Was December the high watermark for the property market?

One of the country’s leading real estate economists has told Real Estate Business that December marked the high point for price growth in capital cities. 

Dr Andrew Wilson, senior economist for Australian Property Monitors, said that as we move into what is quieter end of the year, we’re unlikely to see the levels of price growth witnessed at the end of last year.

“What happens, typically, is that lower volumes of higher priced properties come on the market at this stage, which tends to give us a price impact,” said Dr Wilson.

“It often looks like prices have actually fallen in the middle of the year but they really haven’t, it’s just we get a mix of properties coming on to the market. You get a mix of people who are more motivated to selling their property in winter.

Dr Wilson said Sydney, in particular, is well ahead of other markets in terms of price growth and sales activity.

“Melbourne and Perth are some way behind ... I can only call it modest at best about what is happening there," he said.

“I would expect that most markets moving into the mid-winter period, would typically reflect the moderation in activity. Sydney will be no exception.

“The December quarter was the peak of the housing market cycle. That was the high-watermark for prices growth and buyer and seller activity in capital city markets.

Dr Wilson said there’s still “plenty of life” in the market but that’s “gradually waning” and it’s likely to moderate between now and the end of the year.

“How I’d  describe it as ‘spread and convergence’, where markets that are more finely tuned, where there's high levels of pent-up demand and lower supply levels."

He said those markets that don’t spread as quickly tend to catch up over a period of time.


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