly’ interest rate rises claiming it won’t be enough to stop inflation

The 89-year-old is worth around $22.5billion and said he is constantly adding to his property portfolio because he believes property prices will remain high.

It comes despite forecasts values will drop by an average of $100,000 or 11 per cent this year with National Australia Bank chief economist Alan Oster among the experts.

He said banks were adding pressure by only giving finance to developers who sold 50 to 100 per cent of their stock up front.  

‘I’ve kept 6,000 apartments and I’m adding over 1,000 a year to my stock, because I believe that prices will go up, so why sell them all upfront?’ Mr Triguboff said. 

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It comes as Mr Triguboff continues to aggressively expand his property empire having recently completed the Ocean Project in Surfers Paradise.

He already has his sights on beginning a new project at Iconica at Broadbeach saying he prefers to work in Queensland. 

‘We are working with councils who want to work with us, they’re part of us and that’s the only way we can succeed, developers, if they’re with us,’ he said.

Mr Triguboff blasted councils for being uncooperative and wasting his time after a run-in with one in Sydney.

‘The big problem in Sydney is not that they’re against me – in the end, common sense wins, it might take a few years but we get there,’ he said.

‘(The problem is) it wastes all of my time … using my efforts to find a way to be able to build, and I never forgave them.’

His comment is the latest swipe against NSW councils after he told them to go to hell for twice rejecting a proposal to build high-density apartments in Little Bay.

Meriton has launched a fresh bid to build a massive development in the small Sydney beachside suburb; a rezoning proposal which previously consisted of 1,900 units up to 22 storeys.

The Meriton Group managing director blasted the Reserve Bank of Australia while speaking at the Property Council's Gold Coast Market Outlook lunch on Friday

The Meriton Group managing director blasted the Reserve Bank of Australia while speaking at the Property Council’s Gold Coast Market Outlook lunch on Friday

The property giant has used a recently launched NSW government housing scheme to bypass the local council and independent planning panels.

The Department of Planning recently notified Randwick Council that plans had been lodged but did not include further details about the proposal or applicant.

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Meriton was founded 60 years ago by Mr Triguboff, who believes the controversial Little Bay development addresses the critical housing shortage in Sydney.

The billionaire issued a blunt warning that housing supply will keep getting worse – forcing prices ever higher – until developers were given the green light to build more homes.

‘If the government needs housing so much then they should approve it,’ Mr Triguboff told the Sydney Morning Herald.

‘I don’t apologise, they can go to hell. They want production, they have to make sure I don’t go broke.’

Meriton currently builds an estimated 2,000 apartments in Sydney every year.

Meriton lodged its new plans under the state government’s recently launched Rezoning Pathways Program, which aims to unlock land for 70,000 new homes in ‘fast growing’ areas by next year.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the government would initiate 10 land rezonings with most earmarked in western Sydney, far from Little Bay in the city’s south-east.

Developers that applied to be part of the pilot program must include a minimum 1,000 new proposed dwellings in metropolitan areas.

Meriton is yet to reveal how many units its amended proposal for Little Bay involves.

‘We have lodged proposals at Little Bay and Carlingford which meet the requirements of the program which is important to get more housing that we need,’ a spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.

‘The problem is if they do approve them for rezoning, we still need to go to the council’s afterwards to get approvals to build which could take many years. We need the approvals to build now.’

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