Research Shows House Prices Without COVID-19 | Kanebridge News
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Research Shows House Prices Without COVID-19

A new report indicates the pandemic may have boosted house prices nationwide.

By Terry Christodoulou
Tue, Jul 13, 2021 2:19pmGrey Clock < 1 min

Australia’s property prices have risen at an alarmingly fast rate in the last 12 months. However, a new report from KPMG Economics indicates that property prices would’ve been lower than the current market should COVID-19 never have happened.

According to the report, The Impact of COVID on Australia’s Residential Property Market,  most capital cities were due for a significant uptick last year. That scheduled rise combined with ultra-low interest rates and government support to the housing market during the pandemic further stoked prices – adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to property values.

The report assessed the past 18 months compared to a no COVID-19 scenario and found that nationwide, house prices were between 4-12% higher and units up by 13% compared to what they would’ve been in a state of normalcy.

The report cites measures such as pushing the cash rate down to 0.1 per cent and introducing the HomeBuilder program as specific catalysts.

Further, the report by KPMG shows without the pandemic, house prices in Sydney would’ve risen by 13% to 1,119,000 by December 2023. They are now on track to rise 26% to 1,244,000.

Elsewhere, Brisbane’s house prices would have risen by 9% instead of the predicted 20% and Melbourne’s prices 19% instead of 24%.

Darwin was the only capital where house prices were modelled to fall – now is set to have a modest increase.

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House values continued to fall last month, but the pace of decline has slowed, CoreLogic reports.

In signs that the RBA’s aggressive approach to monetary policy is making an impact, CoreLogic’s Home Value Index reveals national dwelling values fell -1.0 percent in November, marking the smallest monthly decline since June.

The drop represents a -7.0 percent decline – or about $53,400 –  since the peak value recorded in April 2022. Research director at CoreLogic, Tim Lawless, said the Sydney and Melbourne markets are leading the way, with the capital cities experiencing the most significant falls. But it’s not all bad news for homeowners.

“Three months ago, Sydney housing values were falling at the monthly rate of -2.3 percent,” he said. “That has now reduced by a full percentage point to a decline of -1.3 percent in November.  In July, Melbourne home values were down -1.5 percent over the month, with the monthly decline almost halving last month to -0.8%.”

The rate of decline has also slowed in the smaller capitals, he said.  

“Potentially we are seeing the initial uncertainty around buying in a higher interest rate environment wearing off, while persistently low advertised stock levels have likely contributed to this trend towards smaller value falls,” Mr Lawless said. “However, it’s fair to say housing risk remains skewed to the downside while interest rates are still rising and household balance sheets become more thinly stretched.” 

The RBA has raised the cash rate from 0.10 in April  to 2.85 in November. The board is due to meet again next week, with most experts still predicting a further increase in the cash rate of 25 basis points despite the fall in house values.

Mr Lawless said if interest rates continue to increase, there is potential for declines to ‘reaccelerate’.

“Next year will be a particular test of serviceability and housing market stability, as the record-low fixed rate terms secured in 2021 start to expire,” Mr Lawless said.

Statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week also reveal a slowdown in the rate of inflation last month, as higher mortgage repayments and cost of living pressures bite into household budgets.

However, ABS data reveals ongoing labour shortages and high levels of construction continues to fuel higher prices for new housing, although the rate of price growth eased in September and October. 

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