CAMERON KUSHER: Housing market outlook

Housing market outlook

Blogger: Cameron Kusher, senior research analyst, RP Data

According to the RP Data-Rismark Home Value index results for August 2013, capital city home values increased by 0.5 per cent over the month. 

Although the monthly growth in values wasn’t as strong as the 1.9 per cent and 1.6 per cent increases in June and July, the monthly increases were recorded across six of the eight capital cities.

Over the three months to August 2013, capital city home values have increased by 4.0 per cent which was the largest value increase over a three month period since April 2010.

The performance of individual capital cities has been (and will most likely continue to be) extremely varied.

Sydney and Perth are recording value growth well in excess of the rest of the capital cities, Melbourne and Canberra then trail these cities at about half the rate of annual value growth. Brisbane, Adelaide and Darwin are recording fairly moderate rates of value growth and Hobart values continue to trend lower.

Over the 12 months to August 2013, combined capital city home values have increased by 5.3 per cent, the fastest rate of annual value growth since December 2010.

Across the individual capital cities, every city other than Hobart has recorded value growth over the past year.

The cities that have recorded the highest levels of value growth have been Perth (9.4 per cent), Sydney (7.0 per cent), Melbourne (4.3 per cent) and Canberra (3.8 per cent).

The rate of capital gain has been more subdued in Brisbane (2.5 per cent), Adelaide (0.5 per cent) and Darwin (2.8 per cent) while values have fallen by -1.1 per cent over the year in Hobart.

Over the 12 months to August 2013, houses across the combined capital cities have recorded an average capital gain of 5.6 per cent. Growth in unit values has comparatively been much lower at 3.2 per cent over the year. Growth in house values has outperformed that of units across each capital city except for Adelaide.

Home values are clearly broadly rising across most capital city housing markets however, they generally still remain below their historic peak.

Across the combined capital cities, home values peaked in October 2010 and despite the recent growth in home values they remain -0.9 per cent lower than this peak.

The recent period of value growth has seen home values in Sydney and Canberra eclipse their previous record high levels, while values remain lower across all other capital cities.

Home values in Sydney are 4.0 per cent higher than their previous peak and in Canberra they are 1.2 per cent higher. Home values is Perth (-0.2 per cent), Adelaide (-4.3 per cent) and Melbourne (-5.1 per cent) are much closer to their previous peak than those in Hobart (-11.5 per cent), Brisbane (-9.4 per cent) and Darwin (-8.6 per cent).

Sales activity continues to escalate across the nation as home values also increase. RP Data estimates that across the nation over the three months to June 2013, there were 94,466 houses and 35,113 units sold.

Based on the number of transactions, sales activity over the most recent three months has been at its highest level since the three months to November 2009.

Compared to the same three month period in 2012, house sales are 31.1 per cent higher than a year ago and unit sales are 26.0 per cent higher.

On a city-by-city basis, volumes over the past quarter were significantly higher than at the same time last year in Hobart (36.9 per cent), Brisbane (35.9 per cent), Sydney (35.3 per cent) and Canberra (33.4 per cent). On the other hand, the uplift in sales has been more moderate in Melbourne (31.8 per cent), Adelaide (15.7 per cent), Perth (23.2 per cent) and Darwin (26.6 per cent).

Negotiation conditions within the housing market continue to shift further in the favour of the seller as home values and sales volumes continue to climb higher while listings are much lower.

Our vendor metrics show that the typical capital city home that sold in July had been on the market for 41 days compared to 62 days at the same time last year. The level of discounting has also reduced over the year, falling from 7.0 per cent in July 2012 to 6.0 per cent currently. With a lower level of discounting it is no wonder that the average time on market has reduced so significantly over the past year.

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Cameron Kusher

Cameron Kusher

Cameron Kusher is RP Data’s senior research analyst, specialising in primary and secondary data analysis, property market commentary and consultancy. Cameron has a thorough understanding of the fundamentals such as demographics, trends, economics and spacial analysis and is a regular keynote speaker for property-related groups, regulated industry bodies, corporations and the government sectors.

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