According to latest figures from RP Data, the national housing market improved significantly throughout the year, with median dwelling values sitting at $540,000.
While the results show a marked improvement when compared to 2012, the bulk of the growth happened during the last six months of the year, after two Reserve Bank rate cuts in May and August took the cash rate to its lowest level ever.
After values rose by just three per cent in the first half of 2013, a figure of 6.6 per cent was recorded from July onward – with 1.4 per cent growth in December alone, according to research analyst Cameron Kusher.
“Clearly, value growth has gathered momentum throughout the second half of the year,” he said.
However, Mr Kusher believes the results are not quite what the market should be experiencing given the favourable environment.
“Despite the strongest annual value growth since 2009, the rate of growth was not that startling given the low interest rate environment and the previous successive years in which home values fell,” he said
“Although home values increased by 9.8 per cent in 2013, the growth follows a 3.8 per cent annual fall in values in 2011 and a further 0.4 per cent annual fall in 2012.”
Mr Kusher said it is clear that as we enter 2014, and as values rise across each capital city, the rate of growth will depend on a number of factors.
“The main challenges in 2014 are likely to be the impact of a forecasted higher unemployment rate, affordability constraints for the more price-sensitive sectors of the market (particularly in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth) and whether any regulatory changes will be implemented by APRA and the RBA to cool the near-record high levels of investment activity,” he said.