Onwards and upwards for our property markets.
There are continuing signs that our property markets have hit the bottom in mid October and are now moving from strength to strength and will finish the year on a high note
In particular Melbourne is moving ahead strongly in its post lockdown recovery.
This week’s heat map (see below) shows that over the week Australian property prices nudged a fraction higher, up 0.6% so far this month, already better than last month’s performance.
Median prices are higher than they were 12 months ago in every city other than Melbourne (no surprise here) but there are still certain segments of the market that are going to suffer – the inner city apartment sales and rentals.
The heat map table shows what’s happened to property values recently, but the overall figures don’t show the pain being felt in certain segments of the property market especially the inner city apartment markets in Melbourne and Sydney.
- Overall Sydney house prices crept up a little in the past month (0.4%)
- Melbourne house prices are now on the move and up 0.7% over the month so far.
- Brisbane house prices are up 0.7% over the last month, similar in trend to the previous month’s 0.5% rise
- Rises also evident in Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Canberra.
- Over the seven months since the initial national restrictions were announced back in late March, prices for the hedonic “five capitals” index are down a relatively modest 1.9%.
There are now a range of indicators suggesting are property markets are only going improve moving forward.
- Consumer confidence has been consistently improving as has business confidence
- Auction clearance rates have been consistently strong, not just in the two big auction capital of Melbourne and Sydney but around Australia
- More buyers and sellers are in the market and transaction numbers have increased consistently.
- At the same time the banks are keen to write new business – another positive for our housing markets.
- Bank loan deferrals have been consistently falling – there’s little likelihood of an avalanche of forced mortgagee sales
- The recent rate cut and the “guarantee” of rates remaining low for at least 3 years, will give home buyers and investors confidence
- Moving forward further jobs creation, consumer confidence and business confidence (leading to spending and employment) will underpin our housing markets.
Clearly, our housing markets were not immune to the Coronavirus economic fallout, but those house price predictions of significant falls did not eventuate and now all credible economists have forecast significant house price growth in 2021 and 2022
These graphics show how all our major capitals have median values higher than at the beginning of the year – we’ve passed the bottom of this cycle.
To help keep you up-to-date with all that’s happening in property, here is my updated weekly analysis of data and charts as of November 23rd provided by Corelogic and realestate.com.au.
Then further down in this long article, you’ll find a more detailed State by State update using Corelogic’s monthly charts.
Early Market Indicators
Let’s start with the number of indicators that could give us a clue to what’s ahead.
- Buyer demand fell again last week, its fourth consecutive weekly fall, as shown by realestate.com.au’s Weekly Demand Report.
The REA Insights Weekly Demand Index, fell by -1.9 per cent last week, which was the fourth consecutive weekly fall and saw the index reach its lowest value in eight weeks.
Cameron Kusher Executive Manager, Economic Research, reports over the week, demand for houses fell -2.1 per cent while and unit demand was down by -1.2 per cent.
“Victoria was the only state in which buyer demand increased last week (1%), with declines elsewhere, the largest of which were recorded in in Northern Territory (-5.9%) and South Australia (-7.6%) – likely due to lockdowns.
Buyer demand is now -10.9 per cent below its historic peak, with demand for houses -11 per cent lower and unit demand down -10.6 per cent.
Unsurprisingly, demand is below its peak in each state, with the largest falls in Northern Territory (-24.6%) and South Australia (-18.2%) and the smallest overall falls in Victoria (-6.7%) and Tasmania (-9.5%).
Although demand has fallen over recent weeks, it is substantially higher than it was a year ago – up 38.1 per cent nationally.
Over the past year demand for houses and units have seen fairly similar growth of 38.7 per cent and 35.6 per cent respectively, South Australia (16.6%) and Tasmania (18.2%) have recorded the smallest year-on-year increases in demand, while Australian Capital Territory (55.1%) and Victoria (43.1%) have recorded the largest rises.
Demand typically starts to fall around this time of year as we approach the Christmas/New Year period and that trend appears to be playing out once again.
Given the level of disruption to the market throughout 2020, I would expect that the fall-away in demand won’t be as severe as it usually is over the coming weeks.
Levels of demand remain much higher than a year ago and the extremely low borrowing costs are driving additional housing demand.
While we may see an easing of demand over the upcoming weeks, I expect demand to remain at heightened levels through the remainder of this year and, depending on what happens with new listings in early 2021, I would expect that heightened demand will remain a feature of the market.” said Kusher.
2. Rental markets.
Realestate.com.au reported that the national rental demand fell for the sixth consecutive week last week.
The REA Insights Weekly Rental Demand Index, which measures high-intent renter activity on realestate.com.au, shows that rental demand fell by -2.4 per cent last week
Cameron Kusher Executive Manager, Economic Research explained that demand for rental houses fell by -3 per cent, while unit demand was -1.8 per cent lower.
“Tasmania (0.2%), Northern Territory (0.3%) and Australian Capital Territory (0.9%) saw demand increase last week, while all other states recorded falls, with the largest declines in Queensland (-3.6%) and South Australia (-11.6%) – partially due to lockdowns.
At the end of last week, rental demand was -23.8 per cent lower than its historic peak and lower across most states and all property types.
For rental houses, demand last week was -24.5 per cent below its peak, while units have seen a much smaller overall decline of -16.8 per cent.
Throughout the states, rental demand last week was closest to its historic peak in Australian Capital Territory, where it was at an historic high, and Tasmania (10.5%). The largest overall falls have been recorded in New South Wales (-31.4%) and South Australia (-31.3%).
Compared to the same time last year, rental demand last week was 22.6 per cent higher.
Demand for houses is up 12.9 per cent, which is a significantly smaller increase than the 34 per cent increase for units.
Rental demand is currently lower than it was a year ago in Western Australia (-4.1%) and only marginally higher in South Australia (0.4%) and Northern Territory (3.6%). However, demand is much higher in Australian Capital Territory (45.5%) and Tasmania (36.4%).
There are a few factors likely conspiring to create weaker rental demand, namely the lowest borrowing costs on record, government incentives for first home buyers and a rapid decline in population growth due to a virtual halting of overseas migration.
Despite these challenges, rental demand has remained higher than it was a year ago.
While rental demand is likely to continue to drift lower over the remainder of the year, the real litmus test will come in the first quarter of next year given that is typically the busiest time for the rental market.
People have been maintaining a close watch on rental conditions throughout the COVID-19 recession, but what happens as many leases expire early in the new year will provide much more clarity about the depth of the rental market.” said Kusher.
3. Newly advertised properties for sale
The following charts from Corelogic shows the change in the number of new residential listings being advertised for sale.
As we’re being closer to Christmas, the number of properties coming onto the market is slowly dropping.
What’s happening to property prices?
There has been a palpable change in property market sentiment and capital city property values having risen in every state this week.
Certain segments of our markets are holding their values well, with a shortage of A-grade homes and investment properties compared to the number of buyers out looking for them meaning that property values in certain locations are creeping up.
On the other hand B grade (secondary) properties are selling at a discount and no one really wants C grade properties.
The following charts were updated on November 30th, 2020.
There is a flight to quality.
Significant policy support and the earlier reopening of the economy have meant the various “worst-case scenarios of 20-30% price falls” that some of the economists have been touting now seem highly unlikely.
However, I still see property values falling a little further in some segments of our property market (the inner city apartment sector) as unemployment will remain high and we still have some economic fallout from the recession.
Properties listed for sale
At a time when more buyers are returning to the market as confidence rises, the overall number of properties listed for sale is down 14.6% over the last year.
The lack of good properties for sale at a time when there are still many interested buyers is one of the reasons property prices have, in general, held up well.
This confirms what we are finding on the ground Metropole that well-located properties are selling quickly with a queue of buyers waiting for them.
The number of property transactions
The following table of private treaty sales (which represents the vast majority of all dwelling sales across the country shows that over the last week:
- In Melbourne, 2,089 houses (last week 2,025) and 889 apartments or units were sold (last week 878). These numbers will continue to pick up now that Melbourne’s lockdown restrictions have been lifted.
- In Sydney, 1,856 houses (1,880 last week) and 1,085 apartments were sold (1,078 last week), so the market is continuing its steady growth.
- In Brisbane, 1,137 houses (889 last week) and 280 apartments were sold (227 last week) – showing strong demand in the Brisbane market.
Our Rental Markets
The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented shock to the rental housing market, reducing demand for rental properties at the same time as supply has increased.
Households most affected by the economic impact are more likely to be renters, and border closures have reduced international arrivals.
The number of vacant rental properties has increased as new dwellings have been completed and some landlords have offered short-term rentals on the long-term market, particularly in inner Sydney and Melbourne.
Government policies have supported renters and landlords.
Rents have declined, partly because of discounts on existing rental agreements and it is likely that rent growth in many areas will remain subdued for some time moving forward.
The absence of new and returning international students and the closing of international borders has dented rental property market, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne.
Compared to pre-pandemic levels, asking rent in Sydney have fallen around 10%, while asking rents declined around 6% in Melbourne.
Other than in Darwin, vendor metrics have suggested we’re moving into a seller’s market with the number of days to sell a property decreasing (a sign of the tight supply situation), and vendor discounting ( it’s easier for them to sell) at realistic levels.
The shortage of good properties on the market is seeing properties selling quickly with minimal discounting.
Auction clearance rates
Melbourne’s resale residential property market continued to show more signs of post-lockdown recovery.
Auction volumes perked up in the last week of November to the highest since before the pandemic.
There were 894 auctions scheduled for the weekend, a clear further step up on levels of recent weeks as the pick-up in listings from mid-October on the back of market-opening is flowing into the auction market.
The preliminary auction clearance rate in Melbourne this week was 71.7%, so within sight of the 69.5% average over the previous four weeks of post-lockdown auctions once the final rate is known later in the week.
Sydney’s auction market volumes picked up to 887 from an average of 838 over the previous four weeks.
Sydney’s preliminary auction clearance rate was 76.9% this weekend, again in line with its recent trend.
After last week’s disruption in Adelaide with its short-lived lockdown, its residential auction market returned is showing signs of having returned to normal.
Adelaide’s preliminary auction clearance rate rose from a final reading for last week of 48.9% (the lowest since early May) to a preliminary reading for this week of 75%.
Prices made further gains this past week across each of the five largest capital cities, pointing to an overall major capital city rise of 0.6% for the month. (The full month detail for all capital cities and state regions will be unveiled in CoreLogic’s monthly dwelling price release for November tomorrow, Tuesday 1 December.)
Leading the charge on price rises this month remains Adelaide, notching up a gain of 1.3%, in line with last month’s 1.2% increase.
Dwelling prices in the city of churches have risen by 4.7% so far this calendar year and up 5.3% y/y.
Prices were rising into the pandemic, then flattened off before more momentum reappeared in recent months.
Perth prices are rising at close to Adelaide’s momentum this month, reflecting its tightening housing market fundamentals.
Perth prices rose 1.1% in November, having recovered nearly all of its price softness evident through mid-year.
Brisbane prices have risen 0.7% through November, on a par with last month’s 0.6%.
Melbourne’s market turnaround has not only been evident in volumes transacted but also in prices that rose 0.7%, evidence of demand and supply returning, supported by stamp duty discounts announced by the Victorian Government in its Budget.
Prices are playing catch up, down 5.1% from pre-lockdown levels. Sydney prices have risen 0.4% this month.
Of course, the above auction clearance rates were on a relatively very small number of auctions.
Here are the long term auction clearance trends
Regional breakdown of auction results for last weekend:-
The Statistics above are updated weekly.
The following State by State Data is updated Monthly at the beginning of each month
The following commentary is from Tim Lawless is based on Corelogic’s charts provided at the beginning of September 2020.
Source: Charter Keck Kramer
Sydney posted its first monthly gain in housing values in October after five months of consistent falls.
The October result was only slightly positive, up by 0.1% over the month, with house values driving the gains, rising half a pervent.
Meanwhile, unit values continued to fall, down half a percent.
Through the COVID period downturn, Sydney home values from a peak-to-trough perspective were down just -2.9%, but values are still 5% lower than their mid-2017 peak.
This is a stark reminder of the two year downturn Sydney’s housing market experienced prior to mid-2019.
Home sales are up 18% over the rolling quarter and roughly level with the same time a year ago based on the three month trend in settled sales estimates.
While home values are remaining resilient, rents have declined and vacancy rates for inner city and near city apartments have increased.
Despite the recent weakness, Sydney home values remain 6.1% higher than a year ago.
In the last month or two there has been a resurgence of buyer and seller interest in the Sydney property market and auction clearance rates have consistently been in the high 70% range.
This implies an improvement in buyer demand and a better fit between buyer and seller pricing expectations.
This is a great time for cashed-up investors and homebuyers planning to upgrade to buy a property for considerably less than they will have to pay this time next year.
However B grade (secondary) dwellings may still fall in value a little further and C grade properties are likely to have real difficulty finding a buyer.
Sure there are fewer good properties for sale at the moment, and many of the good ones are for sale off market, however if you’d like to know a bit more about how to find these investment gems give the Metropole Sydney team a call on 1300 METROPOLE or click here and leave your details.
Source: Charter Keck Kramer
Before Coronavirus hit Melbourne property prices were surging with dwelling values up 12% higher to reach new highs.
While Melbourne housing values suffered because of its extended lockdown, which severely impacted market activity over the past three months, with CoreLogic estimates showing a 34% drop in settled sales compared with the same period a year ago.
But commencing in early November the Melbourne property market has rebounded.
At Metropole we’re finding that strategic investors with a long-term view and homebuyers looking to upgrade are back in the market.
Source: Charter Keck Kramer
Brisbane’s property values remained resilient over the year, especially given the economic impact of COVID-19.
Price growth or residential real estate had been more subdued in the lead up to the COVID-19 outbreak compared to Sydney and Melbourne and, in turn, Brisbane only experienced a mild downturn and property values have now been rising over the last few months.
With the success in containing COVID-19 and its associated restrictions and the RBA assuring us that the recession is over, property market confidence has lifted and Queensland has recorded an impressive recovery in house prices.
First-home buyers are taking advantage of incentives and established home buyers with secure incomes will be lured by historically low interest rates
At the same time investors, not only from Queensland, but from interstate are finding the price points and rental returns of Brisbane property very favourable.
Domain’s Buyer Demand Indicator shows houses remain a firm favourite of prospective home hunters, with demand rising post-lockdown and it remains significantly elevated compared to last year.
However, unit demand has been sliding since late May although remains slightly higher than last year, with investment stock (not investment grade stock but those poorly built and designed high rise apartments) likely to be impacted most.
Westpac Bank recently updated its property forecasts, with Brisbane prices tipped to surge 20 per cent between 2022 and 2023.
Brisbane is likely to be the one of the best performing property market over the next few years, while some locations in Brisbane have strong growth potential, and the right properties in these locations will make great long term investments, certain submarkets should be avoided like the plague.
While some locations in Brisbane have strong growth potential, and the right properties in these locations will make great long term investments, certain submarkets should be avoided like the plague.
Adelaide Property Market
Adelaide’s housing market has moved from strength to strength over recent month, with home values reaching a new record high in October.
Dwelling values were 1.2% higher in October and that was the largest monthly gain since early 2008, just before GFC induced correction.
Relatively low housing prices, an effective flattening of the virus curve and the stimulus of low interest rates are likely to be the main factors behind the growth in housing values.
From a geographical perspective, every sub-region of Adelaide has recorded a rise in values over the past three months.
The strongest growth conditions were in Onkaparinga, where housing values are estimated to be 5.4% higher over the rolling quarter.
Perth Property Market
Perth’s long awaited recovery was interrupted by COVID-19 with values falling over both May, June and July but now Perth’s housing market is back on a recovery trajectory, with home values posting a third straight month of rises.
Values are 0.8% higher over the past three months, but that wasn’t enough to reverse the earlier 2.2% drop recorded through the early months of COVID.
Housing market activity has been tracking higher, with CoreLogic’s estimate of settled sales over the past three months 13% higher than a year ago.
Perth continues to show the lowest median house values of any capital city, at $475,200.
Such low housing prices, along with record low mortgage rate, improving economic conditions and government incentives are some of the factors supporting renewed price growth.
Rental markets are amongst the tightest of any capital city, with the lift in rents through the COVID period to-date the highest amongst the capital cities.
Hobart Property Market
Hobart was the darling of speculative property investors and the best performing property market in 2017- 8, and while dwelling values reached a record high in February 2020, its boom interrupted by Covid-19.
Hobart property values are again with values up 6.5% over the past year.
Darwin Property Market
Darwin home values posted an impressive 1.2% rise in October.
The value indices for Darwin show higher volatility than other cities due to the smaller population of dwellings and relatively low number of observations, so the trend results provide a more intuitive read on the market.
The past three months has seen Darwin home values rise by 3.9%, demonstrating an improving trend following a sustained downturn over previous years.
Houses continue to be the main driver of growth, with the unit sector is showing persistently weaker conditions.
However Darwin dwelling values are 28.7% below their record highs reached in May 2014.
Canberra Property Market
Canberra’s property market has been a “quiet achiever” with dwelling values having reached a new peak after growing 6.8% over the last year .
Considering a large percentage of Canberra population is employed by the government or industries supporting the public sector, Canberra’s property market has not really felt the effects of the upcoming recession like our other capital cities did.
Our rental markets
Unit rentals experienced the biggest price drop in more than 15 years, marking a historic rent price fall of 3.2% (equivalent to $15 per week) over the June quarter according to Domain.
House and unit rental prices fell across most major capitals, illustrating no city was immune from the impact of coronavirus, with Sydney and Hobart unit rentals hardest hit — both recorded the steepest quarterly fall on record.
More than a quarter of advertised rental properties across Melbourne have had their asking prices slashed in recent months as landlords tried to lure new tenants in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
At the same time almost a third of rental properties in Sydney have been discounted since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australian shores, as landlords battle it out to secure tenants.
At Metropole Property Management we found the situation worse at the height of the lockdown, but over the last six weeks, we have found more tenants out looking for new premises in both Melbourne and Sydney, and we manage to lease properties promptly and keep the vacancy rate for our landlords below industry averages and using innovative marketing and inspection techniques.
Other market indicators:
Vendor metrics have generally tightened over the last few months with the number of days to sell a property decreasing (a sign of falling supply vs demand), vendor discounting decreased (it’s easier for them to sell.)
The RBA dropped “official interest rates twice in March and banks have been lowering their rates to new borrowers in order to “buy” business.
And it is unlikely interest rates will rise for some years.
Read more (and watch the video): How will COVID-19 impact on your banking and loans?
And first homebuyers are back into the market, some taking advantage of government incentives while others experienced FOMO, wanting to get into the market before property values start increasing again.
Interestingly, investor activity start the year off slowly and has continued that way.
At Metropole we are finding property investors keen to get into the market, but they’re having difficulty getting finance with the bank and putting more hurdles in the way they never before.
It’s hard to make predictions. Especially about the future.
It’s even harder to predict the end point of a moving target.
However there is now a palpable change in the mood in the property market, with more buyers and sellers developing confidence as we work our way through the coronavirus pandemic and out of Australia’s recession.
It has become clear to most of Australia’s property markets are not going to cry and strategic investors are seeing a window of opportunity and are positioning themselves for the future.
They recognise that there is currently a strategic window to take advantage of the opportunities that always abound after downturns.
As property investors they are working with their consultants to set up a strategic property plan, they getting their financial and ownership structures in place and doing the appropriate research.
They’re not trying to time the market, but they want to take advantage of the opportunities the market is currently and will in the future be offering.
They recognise that how they think and what they do between now and that survival line will determine their level of success when we move on to whatever our new normal will be.
NOW READ: Is now a good time to buy property?
In my opinion for those who have a secure job and their finances organised, this is a great time to buy a home or investment property at a price that you were unlikely to be able to get a couple of weeks ago when the property markets in big capital cities were booming and there were more buyers around than sellers.
It is likely that human nature will cause many would-be buyers to sit on the sidelines for a little while until things become more clear, which means that sellers will be more amenable to accepting offers rather than holding out for a top price.
Remember don’t make long-term decisions like buying a home or an investment property based on the last 30 minutes of news.
There is no doubt there will be opportunities in the market for those who are willing to go against the crowd and when they look back in a year’s time and definitely in 5 or 10 years’ time, they will remember the unprecedented events of 2020 as a great buying opportunity for property.
Now is the time to take action and set yourself for the opportunities that will present themselves as the market moves on
If you’re wondering what will happen to property in 2020–2021 you are not alone.
You can trust the team at Metropole to provide you with direction, guidance and results.
In challenging times like we are currently experiencing you need an advisor who takes a holistic approach to your wealth creation and that’s what you exactly what you get from the multi award winning team at Metropole.
Why not get the independent team of property strategists and buyers’ agents at Metropole to help level the playing field for you?
We help our clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through a range of services including:
- Strategic property advice. – Allow us to build a Strategic Property Plan for you and your family. Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now! Click here to learn more
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Remember the multi award winning team of property investment strategists at Metropole have no properties to sell, so their advice is unbiased.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned property investor, we would love to help you formulate an investment strategy or do a review of your existing portfolio, and help you take your property investment to the next level.
Please click here to organise a time for a chat. Or call us on 1300 METROPOLE.
Source of graphs and data: CoreLogic.
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