More evidence of Australia's two-speed housing market, in one chart

Bradley Kanaris/Getty ImagesBrisbane, Australia.
  • While home values in Sydney and Melbourne rocketed higher from 2009, dwelling values in Brisbane were negative for much of that period.
  • The Brisbane market has also held up more strongly since Australia‚Äôs Sydney-led property slowdown commenced in September.

Monthly house price data from CoreLogic, due out this Friday, is expected to show prices across Australia’s combined capital cities fell again in May.

But as with any market that’s approaching $7 trillion in total value, there are various layers and complexities involved.

For one thing, house prices in most value categories aren’t actually falling.

As David Scutt pointed out last week, the falls have been consigned to CoreLogic’s top three most expensive price segments — with only the top segment falling in annual terms.

And there’s been notable variation by city too. Downward price action has been led by well-documented falls in Sydney and Melbourne, while other capitals have remained steady (excluding Hobart, where prices are still rising strongly).

Of course, the rise in home values since 2009 has primarily been focused on Australia’s two largest cities. For proof, check out the table here.

And for more proof, there’s this chart which CoreLogic’s Cameron Kusher posted on Twitter this afternoon:

So while house prices in Sydney and Melbourne more than doubled between January 2009 and August 2017, house prices changes in Brisbane were actually in negative territory for much of that period.

Brisbane home values were falling by almost 10% until turning the corner in 2013, and didn’t hit positive territory until around 2015.

The net result is that over that same eight-year time period, Brisbane dwelling values rose by just 16.2% compared to 113.2% for Sydney.

The chart also shows Brisbane apartment buyers had an even rougher time of it, with unit values falling by almost 12% over the last decade because of excess supply.

The data indicates Brisbane property values have held steady since the Sydney market first turned negative last September.

So at this stage in the cycle, the cities outside of Sydney and Melbourne with less rapid price growth have also seen less rapid declines.

The next uncertainty is facing housing investors and policy makers is whether the consistent price falls in Sydney and Melbourne begin to extend into other markets.

You can follow Cameron on Twitter here.

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