Outside the two big cities there has been very little real property price growth for more than 6 years

Inflation adjusted home values show little growth outside of Sydney and Melbourne.house growth

Following the release of Consumer Price Index (CPI) data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for December 2014, we can calculate inflation adjusted home value changes over the 2014 calendar year.

According to the CoreLogic RP Data Home Value Index, combined capital city home values have increased by 7.9% over the 2014 calendar year.

When you take into account the rate of inflation over the same period, the rate of value growth has been more moderate at just 6.1% due to annual inflation of 1.7%.

As we have seen from the results of the CoreLogic RP Data Home Value Index, the rate of home value growth as varied across the cities.

Home value growth has been strong in Sydney and Melbourne and moderate across all other cities while Canberra saw values fall over the year.

When you adjust for inflation, the weak growth outside of Sydney and Melbourne is more prominent with values falling over the year in Darwin and Perth.


Annual change in combined capital city home values – nominal vs. real

rp data


State by State

In real terms, Sydney was the only city in which home values increased at a double-digit pace over the year, rising by 10.6%.

In Melbourne, real home values rose by 5.8% over the year and along with Sydney, was the only city to record real home value growth of more than 3.0% in 2014.

Brisbane (3.0%), Adelaide (2.6%), Perth (0.4%) and Hobart (1.8%) all recorded real value growth of 3.0% or less.

Home values in Darwin (-0.1%) and Canberra (-2.2%) fell in real terms over the past year.

Annual change in individual capital city home values to Dec-14 – nominal vs. real

corelogic rp data

To further highlight the importance of inflation on home value changes the third chart is a table which details the change in home values from their peak to their trough and from their peak to current levels.

inflation property investment

Across the combined capital cities, home values reached a quarterly peak in September 2010 and fell by as much as -11.9%.

As at December 2014, combined capital city home values were still -1.3% lower than their previous peak.

Sydney is the only city where home values are higher than their previous peak, up 10.4% from the previous peak which occurred all the way back in the first quarter of 2014.

Home values in Melbourne are nearing a new record high while in all other capital cities home values remain well below previous peaks.

Perhaps most interesting is just how long ago the previous peaks were in Brisbane (March 2008), Perth (September 2007) and Hobart (December 2007).

Real changes in home values from peak to trough and peak to current, December 2014

city previous peak

 The 2 big markets stand out from the rest

An ongoing trend in the capital city housing market has been the much higher level of growth in Sydney and Melbourne compared to the other cities.

After home values reached a peak in early 2008 they fell by more than -6% to the end of 2008 during the height of the financial crisis.

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After that time home values once again started to rise however, the rate of growth has been much greater in Sydney and Melbourne than in any of the other capital cities.

Sydney and Melbourne have recorded real home value increases of 34.4% and 26.9% respectively over the six years to December 2014.

Each of the remaining capital cities have recorded cumulative real home value increases of less than 10%.

Perhaps most interesting is that real home values have fallen over the past six years in each of Brisbane (-6.5%), Adelaide (-3.5%) and Hobart (-14.6%).

The growth in home values over this period has been very narrow-based focussed mainly on Sydney and Melbourne which have continued to be the strongest markets in 2014.

Change in capital city home values from December 2008 to December 2014

sydney melbourne

The data contained within this report highlights the importance of considering inflation with home values.

Although overall combined capital city home value growth has been strong over the past few years it has been heavily influenced by Sydney and Melbourne.

The reality is that outside of the two largest cities there has been very little real home value growth for more than six years.


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Cameron Kusher is Corelogic RP Data’s senior research analyst. Cameron has a thorough understanding of the fundamentals such as demographics, trends & economics. Visit www.corelogic.com.au

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