- Australian home prices have fallen 4.1% over the past 12 months, but that move has not been uniform across the country.
- Over the past 12 months, 15 SA3 regions recorded double-digit percentage price gains. 23 logged double-digit price declines. In total, 55.7% saw prices fall in the year to November.
- Tasmania and regional Victoria dominated the list of largest gains, while New South Wales recorded the largest number of substantial price falls.
Australian home prices have fallen 4.1% over the past 12 months, according to CoreLogic’s Home Value Index, with the pace of price declines in November alone the fastest since the GFC.
However, that’s an aggregate measure of national valuations, and largely reflective of widespread price declines in Sydney and Melbourne, not only the most expensive housing markets in Australia but also where around 40% of all dwellings are located.
Prices are not falling uniformly across the country, as seen in the chart below from CoreLogic.
Clearly, in some SA3 regions, prices are booming rather than busting.
SA3 regions generally have populations of between 30,000 and 130,000 persons. There’s 358 across the country. The ABS website has more information for those who want to dig a little deeper.
“The Top 50 regions for value growth over the past year was dominated by Victorian and Tasmanian regions, indicating a strong slant towards regional areas rather than capital cities,” says Cameron Kusher, Research Analyst at CoreLogic.
“Over the 12 months to November 2018, only 15 SA3 regions nationally have recorded double-digit value growth and 10 of the 15 were in Tasmania. Victoria had three of the 15 and New South Wales and Queensland had one each.”
So double-digit price gains were not quite as rare as hen’s teeth, but close, with very few in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, Australia’s most populous states.
However, helping to explain why Australia’s nationwide price measure has fallen over the past 12 months, while 15 SA3 regions recorded double-digit growth, 55.7% saw prices decline over this period, including 23 where values record double-digit declines.
“By way of value declines, over the past year, New South Wales dominated with 28 individual regions within the top 50 located in Sydney,” Kusher says.
“Regions of Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory also appear on the list.”
While the declines in some regional areas reflect prior weakness in commodity prices and reduced mining infrastructure investment, many of the fall in New South Wales and Victoria, especially in the capitals Sydney and Melbourne, reflect a combination of factors such as tighter lending standards, reduced demand from local and foreign investors, a strong supply of new housing and large increase in property listings, among others.
Kusher expects those trends will continue in the year ahead, likely seeing more SA3 regions record price declines during this period.
“The outlook for the housing market is for further weaknesses,” he says.
“Although the sharp falls of this year — especially in Sydney — are unlikely to continue at their pace over the next year, it would not be a surprise to see that in 12 months’ time additional SA3 regions across the nation have recorded annual value falls.
“More affordable regional housing markets with healthy or improving economic and demographic conditions are expected to hold up better in terms of growth than the more expensive and weaker capital city housing markets.”