SURGE IN NATIONAL HOUSING AND RENTAL PRICES
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SURGE IN NATIONAL HOUSING AND RENTAL PRICES

New report presents strong median price rises for most cities.

By Terry Christodoulou
Fri, Mar 12, 2021 4:12amGrey Clock < 1 min

The weighted average capital city median price of houses and other dwellings officially increased for the December quarter 2020.

Figures from the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) report ‘Real Estate Market Facts’ indicate a 6% rise for houses and 0.9% rise for other dwellings during for the period.

“The weighted average median house price for the eight capital cities increased to $825,205,” said Adrian Kely, REIA President. “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. Over the 12 months to the December quarter, the weighted average capital city median house price increased by 6.6%.

The weighted average median price for other dwellings for the eight capital cities increased to $601,345, a quarterly increase of 0.9%. The only city to not see a rise was Adelaide.

The REIA figures also outed a rise in median rent for 2-bedroom houses in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and Darwin.

Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart, meanwhile, remained steady.

“Other dwelling rents during the quarter, the median rent for 2-bedroom other dwellings increased in Perth, Canberra and Darwin, remained steady in Brisbane and Hobart but decreased in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide,” added Kelly. “Darwin had the largest increase over the quarter [6.6%].”

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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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