Australian investors will now be able to invest in residential property, without actually purchasing ‘bricks and mortar’, following the launch of a series of residential property over the counter (OTC) indices and derivatives yesterday.

The new indices are compiled by RP Data Limited and Rismark International. The series of indices will cover major cities and will be released on a monthly and quarterly basis. They are the first of their kind in Australia and the OTC indices are probably a precursor to exchange type indices similar to those currently available in the US. Rismark and RP Data have also formed a relationship with a global derivatives broker – GFI Group – to construct a series of derivatives over the indices. “I think the retail side of the business is probably potentially one of the largest sides of the business,” Steve Moore, Asia Pacific Property Derivatives head, said. The derivatives will enable investment banks to package up and develop retail products which will give consumers both long and short exposure to a particular residential property market. Moore said the development of the derivatives market in Australia would depend on investor demand and what local investors wanted to trade.

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