Australian city property prices up almost 10% year on year

Taylor Scott International News

Property prices in Australian cities increased by 2% in the second quarter of 2015 and are now 9.8% higher compared to a year ago, the latest index data shows. The figures from CoreLogic RP Data reveal that the growth has gained momentum as the year has progressed and the firm’s head of research, Tim Lawless, believes interest rates cuts in February and May have contributed in pushing capital gains higher. ‘Growth conditions had been moderating from April last year through to the end of January 2015. With the RBA cutting the cash rate in February, there was an instant buyer reaction across the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets where auction clearance rates surged back to levels not seen since 2009, capital gains once again accelerated,’ he explained. He pointed out that Sydney and Melbourne homes are selling in record time, some 26 days and 32 days respectively. But growth is not even. While Sydney and Melbourne have seen dwelling values increase by 16.2% and 10.2% over the financial year respectively, every other capital city has seen growth of less than 5% and values are down over the year in Darwin by 2.9% and Perth by 0.9%. According to Lawless, the current housing growth cycle clearly highlights a divergence in capital gains across the capital cities. Since values started rising in May 2012, Sydney homes have seen a 43.1% surge in values and Melbourne values are up by 25.9%. Despite softer market conditions in Perth, property values are currently up 12.8%, the third highest growth rate across the capitals. Simultaneously, Brisbane's property market has shown the fourth highest rate of growth at 12.4% followed by Adelaide at 10.4%, Hobart at 9.6%, Darwin at 8.9% and Canberra at 8.8%. ‘The three tiers of housing market performance can be best explained by economic and demographic factors where it's no coincidence that New South Wales and Victoria are recording the strongest economic conditions coupled with the strongest rates of migration which is fuelling housing demand. These states are more sheltered from the mining sector downturn and have benefited from the strong multiplier effect of housing construction as well as a vibrant financial services sector,’ said Lawless. ‘The Perth and Darwin markets are weakening in line with the downturn in the resources sector and an associated weakening in infrastructure investment and a marked slowdown in migration. Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart are seeing softer economic conditions and population growth compared with Sydney and Melbourne, however housing markets have shown some level of growth over the year,’ he added. Looking at the performance of detached housing versus apartments over the financial year, houses are clearly outperforming units in the capital gains stakes. Over the financial year, house values were 10.4% higher across the combined capitals index while unit values increased by a much lower 5.6%. The same trend where houses are showing a higher capital gain than units is evident across each of the capital cities except Hobart… Continue reading →

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