Australian residential property market is on the up in capital cities
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Australian residential property market is on the up in capital cities

The local landscape is still hard to predict as interest rate rises loom

Mon, Mar 6, 2023 9:27amGrey Clock 2 min

The property downturn in Australia may have turned a corner, information from data analytics company Neoval suggests, with capital city prices increasing by 1.9 percent since December.

Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee said while it’s unlikely increases will happen at the same pace that they did during the pandemic, the market appears to have stabilised, with Sydney leading the way. Neoval data showed Sydney prices have increased 2.7 percent, followed by Canberra and Melbourne, which both saw a 2.0 percent rise. Hobart and Brisbane prices went up by 1.8 percent, while Adelaide (1.4 percent), Perth (1.3 percent) and Darwin (1.1 percent) rounded out the capitals.

Ms Conisbee noted that the increases reflected different circumstances in each capital, making it harder to predict price movements going forward. While a resources boom in Perth and less sensitivity to interest rate rises in areas like Darwin may have contributed to higher prices, flooding in Brisbane last year will continue to put pressure on accessibility to trades in that city as homeowners try to rebuild. 

The impact of further interest rate rises and fixed rate home loans soon ending for a substantial number of borrowers across the country was also yet to be felt. The RBA is scheduled to meet tomorrow, with most experts predicting a further rate rise.

“If house prices do now show a continual increase from this point forward it highlights the complexity of property markets,” Ms Conisbee said. “House prices are very sensitive to interest rates and there is almost complete consensus that these will continue to increase for a bit longer.

“We also have a lot of loans coming off fixed rates and this is likely to make some investment properties less financially attractive. It will also mean that holding a vacant property such as a holiday home, less desirable. It is likely more properties will come to market.”


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Ray White’s chief economist outlines her predictions for housing market trends in 2024

By Bronwyn Allen
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Ray White’s chief economist, Nerida Conisbee says property price growth will continue next year and mortgage holders will need to “survive until 2025” amid expectations of higher interest rates for longer.

Ms Conisbee said strong population growth and a housing supply shortage combatted the impact of rising interest rates in 2023, leading to unusually strong price growth during a rate hiking cycle. The latest CoreLogic data shows home values have increased by more than 10 percent in the year to date in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Among the regional markets, price growth has been strongest in regional South Australia with 8.6 percent growth and regional Queensland at 6.9 percent growth.

“As interest rates head close to peak, it is expected that price growth will continue. At this point, housing supply remains extremely low and many people that would be new home buyers are being pushed into the established market,” Ms Conisbee said. “Big jumps in rents are pushing more first home buyers into the market and population growth is continuing to be strong.”

Ms Conisbee said interest rates will be higher for longer due to sticky inflation. “… we are unlikely to see a rate cut until late 2024 or early 2025. This means mortgage holders need to survive until 2025, paying far more on their home loans than they did two years ago.”

Buyers in coastal areas currently have a window of opportunity to take advantage of softer prices, Ms Conisbee said. “Look out for beach house bargains over summer but you need to move quick. In many beachside holiday destinations, we saw a sharp rise in properties for sale and a corresponding fall in prices. This was driven by many pandemic driven holiday home purchases coming back on to the market.”

3 key housing market trends for 2024

Here are three of Ms Conisbee’s predictions for the key housing market trends of 2024.

Luxury apartment market to soar

Ms Conisbee said the types of apartments being built have changed dramatically amid more people choosing to live in apartments longer-term and Australia’s ageing population downsizing. “Demand is increasing for much larger, higher quality, more expensive developments. This has resulted in the most expensive apartments in Australia seeing price increases more than double those of an average priced apartment. This year, fewer apartments being built, growing population and a desire to live in some of Australia’s most sought-after inner urban areas will lead to a boom in luxury apartment demand.”

Homes to become even greener

The rising costs of energy and the health impacts of heat are two new factors driving interest in green homes, Ms Conisbee said. “Having a greener home utilising solar and batteries makes it cheaper to run air conditioning, heaters and pool pumps. We are heading into a particularly hot summer and having homes that are difficult to cool down makes them far more dangerous for the elderly and very young.”

More people living alone

For some time now, long-term social changes such as delayed marriage and an ageing population have led to more people living alone. However, Ms Conisbee points out that the pandemic also showed that many people prefer to live alone for lifestyle reasons. “Shorter term, the pandemic has shown that given the chance, many people prefer to live alone with a record increase in single-person households during the time. This trend may influence housing preferences, with a potential rise in demand for smaller dwellings and properties catering to individuals rather than traditional family units.”


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