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2022 saw largest home value fall since GFC: CoreLogic

By Kyle Robbins
12 January 2023 | 11 minute read
Tim Lawless reb

Australia’s housing market ended the year with its largest yearly rate of decline since the economic tragedy 14 years ago, according to CoreLogic’s latest Home Value Index (HVI).

A re-acceleration of national housing market declines throughout the final month of the year resulted in a 1.1 per cent fall to the HVI and culminated in Australia’s housing values dropping 5.3 per cent throughout the year’s entirety, the first time since 2018 a yearly rate of decline has been recorded and the largest rate seen since 2008’s 6.4 per cent fall.

Primarily driving Australia’s housing market accelerated decline during December was Melbourne’s pace of decrease lifting from 0.8 per cent in November to 1.2 per cent a month later, though CoreLogic noted month-on-month declines also quickened across Sydney (1.4 per cent), Adelaide (0.4 per cent), Darwin (0.5 per cent), and Canberra (1.2 per cent).

Throughout the calendar year, home values plummeted the most in the NSW capital (12.1 per cent) and its Victorian counterpart (8.1 per cent) largely due to their earlier peaks. Hobart (6.9 per cent), the ACT (3.3 per cent), and Brisbane (1.1 per cent) also recorded annual price contractions. 

Conversely, median values grew across three Australian capital cities, led by a 10.1 per cent expansion in Adelaide, while Darwin (4.3 per cent) and Perth (3.6 per cent) also recorded strengthening home prices.

Reflecting on the year just gone, CoreLogic’s executive research director, Tim Lawless, categorised it as a year of contrasts where housing values mostly grew during the first four months but tumbled upon the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) inflation fighting decision to raise the cash rate. 

“Our daily index series saw national home values peak on May 7, shortly after the cash rate moved off emergency lows. Since then, CoreLogic’s national index has fallen 8.2 per cent, following a dramatic 28.9 per cent rise in values through the upswing,” Mr Lawless said. 

On the regional front, Mr Lawless disclosed housing values across Australia’s regional centres remained roughly unchanged from where they began in 2022 — up 0.1 per cent. Though closer analysis revealed not all areas were free from home value declines as regional NSW experienced 2.7 per cent declines, over double the 1.3 per cent fall in regional Victoria. 


He noted the performance of regional South Australia, which has been “the standout for growth conditions over the past year, with values up 17.1 per cent through 2022”. Before adding that “the well-known Barossa wine region led the capital gains with a 23 per cent rise in values over the calendar year”.

In good news for homeowners and investors alike, housing values nationwide generally remain above pre-COVID levels, with combined capital cities dwelling values 11.7 per cent above their position during the pandemic’s onset in March 2020, with this number almost tripling to 32.2 per cent for Australia’s combined regional centres.

On the supply front, 2022’s conclusion saw substantially less houses available compared to both the five-year average and levels reported a year earlier. In the four weeks preceding Christmas Day, there were 7.8 per cent less homes advertised for sale than the same period a year earlier, while new capital city listings firmed 30.6 per cent lower than the respective period in 2021.

Mr Lawless explained that “vendors have been reluctant to test the market through the downturn”, a trend notable throughout the spring selling season, which occurred later and with less volume than history suggests. 

Additionally, home sales have declined in conjunction with advertised stock. In addition to being 9.2 per cent below the previous five-year average, estimated Australian dwelling sales throughout the December quarter were down 30.1 per cent compared to the same period in 2021.

“We typically see a seasonal surge in the number of new listings added to the market from early February through to Easter,” he added. The expert concluded that “the balance between the flow of new listings and number of home sales will be a key trend to watch through early 2023”.

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