Australian house and unit prices continued to beat records with the last Domain Quarterly House Price Report showing that in the December quarter, Australian house prices experienced a rate of growth at 6.5 per cent, with median house prices outstripping $1 million nationally to set a new record high.
House prices have risen three times faster than units over the past year as the report also shows that national medium unit prices also reached a record high with quarterly price growth at 1.9 percent.
Commenting on the state of property prices nationally, Dr. Nicola Powell, Domain Chief of Research and Economics said,
“House and unit prices continue to beat records nationally due to lockdown activity rebounds in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, high household savings and the ongoing demand from Australians to buy a property.
Demand continues to outstrip supply across a majority of the cities however rapid price growth and affordability issues are likely to shift demand in 2022.
Price growth has slowed from earlier in 2021 but it is higher than last quarter.”
Domain’s House Price Report revealed that Sydney house prices rose by roughly $1,100 per day over 2021, a total rise of almost $400,000, to a new record of $1.6 million.
At 33.1 per cent, this is Sydney’s steepest annual rate of growth on record.
Unit price growth increased by 8.3 per cent annually, hitting a new record high of $802,255.
The rate of quarterly growth dropped to 0.8 per cent.
“House prices have grown four times faster than units over the past year, a divergence that has created a record price gap with houses now double the price of a unit.
The rapid escalation in price is proving to be a significant financial barrier to entry for buyers and upgraders against a backdrop of low wage growth.
Housing affordability will continue to weigh on demand throughout 2022,” adds Dr. Nicola Powell.
House and unit price growth gained momentum over the last quarter as buyer and seller activity rebounded post lockdown with house prices reaching a new record high at $1.1 million (5.8 per cent quarterly growth), and unit prices reaching a new record high of $593,387 (3.9 per cent quarterly growth, strongest in two years).
Since late 2020 annual house price growth has significantly outperformed units.
House prices rose $660 a day over the quarter, the steepest dollar increase on record for a single quarter.
This is the largest divergence in growth on record, pushing the price gap between property types to an all-time high.
“Although Melbourne’s severe and extended lockdowns came to an end, we have seen many businesses close and residents move away from the city.
This means that the availability of homes for sale is building, with total supply now sitting at 10 per cent above the five-year average, and the value of new home loans has eased from its peak.
Sellers should move into 2022 with some confidence that the pace of price growth will ease, and they will need to have a more realistic view of pricing because buyers now have more choices,” said Dr. Nicola Powell.
Buyers can expect to pay a record high of $792,065 as Greater Brisbane house prices grow by 10.7 per cent over the quarter and 25.7 per cent annually, the steepest increase in almost 18 years.
Unit prices grew by 2 per cent over the quarter and 3.5 per cent annually, for the first time since mid-2016, hitting a new record high of $416,033.
House prices have risen seven times faster than units over the past year, the largest divergence on record pushing the price gap between property types to an all-time high.
Buyer demand remains elevated and continues to run ahead of supply, depleting the total number of advertised homes for sale to a multi-year low.
Supply is 41 per cent below the five-year average for December, one the deepest declines of all the capital cities.
Dr. Nicola Powell commented,
“The rapid price escalation will prove to be a financial hurdle for entry buyers.
It will also be challenging to upgrade from a unit to a house, particularly against a backdrop of low wages growth.
While housing affordability remains less challenging in Greater Brisbane compared to other cities, the volume of choice is problematic, making it highly competitive for buyers.”
Adelaide property market
Buyers can expect to pay over $700,000 for a house in Adelaide for the first time on record.
House prices recorded the steepest gains ever with an increase of 8.6 per cent quarterly and 27.5 per cent annually, setting a new record high of $731,547.
Unit prices also reached a new record high of $380,349, a result of a quarterly increase of 4.5 per cent and an annual increase of 11.5 per cent, the strongest annual gain since 2008.
Demand for Adelaide property remains strong as the number of homes sold reaches its highest point on record.
House prices have risen more than twice the rate of units over the past year creating a record price gap.
House price growth gathered momentum over the quarter compared to the previous for houses but eased slightly for units.
“Demand continues to outstrip supply with the overall supply of homes for sale dropping to a multi-year low and forcing house price growth.
Current demographic trends will continue to support housing demand with more people arriving into Greater Adelaide than leaving.
South Australia has been one of the states to benefit from the flow of Australians that have sought to either escape lockdown, embrace remote work culture, or return to their home state,” said Dr. Nicola Powell.
House prices increased by 1.8 per cent quarterly, reaching $612,348, and unit prices by 2 per cent reaching $380,353.
Despite the increase in house and unit prices, the pace of growth has slowed compared to that seen in late 2020 and early 2021 and Perth continues to hold the title of the most affordable city to buy a house as prices swiftly rise across the other cities.
Dr. Nicola adds,
“Extended state border closures continue to hamper housing demand, as new residents are disrupted from moving into the state.
Once borders reopen, this could provide another wave of new demand, freely allowing an easier relocation from overseas and interstate.
Perth has been benefiting from a positive net flow of residents into the city, although easing slightly from the highest point in eight years.
This has been a huge change for the city that had seen a drain of residents away.
That being said, sale volumes are sitting close to record numbers and demand remains strong but looks to be easing.
Buyers are being supported by low interest rates, coupled with a decline in spending as border closures stall travel plans and have boosted savings.
Perth remains a sellers’ market, this is helping to entice more homeowners, reacting to rising prices and putting their homes up for sale.
While it is still a competitive market for home hunters, rising supply and easing demand trends should support more realistic seller prices and greater buyer choice.”
Buyers can expect to pay over $700,000 for a house in Hobart for the first time on record.
House prices have increased by 8.7 per cent over the quarter hitting a new record high of $752,110.
Surging by 44.9 per cent since the pandemic began, Hobart house prices boast the second-highest growth rate of all Australian cities.
Commenting on Hobart’s continued house prices growth, Dr. Nicola said,
“Hobart’s streak of record-breaking house prices hit a milestone over the last quarter by surpassing $700,000 for the first time.
With the lowest average wages of all the states we can expect that entry-level buyers who are on a local average wage will find it increasingly difficult to enter the housing market.
Values have risen sharply across all house price points suggesting a broad spectrum of buyers are active.
Home hunters will find buying conditions to be fierce as the number of homes for sale is well below the five-year average, and while stock is starting to build, it remains tight.
Buyer demand is likely to be fuelled by the reopening of the Tasmanian state border to the mainland states, likely providing more buyers in Hobart as those interstate are able to relocate more freely.”
Canberra is now the second most expensive city to purchase a house with house prices hitting a new record high of $1.178 million.
This is the steepest quarterly growth on record and makes the past year the strongest upswing in Canberra’s house price history, up 36.6 per cent.
However, unit prices declined by 1.6 per cent to $555,644, although prices are up by 9.7 per cent annually.
“Since the pandemic began, house prices have risen 52 per cent, the highest rate of growth recorded across the capital cities.
The rapid escalation in house prices will be a financial barrier for entry buyers and upgraders against a backdrop of low wages growth.
The disparity between property performance and associated affordability constraints is expected to drive demand to units.
While it is still a competitive market for home hunters, rising supply and easing demand trends should support more realistic seller prices and greater buyer choice,” adds Dr. Nicola Powell.
House prices were at $645,487, the highest point in six years, after rising 30.1 per cent annually and unit prices at $326,159, increased marginally by 1.8 per cent over the quarter and by 11.1 per cent annually.
Dr. Nicola adds,
“Darwin house prices have seen a sharp upswing since the pandemic began, producing the strongest rate of annual growth in roughly 17 years and the highest median price in six years.
Demand for Darwin property still remains strong as the number of homes sold reached a thirteen-year high over the December quarter.
However, it appears the pace of price growth has peaked.”
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