Home price falls of 2022 ‘now fully reversed’
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Home price falls of 2022 ‘now fully reversed’

More stock coming to market has done little to dampen strong outcomes for vendors

By Bronwyn Allen
Tue, Oct 10, 2023 9:37amGrey Clock 2 min

The Australian property market has recovered all of its 2022 losses, with national home values reaching a new record high in the first month of the busy spring season. New PropTrak data reveals national home values rose by 0.35 percent last month to a median of $754,000.

National prices are up 3.75 percent over the past 12 months, with the combined capital cities recording a stronger rate of growth at 4.76 percent while the combined regions clocked up price gains of 1.28%. PropTrak senior economist Eleanor Creagh said the seasonal increase in the number of homes for sale this spring has done nothing to curtail price growth.

“Despite the uplift in the number of properties coming to market, national home prices have moved higher again, regaining 2022’s rapid price falls in entirety to reach a record high in September,” said Ms Creagh.

“While a sharp increase in the number of properties hitting the market in Sydney and Melbourne has been improving choice for buyers, strong demand has seen prices continue to lift.

“Choice for buyers remains limited in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, heightening competition and seeing prices hit fresh peaks in each of these markets in September.”

Strong buyer competition is keeping auction clearance rates high this Spring. CoreLogic data shows 2,436 capital city homes were taken to auction last weekend, with a preliminary clearance rate of 71 percent recorded. This time last year, the clearance rate was 60.6 percent.

The PropTrak report shows that among the capital city markets, price growth over the past 12 months has been strongest in Perth. Home values have risen 9.24 percent to a record median of $597,000. Adelaide prices are up 8.31 percent to a record median of $689,000, and Sydney prices are up 6.86 percent to a median of $1.057 million.

In the regions, annual growth has been strongest in regional South Australia, where the median price has risen 9.86% to a new peak median of $399,000. Regional Queensland prices are up 4.89 percent to a record $614,000, while regional Western Australia prices have risen 3.29 percent to $460,000. Ms Creagh said prices will continue rising, with the key drivers being record levels of net overseas migration, tight rental markets and an undersupply of housing.

“Looking ahead, interest rates have likely peaked and population growth is rebounding strongly,” she said. “Together with a shortage of new home builds, prices are expected to rise.”

The Federal Government is projecting a net increase of 715,000 migrants over the next two years at a time when Australia already has a housing deficit. The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation estimates a shortfall of 106,300 homes over the next five years.

In the rental market, Domain chief of research and economics, Dr Nicola Powell said Australia needs 40,000 to 70,000 extra rentals to meet current demand and balance the market.

“That is like adding all of the dwellings in the LGA of Newcastle into the market,” she said.

Domain’s latest Rent Report reveals a record-breaking 10 consecutive quarters of growth in weekly house rents and nine consecutive quarters of growth in weekly apartment rents. CoreLogic data shows the pace of rental price growth is slowing in 2023 but it is still very difficult for tenants to find a rental, with the national vacancy rate now sitting at a record low of 1.1 percent.



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Wild cities and concrete corridors: How AI is reimagining the landscape

A new AI-driven account by leading landscape architect Jon Hazelwood pushes the boundaries on the role of ‘complex nature’ in the future of our cities

By Robyn Willis
Wed, Dec 6, 2023 2 min

Drifts of ground cover plants and wildflowers along the steps of the Sydney Opera House, traffic obscured by meadow-like planting and kangaroos pausing on city streets.

This is the way our cities could be, as imagined by landscape architect Jon Hazelwood, principal at multi-disciplinary architectural firm Hassell. He has been exploring the possibilities of rewilding urban spaces using AI for his Instagram account, Naturopolis_ai with visually arresting outcomes.

“It took me a few weeks to get interesting results,” he said. “I really like the ephemeral nature of the images — you will never see it again and none of those plants are real. 

“The AI engine makes an approximation of a grevillea.”

Hazelwood chose some of the most iconic locations in Australia, including the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, as well as international cities such as Paris and London, to demonstrate the impact of untamed green spaces on streetscapes, plazas and public space.

He said he hopes to provoke a conversation about the artificial separation between our cities and the broader environment, exploring ways to break down the barriers and promote biodiversity.

“A lot of the planning (for public spaces) is very limited,” Hazelwood said. “There are 110,000 species of plants in Australia and we probably use about 12 in our (public) planting schemes. 

“Often it’s for practical reasons because they’re tough and drought tolerant — but it’s not the whole story.”

Hazelwood pointed to the work of UK landscape architect Prof Nigel Dunnett, who has championed wild garden design in urban spaces. He has drawn interest in recent years for his work transforming the brutalist apartment block at the Barbican in London into a meadow-like environment with diverse plantings of grasses and perennials.

Hazelwood said it is this kind of ‘complex nature’ that is required for cities to thrive into the future, but it can be hard to convince planners and developers of the benefits.

“We have been doing a lot of work on how we get complex nature because complexity of species drives biodiversity,” he said. 

“But when we try to propose the space the questions are: how are we going to maintain it? Where is the lawn?

“A lot of our work is demonstrating you can get those things and still provide a complex environment.” 

At the moment, Hassell together with the University of Melbourne is trialling options at the Hills Showground Metro Station in Sydney, where the remaining ground level planting has been replaced with more than 100 different species of plants and flowers to encourage diversity without the need for regular maintenance. But more needs to be done, Hazelwood said.

“It needs bottom-up change,” he said. ““There is work being done at government level around nature positive cities, but equally there needs to be changes in the range of plants that nurseries grow, and in the way our city landscapes are maintained and managed.”

And there’s no AI option for that. 


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