Australian Housing Prices Up 500% Over 25 Years
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Australian Housing Prices Up 500% Over 25 Years

However, yields have fallen to all-time lows.

By Terry Christodoulou
Thu, Apr 1, 2021 1:48pmGrey Clock 2 min

Proving itself as a reliable investment, research from the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) shows the price of Australian housing is up 500% over 25-years.

According to data from REIA, the median price for Australian housing inflated from $160,000 in 1996 to $825,000 in 2020.

Other dwellings, such as units and apartments have seen capital values increase by just over 400% in comparison however these assets produce higher yields.

The data shows that over the past five years, housing grew by 25%, from a median of $683,000 to $825,000 while other dwellings rose by 10% to $600,000.

Mr Kelly said that over the 25-year period, Australian housing yields tightened from 5.1% to 2.9% while other dwellings have recorded a drop in yields but not as dramatic, falling from 5.2.% to 3.7%.

“Houses in Darwin have the highest return averaging 4.2%. In 1996, housing investments in Darwin were yielding 6.4%.

“Melbourne and Sydney have always had the lowest yields both falling from around 4% in 1996 to just 1.8% in 2020.

“The pandemic saw Melbourne and Sydney experience rising vacancies with Melbourne now the highest in Australia at 5% while Sydney is currently at 3.7%,” said Mr Kelly.

Further, Mr Kelly said that there has been a decline in investors in the market in recent times particularly as concerns have emerged with moratoriums on evictions and rising vacancies.

“Despite rising vacancies and the low yields, we are starting to see investors reemerge as they respond to a rising market with further growth expectations and low borrowing costs,” Mr Kelly added.

REIA’s latest report, Real Estate Market Facts found that in the December quarter 2020, the weighted average capital city median price for both houses and other dwellings increased in the Australian residential property market.

“The weighted average capital city median price increased by 6.0% for houses and by 0.9% for other dwellings. The weighted average median house price for the eight capital cities increased to $825,205. Over the quarter, the median house price increased in all capital cities.

“At $1,211,488, Sydney’s median house price continues to be the highest amongst the capital cities, 46.8% higher than the national average. At $490,000 Perth has the lowest median house price across Australian capital cities, 40.6% lower than the national average.”

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Mortgage holders should brace themselves for more pain as the Reserve Bank of Australia board prepares to meet tomorrow for the first time this year.

Most economists and the major banks are predicting a rise of 25 basis points will be announced, although the Commonwealth Bank suggests that the RBA may take the unusual step of a 40 basis point rise to bring the interest rate up to a more conventional 3.5 percent. This would allow the RBA to step back from further rate rises for the next few months as it assesses the impact of tightening monetary policy on the economy.

The decision by the RBA board to make consecutive rate rises since April last year is an attempt to wrestle inflation down to a more manageable 3 or 4 percent. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that the inflation rate rose to 7.8 percent over the December quarter, the highest it has been since 1990, reflected in higher prices for food, fuel and construction.

Higher interest rates have coincided with falling home values, which Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee says are down 6.1 percent in capital cities since peaking in March 2022. The pain has been greatest in Sydney, where prices have dropped 10.8 percent since February last year. Melbourne and Canberra recorded similar, albeit smaller falls, while capitals like Adelaide, which saw property prices fall 1.8 percent, are less affected.

Although prices may continue to decline, Ms Conisbee (below) said there are signs the pace is slowing and that inflation has peaked.

“December inflation came in at 7.8 per cent with construction, travel and electricity costs being the biggest drivers. It is likely that we are now at peak,” Ms Conisbee said. 

“Many of the drivers of high prices are starting to be resolved. Shipping costs are now down almost 90 per cent from their October 2021 peak (as measured by the Baltic Dry Index), while crude oil prices have almost halved from March 2022. China is back open and international migration has started up again. 

“Even construction costs look like they are close to plateau. Importantly, US inflation has pulled back from its peak of 9.1 per cent in June to 6.5 per cent in December, with many of the drivers of inflation in this country similar to Australia.”

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