Sydney crashes the property downturn party in worst year since GFC

A Mercedes C Class car which crashed through some railings into the basement of a luxury apartment block at Lancaster Terrace, London. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
  • CoreLogic has released its end of year report, showing the weakest housing market conditions post-GFC, with values falling 4.8% through 2018.
  • 9 out of the 10 capital-city subregions were across Sydney, with Ryde leading falls at -13.3%.
  • National dwelling values were down 2.3% over the December quarter.

It’s official, the 2018 property downturn was ugly. The ugliest, in fact, since 2008.

The final CoreLogic dwelling value index of 2018 was released Wednesday and, as expected, December came through with further losses.

According to CoreLogic, housing values dropped by 2.3% over the December quarter – putting the total national decline at 4.8% average for all of 2018.

Sydney and Melbourne were the hardest hit capital cities. Sydney lost 8.9% overall with Melbourne at -7.0%, while Perth down -4.7% and then Darwin at -1.5%.

Source: CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index, December 2018

Sydney housing values have now crashed -11.1% relative to the peak in July 2017.

Nine out of the 10 worst performing regions in Australia were Sydney suburbs, with Ryde’s property values dropping 13.3%, the Inner South West and Sutherland at -10.9% and Baulkham Hills and the Hawkesbury at -10.8%.

Other capital cities saw modest gains with Brisbane up 0.2%, Adelaide at 1.3% and Canberra at 3.3%.

Hobart has remained the surprisingly welcome market outlier with value increases of 8.7%.

CoreLogic’s head of research Tim Lawless has said that the “pace of capital gains” in Tasmania has held over the Hobart property market.

“Although Australia’s two largest cities are the primary drivers for the weaker national reading, most regions around the country have reacted to tighter credit conditions by recording weaker housing market results relative to 2017.”

The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority has removed the cap on interest-only lending as of January 1 this year. APRA has said it will be keeping close watch on the lending standards overall so it is unclear whether this move was intended to assist in slowing the decline.

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