Please use the menu below to navigate to any article section:
- What’s ahead for property values in 2022?
- Here’s what the banks say about property prices in 2022
- This is what’s been happening to Australian house prices over the last year…
- So how long will this cycle continue?
- What’s ahead for our property markets?
- What about the long term prospects for our property markets?
- What’s ahead for our economy?
- Here are 8 reasons to feel positive about our economic future
- What about house prices?
- Moving forward some areas will strongly outperform others
- What about affordability?
- Australian house price forecasts
- Sydney House Price Forecast
- Melbourne House Price Forecast
- Brisbane House Price Forecast
- Canberra House Price Forecasts
- Perth House Price Forecast
- Adelaide House Price Forecast
What’s the outlook for the Australian property markets for 2022 and beyond?
This is a common question people are asking now that we have entered a new year.
Despite all the challenges Covid19 threw at us and a sequence of lockdowns, Australia’s housing markets experienced a once in a generation boom in property prices in 2021.
And even though the rate of house price growth is slowing, and our regulator APRA is keen to see the housing markets slow down, property values keep rising in almost every market around the country.
Over the past year, Sydney house prices have risen over 25.3%, Melbourne 15.1% and Brisbane 27.4%.
But the momentum in growth is showing signs of easing, since peaking in March last year.
Source: CoreLogic, January 4th 2021
Now I know some potential buyers are asking “How long can this last? Will the property market crash in 2022?”
They must be listening to those perma bears who keep telling anyone who’s prepared to listen that the property markets are going to crash, but they’ve made the same predictions year after year and have been wrong in the past and will be wrong again this time.
What’s ahead for property values in 2022?
The last few years have shown us how hard it is to forecast property trends…but here goes – I’m going to share a number of property predictions for 2022.
1. Continued property price growth
Property values will keep rising in 2022, but not everywhere and not to the same extent as they have over the last two year.
We’re heading into a period of strong economic growth, jobs are being created and business and consumer confidence is high.
The risks to further price growth include unforeseen consequences from Coronavirus, rising interest rates (unlikely for another year or two) of tightening of lending by APRA. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely that we will continue to see the same rate of growth over the next two years that we have seen over the past two years.
While most property markets around Australia have performed strongly so far this cycle (other than the inner city of high-rise apartment market), moving forward the rate of property price growth will slow and there are several reasons for this including:
- Affordability issues will constrain many buyers.
The impetus of low interest rates allowing borrowers to pay more has worked its way through the system and with property values being 20- 30% higher than at the beginning of this cycle at a time when wages growth has been moderate at best and minimal in real terms for most Australians, this means that the average home buyer won’t have more money in their pocket to pay more for their home.
- The pent-up demand is waning.
While there are always people wanting to move house and many delayed their plans over the last few years because of Covid, there are only so many buyers and sellers out there and there will be fewer looking to buy in 2022.
- APRA – is intent on slowing our markets using macro prudential controls
2. We will experience a two-tier property market.
In other words, not all locations will continue growing strongly moving forward.
I can see properties located in the inner and middle-ring suburbs, particularly in gentrifying locations, significantly outperforming cheaper properties in the outer suburbs.
While the outer suburban and more affordable end of the markets have performed strongly so far, affordability is now becoming an issue as the locals have had minimum little wages growth of the time when property prices have boomed.
In these locations, the residents don’t have more money in their pay packet to pay the higher prices the properties are now achieving.
More than that, Covid19 has adversely affected low-income earners to a greater extent than middle and high-income earners who are likely to recover their income back to pre-pandemic levels more quickly, while many have not been hit at all.
And as we start to emerge from our Covid Cocoons there will be a flight to quality properties and an increased emphasis on liveability.
As their priorities change, some buyers will be willing to pay a little more for properties with “pandemic appeal” and a little more space and security, but it won’t be just the property itself that will need to meet these newly evolved needs – a “liveable” location will play a big part too.
Those who can afford it will pay a premium for the ability to work, live and play within a 20-minute drive, bike ride or walk from home.
They will look for things such as shopping, business services, education, community facilities, recreational and sporting resources, and some jobs all within 20 minutes’ reach.
Now this is nothing new…
The high end of our property markets outperformed in 2021, even though this segment of the market is now slowing a little.
This chart shows the rolling quarter growth in the different tiers of our housing markets.
These indices represent the value changes in the bottom 25% of the market values (lower tier) the middle 50% of values (middle tier) and the top 25% of values (high tier) across the combined capital city housing markets.
Strongest level of growth (as a percentage) occurred in the higher end of our property markets
And moving forward, as affordability issues creep in for many Australians, behind the market will continue to outperform.
3. Rents will increase strongly
Increased rental demand at a time of very low vacancy rates will see rentals continue to rise throughout 2022.
Then when our international borders reopen this will further increase demand for rental housing.
If you think about it…when people initially move to a country or region, most rent first.
In addition, when foreign students return we’ll see increased pressure on apartment rents close to education facilities and in our CBDs.
Yet despite the lack of immigration over the last few years, just look at how rentals rose – especially for houses.
And as rising house rentals will create affordability issues for many tenants, apartment rentals will also increase in 2022.
4. Migration to Queensland will continue
Freed from the constraints of needing turn to up to a CBD office each day, and sick and tired of being locked down in our southern states many Aussies migrated to South East Queensland last year.
And now that our borders have opened up and considering the price differential and the perceived lifestyle benefits it’s likely that the northern migration will continue into 2022.
Add to this positivity off the back of employment growth and the long term benefits of hosting the Olympics and the extra infrastructure building that will occur, this part of Australia is looking particularly positive.
5. APRA is not done yet
The financial regulator will be carefully watching to see what the market does and be ready to step back in if it feels an overheated property market could be a risk to the financial system
6. The Federal election will interfere.
If history repeats itself, the Federal election which will be held in May will stall the markets from the time it is announced.
And then life will get back to normal whatever the eventual election result will be.
7. Employment will remain robust
Our economy will keep growing and the unemployment rate should fall even though many new jobs wwill be created but we will remained challenged by the spread of the virus making for a lumpy year.
Here’s what the banks say about property prices in 2022
Recently all our 4 big banks have updated their property price forecasts in response to the market’s resilience in the face of extended lockdowns.
In its latest update, ANZ stated house price growth forecast for 2022 is for the market slow down with 6% overall growth, but with Brisbane being the outstanding market performer.
The bank suggested that rising house prices will deter some home buyers, while APRA’s decision to ensure new borrowers can service a mortgage if interest rates jump 3% will put a brake on lending.
While we generally concur with ANZ’s forecast for 2022, we can’t see a good reason for house prices to fall in 2023 unless APRA intervenes and tightens the availability of credit.
Sure housing market growth will slow, the current levels of growth are unsustainable in the long term, but our improving economy and the opening of our international borders next year will underpin demand for housing.
It is possible that the slower growth rates moving forward will mean a slowdown in debt accrual for Australian households, which may mitigate the need for further interventions by APRA.
Dr Andrew Wilson, Chief Economist of My Housing Market made the following property market forecasts for 2022.
He recently commented that CBA’s predictions of a potential 10% price fall in 2023 due to rising interest rates were ” Simply Ridiculous.”
This is what’s been happening to Australian house prices over the last year…
Source: CoreLogic, January 4th 2021
So how long will this cycle continue?
Remember the current upturn phase of the property cycle really only commenced in October 2020.
Normally the upturn stage of the property cycle lasts a number of years and is followed by a shorter boom phase which is eventually cut short by the RBA raising interest rates or by APRA introducing macro prudential controls to dampen the exuberance of property investors and home buyers.
However, this time around we have experienced an unprecedented rate of growth seeing our property markets perform even more strongly than anyone ever expected, with the rates of house price growth at levels not seen for a number of decades.
While a lot has been said about the +20% increase in property values many locations have enjoyed so far this cycle, it must be remembered that the last peak for our property markets was in 2017 and in many locations housing prices remain stagnant over a subsequent couple of years which means that average price growth was unexceptional over the long term, averaging out at around 5 percent per annum over the last 5 years
But our financial regulator APRA instructed banks and other authorised lenders that from November 2020 borrowers will need to be able to meet repayments at least 3 per cent higher than the loan product rate to receive a loan.
If, for example, you apply for a mortgage with an interest rate of 2.5 per cent, the bank must now assess that you will still be able to make repayments if the rate rises to 5.5 per cent – rather than the previous serviceability assumption of 5 per cent.
These changes mean the maximum borrowing capacity for the average borrower will reduce by around 5 per cent.
Interestingly the new 3 per cent buffer rate does not apply to non-bank lenders. However, APRA is considering including them in the future.
While tougher lending standards will certainly take some heat out of Australia’s property markets by restricting the number of people that can get home loans, or lessen the amount they can borrow, it seems like the regulators are aiming to gently apply the brakes to the housing market, rather than slam them on.
Now I know some people are worried and wondering “Are the Australian property markets going to crash in 2022?”
They hear the perpetual property pessimists who’ve been chasing headlines and telling everyone who’s prepared to listen that the Australian property markets are going to crash and housing values could drop up to 20% – but just look at the terrible track records – they’ve been predicting this every year for the last decade and they’ve been wrong.
Our property markets are just going to move out of the sixth gear into third or fourth gear – they are not going into reverse.
Back to the question of when will this property cycle will end – there is little doubt that Macro-Prudential controls will have a negative impact on our property markets and slow the rate of growth of housing values.
After all, that’s what they’re intended to do.
Whether the markets will just experience slower growth or stop dead in their tracks will depend on what measures are introduced.
Targeting debt to income ratios will have a limited impact on higher wealth households, who often have multiple streams of income.
If you think about it, first home buyers don’t have a “trade-in” of a previous home and therefore need to borrow higher loan to value ratios.
On the one hand, the government says it wants to encourage first home buyers, and on the other hand, it is encouraging the regulators to sideline them.
So in the meantime, it’s just waiting and see what our regulators choose to do.
I hope they have learned from the results of previous interventions, otherwise, if history repeats itself, there will be some unintended consequences.
Watch this space.
Yet despite all the challenges, our housing markets just keep bounding along…
Source: CoreLogic, January 4th 2021
What’s ahead for our property markets?
Let’s have a look at 6 property trends that I think will occur in 2022.
- Property demand from home buyers is going to continue to be strong
Currently, home prices are surging around Australia, auction clearance rates remain high, and the media keeps reminding us we’re in a property boom.
The result is emotions are running high at the moment, with FOMO (fear of missing out) being a common theme around Australia’s property markets.
One of the leading indicators I watch carefully is finance housing approvals, and these are suggesting that more Aussies are looking at getting into property and we will have strong ongoing demand from owner-occupiers and investors over the next 6 months.
Now, with borrowing costs lower than they ever have been, the reassurance from the RBA that interest rates won’t rise for a number of years, it is likely that buyer demand will remain strong throughout 2022.
In fact, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy…
As property values increase and the media reports more positively about our property markets, FOMO will mean more buyers will be keen to get in the market before it prices them out.
2. Investors will squeeze out first home buyers
While there were many first-time buyers (FHB’s) in the market in the first half of 2021, buoyed by the many incentives being offered to them, now demand from FHB’s is fading as property investors re-enter the market and property values rise.
Of course over the last few years, investor lending has been low, but with historically low-interest rates and easing lending restrictions, investors are back with a vengeance.
3. Property Prices will continue to rise
While many factors affect property values, the main drivers of property price growth are consumer confidence, low-interest rates, economic growth and a favourable supply and demand ratio.
As always, there are multiple real estate markets around Australia, but in general property values should increase strongly throughout 2022.
However certain segments of the market will still continue to suffer, in particular in the city apartment towers and accommodation around universities until we get the influx of migrants and international students that the government is encouraged to return to Australia.
While overall vacancy rates are low and rents are rising, some rental markets will remain challenged – in particular, the inner-city apartment markets which are reliant on students, tourists (AirBNB) and overseas arrivals.
But overall, Australia’s low mortgage rates continue to underpin very strong growth in property prices throughout the country.
Ongoing strength in housing finance, elevated auction clearance rates, and continued low stock levels suggest housing prices will continue to rise solidly through 2021.
4. People will pay a premium to be in the right neighbourhood
If Coronavirus taught us anything, it was the importance of living in the right type of property in the right neighbourhood.
In our new “Covid Normal” world, people will pay a premium for the ability to work, live and play within a 20-minute drive, bike ride or walk from home.
They will look for things such as shopping, business services, education, community facilities, recreational and sporting resources, and some jobs all within 20 minutes reach.
Residents of these neighbourhoods have now come to appreciate the ability to be out and about on the street socialising, supporting local businesses, being involved with local schools, enjoying local parks.
5. More expensive properties will outperform
The current property cycle was initially characterised by all segments of the market rising – other than inner-city high-rise apartments.
But now the high end of the market is leading the growth in property values
In the three months to November, capital city homes saw the top 25% of values rise 4.3%, compare to 3.2% across the lowest 25% of values
6. This is a cycle dominated by upgraders
The current property and economic environment, plus the scars left on many of us after a year of Covid related lockdowns have meant that Aussies are looking to upgrade their lifestyle.
- Many tenants are no longer happy to live in small dingy apartments and with an oversupply of rental units available in many areas, they are taking the opportunity to upgrade their accommodation.
- Other tenants who have managed to save a deposit are taking advantage of many of the many incentives available and are becoming first home buyers.
- With record low-interest rates and surging property markets, many existing homeowners or upgrading their accommodation to larger homes in better neighbourhoods. In fact, a recent survey suggested that one in three homeowners are looking to sell their home in the next five years.
- While small group homeowners are upgrading their lifestyle and moving out of the big smoke to regional Australia, more Aussies are looking to upgrade their lifestyle by moving to a better neighbourhood. As mentioned above, they love the thought that most of the things needed for a good life are just around the corner.
- Many Baby Boomers are looking to upgrade their accommodation by moving out of their old, tired family home into large family-friendly apartments or townhouses. But they’re not looking for a sea change or tree change, they’re keen to live in “20-minute” neighbourhoods close to their family and friends.
What about the long term prospects for our property markets?
Currently, there are about 25.5 million Australians and in early 2021 the Government released the Intergenerational Report to help Australia and the businesses plan for the next 40 years –.
The IGR projects an Australian population of 38.8 million by 2060-61, and even though this is a little lower than previous projections – due to Covid slowing things down – this still means Australia’s population is projected to grow faster than most other developed countries.
Despite the reduction of the projected population, these trends are truly monumental.
If you think about it, it’s taken Australia well over 200 years since European settlement to reach a population of 25.5 million people today.
But in the next 40 years, our population will increase by around 13.3 million people.
In other words, it will increase by over 50%!
To make this worse, currently, there are 2.5 people in each household, but the IGR forecasts the average number of people in each household will shrink a little moving forward, meaning we are going to require about a third more real estate than we currently have.
To deal with the projected population growth between now and 2061 it’s likely we’re going to require one new property built for every two properties that currently exists!
All this means our way of living is going to change considerably and town planners will struggle to cope with this growth.
Of course, this will impact property investment choices, but strategic, knowledgeable investors will be well-placed to capitalise on the changing trends.
What this means is there will be many more high-rise towers of apartments, not just in the CBD but in our middle-ring suburbs – we are already starting to see that particularly in Melbourne and Sydney. And there will be lots more medium-density housing – in particular townhouses will be a popular way to live with modern large accommodation on more compact blocks of land.
It would be foolish to try moving forward because no one really knows what’s going to happen to inflation and interest rates, but as more of us want to live in the large capital cities of Australia, and in particular in those locations close to the CBD or the water where there will be more manatees, the scarcity will only push up the price of properties.
What’s ahead for our economy?
Economic growth has predictably retreated over the September quarter, but the results were significantly better than the gloomy numbers that had been widely forecast.
This certainly kills stone dead the prospects of another recession as was also predicted by many.
The ABS reports that the national GDP contracted 1.9% seasonally adjusted over the September quarter which particularly reflects the impact of the coronavirus lockdown is in NSW and Victoria.
State final demand contracted sharply over the September quarter in New South Wales by 6.5%, with Victoria down 1.4%, and Canberra falling 1.6%.
All other states, with the exception of Western Australia, reported strong economic growth over the quarter.
With lockdowns having ended in October, the prospect of a sharp rebound in economic activity is clearly likely over the December quarter with a sustained recovery set to continue over 2022.
Although challenges remain with the emergence of coronavirus variants, the Australian economy has again proven resilient with consumer confidence rising with the ending of coronavirus elimination policies through lengthy lockdowns.
Here are 8 reasons to feel positive about our economic future
- The Reserve Bank Governor has committed to leaving the cash rate at 0.1 per cent till 2024. .
2. While inflation has picked up, it remains low in underlying terms.
Inflation pressures are also less than they are in many other countries, not least because of the only modest wages growth in Australia.
And importantly, the Board will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2 to 3 per cent target range.
This will require the labour market to be tight enough to generate wages growth that is materially higher than it is currently. This is likely to take some time.
The Board is prepared to be patient, with the central forecast being for underlying inflation to be no higher than 2½ per cent at the end of 2023 and for only a gradual increase in wages growth.
With inflation at best just in the mid-range target at the end of 2023 but wages growth to remain subdued by comparison, this continues to confirm that 2024 – at the earliest – remains the current RBA expectation for the next increase in official rates.
3. Unemployment is the focal point of all monetary and fiscal policy actions.
And despite the concerns of what could happen to unemployment with the removal of Job Keeper, Australia’s unemployment rate keeps falling.
Sure with the lockdown is in late 2021 unemployment took a hit, but new job ads on SEEK rose 10.2% in October.
This followed on from the strong 8.8% month on month rise in September.
Not surprisingly NSW, Victoria and the ACT drove the result with those jurisdictions coming out of lockdown in the month.
This suggests labour demand is strong and should see the unemployment rate resume its pre-lockdown downward trend (after a little lag.)
4. The Westpac consumer sentiment index is at decade highs while business confidence is at 31-month highs.
Compared to prior downturns, the recovery in consumer sentiment is the sharpest seen in the history of the series and reminds us of the unusual nature of this shock and the extensive government support provided to households and businesses.
5. The success in suppressing the virus has enabled our states and territories to ‘reopen’ their economies.
6. Governments, the Reserve Bank, commercial banks, and regulators have provided all the necessary support and stimulus to ensure as many businesses as possible stay in business and workers hold onto jobs.
7. Borrowing costs for businesses, households, and governments are at ‘rock bottom’.
8. The additional boost to confidence and future prospects comes from the prospect of a vaccine.
Risks to our economy include further waves of virus cases; setbacks with vaccines; policy mistakes on the removal of support measures; and an extended delay in the re-opening of foreign borders.
Compared to prior downturns, the recovery in consumer sentiment is the sharpest seen in the history of the series and reminds us of the unusual nature of this shock and the extensive government support provided to households and businesses.
The major banks regularly report their internal data on credit card spending and consumer activity which has lifted strongly over the last few months in part due to the opening up of Victoria but consumer spending is also strong in other states.
Going forward, consumer spending faces headwinds from elevated unemployment, weak wages growth, tapering income support, and weak population growth.
The government recognises that consumer spending is a key driver of economic activity and that’s one of the reasons it is so keen to reduce unemployment and support our economy.
Property markets are booming
When Australians feel comfortable and confident about the value of their homes, their castle, they experience a wealth effect that encourages them to spend more.
The Stock Market is Rallying
Rising stock prices are important for several reasons – they show investors are confident in the earnings and profits of the business sector and they boost the wealth of shareholders which underpins confidence and spending.
A vaccine rollout is happening and boosting confidence
What about house prices?
Interestingly all the bank economists agree that it is likely that all our capital cities will experience strong house price growth over the next couple of years with house prices rising 20% to 30% over this property cycle.
Of course, there isn’t one Australian property market, or one Melbourne or Sydney property market so certain segments of the market will outperform.
In particular, the more affluent suburbs of our capital cities where residents have higher wages growth and more cash stashed away from the Covid pandemic are likely to outperform.
Of course, at times like this, forecasting median house values are of little value.
Instead, one needs to get more granular to really understand what is really going on.
Each state is divided into multiple markets, by geography, price point and type of accommodation.
And then there are apartments – either high-rise or medium-density – townhouses, villa units, and houses.
There are also new and establish property markets.
And each of these market segments behaves differently.
Currently, most of the property sales occurring are in the lowest price points with few discretionary sellers in the more established suburbs and higher bracket suburbs.
This means that the palette of properties currently being sold is generally in the lower price bracket and this alone will bring down reported median home values.
But this doesn’t accurately reflect the value of particular properties in any specific market, but more of the types of properties being sold.
We regularly report buyer demand as being shown by realestate.com.au’s Monthly Search Report and as you can see from the chart below, buyer demand is considerably higher than a year ago, even though this chart shows how enquiries have slowed down and we’ve moved from a “white-hot market” to a “red hot” market.
Moving forward some areas will strongly outperform others
Offices were shut, lockdowns were in place, and moving forward people are likely to continue working at home more than ever.
This means gone are the days where our ‘home’ was simply the place we rest our heads and enjoy some downtime between work and our social lives – the coronavirus social distancing has put an end to life as we once knew it.
If social distancing and the Covid-19 environment have taught us anything, it has taught us the importance of the neighbourhood we live in.
If you can leave your home and be within walking distance of, or a short trip to, a great shopping strip, your favourite coffee shop, amenities, the beach, a great park, the recently implemented coronavirus restrictions might seem a little more palatable than if you had none of that on your doorstep.
That’s why choosing the right neighbourhood is important for property investors?
In short, it’s all to do with capital growth, and we all know capital growth is critical for investment success, or just to create more stored wealth in the value of your home.
Sure there is always the opportunity to add value through renovating your property or making a quick buck when buying well.
But these are one off’s and won’t make a long-term difference if your property is not in the right location because you can’t change its location.
This is key because we know that 80% of a property’s performance is dependent on the location and its neighbourhood.
In fact, some locations have even outperformed others by 50-100% over the past decade.
And it’s likely that moving forward, thanks to the current environment, people will place a greater emphasis on neighbourhood and inner and middle-ring suburbs where more affluent occupants and tenants will be living.
These ‘liveable’ neighbourhoods with close amenities are where capital growth will outperform.
How do we identify these locations?
What makes some locations more desirable than others?
A lot has to do with the demographics – locations that are gentrifying and also locations that are lifestyle locations and destination locations that aspirational and affluent people want to live in will outperform.
It’s well known that the rich do not like to travel and they are prepared to and can afford to pay for the privilege of living in lifestyle suburbs and locations with a high walk score– meaning they have easy access to everything they need.
So lifestyle and destination suburbs where there is a wide range of amenities with 20 minutes walk or drive are likely to outperform in the future.
At the same time, many of these suburbs will be undergoing gentrification – these will be suburbs where incomes are growing, which therefore increase people’s ability to afford, and pay higher prices, for property.
A good neighbourhood means different things to different people, but there are some key factors that help to determine which locations have the potential to grow in value faster in the future.
Generally, a good neighbourhood is determined by the physical location, suburb character, and its close proximity to amenities such as a shopping strip, park, coffee shops, education, and even some jobs.
It’s obvious then that in our new ‘Covid’ world, people will want to be in a location where everything they need is in short 20-minute proximity – whether that is on public transport, bike ride or walks – to their home.
In planning circles, this concept is known as the ‘20-minute neighbourhood’.
Many inner suburbs of Australia’s capital cities and parts of their middle suburbs already meet the 20-minute neighbourhood tests, but very few outer suburbs do because there is a lower developmental density, less diversity in its community, and less access to public transport.
Supply and demand
Rising property prices are the result of two basic economic concepts: “Supply and Demand” and “Inflation”.
However, there is a sub-component of Demand, called “Capacity-to-Pay”, which is often overlooked.
Understanding how these concepts work together to affect real estate is crucial to one’s belief or doubt about whether real estate values will rise.
In a free-market economy, prices of any commodity will tend to drop when supply is high and demand is low.
In other words, when there is more than enough of something, it is said to be a “buyer’s market” because sellers must compete, typically by lowering the price, to attract a buyer.
Conversely, when supply is low and demand is high, prices will tend to rise as buyers bid up pricing to compete for the limited supply. This is called a “seller’s market”.
Let’s look at it this way….
- With regard to supply…. they aren’t making any more real estate in the most desirable areas and by this, I’m talking about the dirt, not the buildings.
- With regards to demand, Australia has a business plan to increase of population to 40,000,000 people in the next 30 years.
For the last few decades, continued strong population growth has been a key driver supporting our property markets.
Australia’s population was growing by around 360,000 people per annum, meaning we needed to build around 170 to 180,000 new dwellings each year to accommodate all the new households.
Since 60% of our growth is dependent on immigration, in the short-term population growth will fall, but they should increase again as soon as overseas immigrants will be allowed to come to our shores.
However, more and more ex-pats are returning to Australia.
Source: Corelogic December 20th, 2021
What about affordability?
With interest rates at historic lows, housing affordability is as cheap as it ever has been.
I’m not saying the properties are cheap – they never have been if you want to live in great locations in major world-class cities.
But for those first home buyers wanting to get a foot on the property ladder, or established home buyers wanting to upgrade, or investors looking to hold onto a property, the holding costs are less than they ever have been.
And the RBA has declared that the interest rate will not increase until unemployment is back to within its preferred range of around 4.5%.
They have said this will be unlikely to occur in the next three years.
In other words, we are in unprecedented times where we don’t have to worry about rising interest rates in the foreseeable future
Of course, rising property prices are an increasing issue for First Home Buyers who are not bringing a “trade-in” to the market.
As opposed to an established homebuyer who has a “trade-in” that is increasing in value, if first home buyers wait to get into the market they’re finding the market moving faster than they can save, so they’re hopping on board the property train as quickly as they can.
First home buyer affordability has declined for the second consecutive quarter according to Dr. Andrew Wilson, reinforcing the latest ABS data that revealed first home buyer numbers – although still strong – have fallen over recent months.
Australian house price forecasts
In the medium term, property values will be linked to the extent that our economic recovery affects income, employment, borrowing capacity, and credit availability.
However, I’m comfortable with the underlying long-term fundamentals supporting our property markets in the medium to long term.
Let’s look at a couple of them…
- Population growth
As I said, in the short-term population growth will fall, but this should increase again now that the gates have been opened and over 200,000 overseas immigrants will be allowed to come to our shores.
Of course Australia is likely to be seen as one of the safe haven’s in the world moving forward.
- Declining housing supply
The oversupply of dwellings in many Australian locations is now dwindling and there are very few new large projects on the drawing board.
Considering how long it takes to build new estates or large apartment complexes, we’re going to experience an undersupply of well-located properties in our capital cities in the next year or two.
- Interest rates are low
The prevailing low-interest-rate environment is making it easier to own a home, either as an owner-occupier or investor.
In fact, it’s never been cheaper for investors to own a property with the “net outlay” – the out-of-pocket expenses – being the lowest they’ve been for decades considering how cheap finance is today.
- Smaller households are becoming the norm
Sure many people live in a multigenerational household, but pretty soon Millennials will make up one-third of the property market and their households tend, in general, to be smaller as are the households of the booming 65+ year old demographic.
More one and two people households mean that moving forward, we will need more dwellings for the same number of people.
- More renters
Soon 40% of our population will be renters, partly because of affordability issues but also because of lifestyle choices.
The government isn’t providing accommodation for these people. That’s up to you and me as property investors.
- Investors are back in the market with a vengeance.
- The underlying economic fundamentals are strong
- And Australia’s banking system is strong, stable, and sound.
Even though a few home buyers have overcommitted themselves financially, there should be no real concern about household debt because, in general, it is in the hands of those who can afford it.
There is currently a very low rate of mortgage default of mortgage to increase.
Sydney has once again recorded one of the largest rises in housing values over the month, but it’s also the city that has recorded the sharpest reduction in the pace of capital gains from earlier highs.
Sydney is the most expensive capital city by some margin and it’s also been the city where values have risen the most over the first seven months of the year.
Worsening affordability is likely a key contributing factor in the slowdown here, along with the negative impact on consumer sentiment as the city moves through an extended lockdown period.
Sydney house values are now up 25.8% over the past twelve months, while unit values are up less than half that rate, with a 7.6% rise in values over the year.
In fact apartments in high supply areas such as the cookie-cutter high rise CBD towers present a significant risk to property investors.
This trend already occurred prior to COVID-19 where certain areas in Sydney experienced major unit oversupply.
It seems the property investors are slowly understanding the risks associated with high-rise tower apartments in Sydney including potential construction defects, high vacancy rates, lack of scarcity, lack of capital growth, and the challenges of buying in buildings that are predominantly owned by investors, and often many overseas investors.
Real estate in Sydney’s larger regional locations, and in particular in lifestyle locations like Byron Bay, the Central Coast, the Hunter Valley, Wollongong, New South Wales south coast should perform strongly this year with beachside suburbs likely to outperform the wider overall market
The resurgence of buyer and seller interest in the Sydney property market has meant that auction clearance rates have consistently been in the high 70% – 80% range suggesting there are more buyers than there are sellers and this always leads to higher property prices
More investors are getting into the Sydney market now recognising that there are no bargains to be found and that in 12 months time the properties they purchased today will look like a bargain.
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.
Melbourne’s housing market slowed down at the end of 2021 rising only 1.3% over the last quarter but, having said that Melbourne housing prices are at new record highs having increased 15.1% in the last year.
The softer performance relative to other regions is due to a few different factors including weaker unit market conditions where values are up by 5.6% over the year, weaker demographic trends as population growth is negatively impacted by closed international borders and stronger migration to the regional areas of the state and a more significant impact from COVID outbreaks and associated lockdowns.
At Metropole we’re finding that strategic investors and homebuyers looking to upgrade are actively out picking the eyes out of the market.
While overall Melbourne property values are likely to increase strongly again in 2022, like all our capital cities there is not one Melbourne property market, and A-grade homes and investment-grade properties are likely to outperform.
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 Melbourne team a call on 1300 METROPOLE or click here and leave your details.
Brisbane has become Australia’s strongest housing market over recent months, with the monthly rate of growth reaching a new cyclical high of 2.9% in November, taking dwelling values 7.4% higher over the rolling quarter and 25.1% higher over the year.
In dollar terms, Brisbane dwelling values have rise by approximately $127,000 over the past twelve months.
Local demand is strong being supported by a high rate of interstate migration, along with relatively affordable housing prices
On the other hand supply is limited with advertised listings remaining tight, tracking 34% below the five-year average at the end of November.
Every sub-region of Brisbane has seen housing values rise by more than 20% over the past twelve months, however, it is the coastal markets of South East Queensland where growth has led the state, with housing values surging 32% higher over the year across the Sunshine Coast and 30% higher on the Gold Coast.
The long term outlook for Brisbane’s housing markets is also looking positive, with a strong demographic trend fuelled by interstate migration, a large infrastructure budget, and a burgeoning level of excitement following the announcement that Brisbane would host the 2032 Olympic games.
Similarly, popular areas of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast have enjoyed strong demand considering the increased flexibility of being able to work from home and commuting to the big smoke less frequently.
At the same time, property investor activity has been strong, particularly for houses, not only coming from locals but from interstate investors who see strong upside in Brisbane property prices as well as favourable rental returns.
However, there is not one Queensland property market, nor one south-east Queensland property market, and different locations are performing differently and are likely to continue to do so.
Houses remain a firm favourite of prospective home hunters, with demand rising post-lockdown and it remains significantly elevated compared to last year.
However, apartment demand has been sliding and, in general, apartments in Queensland are a higher risk investment than houses, particularly due to a high supply of apartments that are unsuitable for families or owner-occupiers.
Brisbane is likely to be one of the best performing property markets over the next few years, but 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.
Our Metropole Brisbane team has noticed a significant increase in local consumer confidence with many more homebuyers and investors showing interest in a property.
At the same time we are getting more enquiries from interstate investors there we have for many, many years.
Canberra House Price Forecasts
Canberra’s property market has been a “quiet achiever” with median house prices recording the biggest jump in prices across all of Australia’s capital cities, at a huge 24.5% in just one year or 5.0% over the quarter, to a new median of $1.015 million according to Domain’s House Price Report.
That means that prices soared by almost $1,054 a day over the June quarter to give a total rise of $96,000.
This is the steepest price acceleration in almost three decades, the Domain report explained.
Median house prices in the inner north, inner south, and Woden Valley are now all above seven digits.
But unit price growth has been more restrained as the development boom of recent years contains prices, although they are edging closer to a record high, up a more modest $18,000 (or 3.6%) over the June quarter to $504,217.
Interestingly, since the pandemic, Canberra house prices have risen a huge 30.9% and unit prices 9.4%, which is the highest rate of growth across all of Australia’s cities.
Perth House Price Forecast
Perth’s housing market looks to have temporarily stabilised after a run of growth, with housing values edging 0.2% higher over the month of November 2021 and 0.4% higher over the rolling quarter.
The slowdown in growth conditions has been quite sharp and is potentially attributable to closed state borders along with a rise in advertised stock levels.
New listings added to the marketplace were 24% above the five year average at the end of November, leading to a subtle rise in the number of days it takes to sell a home, which has risen from a recent low of just 14 days in April to a still rapid rate of sale at 21 days in November.
Once state borders re-open we could see the growth trend rebound as demand from interstate migration resumes.
Rental markets are amongst the tightest of any capital with house rents up 14.5% over the year.
But this does not mean that investors should jump into the Perth property market – there are better opportunities in other parts of Australia.
The problem is the Western Australian economy is too dependent on one industry – the mining industry and much of this is dependant on China.
Without structural changes to the W.A. economy, it is unlikely to be able to deliver the significant number of higher-paying jobs and the substantial increase in population growth required to keep driving strong housing price growth in the medium to long term.
Hobart House Price Forecast
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 was interrupted by Covid-19.
Hobart property values are moving up again with values up to new record levels of 27.7% over the past year.
Adelaide House Price Forecast
Adelaide housing values were up 2.5% in November taking the annual growth rate to 21.4%, the highest level since the Global Financial Crisis.
Housing demand has surged across Adelaide with the number of home sales over the past year the highest since 2002.
With demand at the highest level in almost two decades, advertised supply levels are around record lows.
Market conditions have been far from even, with house values, which are up 23.9% over the year, rising at three and a half times the pace of unit values.
There is also a remarkable difference in growth rates geographically, ranging from a 34.2% surge in values across Burnside to a 4.4% increase across Adelaide city where the performance has been weighed down by a weaker unit sector..
Now is the time to take advantage of the opportunities the current property markets are offering.
Sure the markets are moving on, but not all properties are going to increase in value. Now, more than ever, correct property selection will be critical.
You can trust the team at Metropole to provide you with direction, guidance, and results.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced investor, at times like we are currently experiencing you need an advisor who takes a holistic approach to your wealth creation and that’s exactly what you get from the multi-award-winning team at Metropole.
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
- Buyer’s agency – As Australia’s most trusted buyers’ agents we’ve been involved in over $4Billion worth of transactions creating wealth for our clients and we can do the same for you. Our on the ground teams in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane bring you years of experience and perspective – that’s something money just can’t buy. We’ll help you find your next home or an investment-grade property. Click here to learn how we can help you.
- Wealth Advisory – We can provide you with strategic tailored financial planning and wealth advice. Click here to learn more about we can help you.
- Property Management – Our stress-free property management services help you maximise your property returns. Click here to find out why our clients enjoy a vacancy rate considerably below the market average, our tenants stay an average of 3 years, and our properties lease 10 days faster than the market average.
You may also be interested in reading:
- What can history teach us about what’s ahead for property
- How to Choose a Property Advisor
- What’s ahead for Brisbane’s property market?
- Property Investment In Sydney – 20 Market Insights
- Property Investment In Melbourne – 29 Real Estate Market Tips
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