Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Australia’s two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, were continuing to outshine all capitals, new research has shown.
Research released by the REIA showed Sydney and Melbourne were the only two capital cities to experience growth in both the housing and apartment sectors.
“During the March quarter 2020, the weighted average median price for houses for the eight capital cities increased to $786,923, with Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Darwin all having increases,” said Adrian Kelly, president of the REIA.
“The weighted average median price for other dwellings increased to $602,293 over the quarter, with prices increasing in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide but decreasing in Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, Hobart and Darwin.”
Mr Kelly said the March 2020 quarterly change in median prices was the largest March quarter increase since 2017, which was the beginning of the housing boom of 2017–18.
“Over the quarter, the median rent for three-bedroom houses increased in all capital cities except for Brisbane and Perth, which remained steady, and Darwin, which decreased,” Mr Kelly said.
“The median rent for two-bedroom other dwellings increased in all capital cities except Darwin, which had a 2.4 per cent decrease.
“The weighted average vacancy rate for the eight capital cities decreased to 2.5 per cent during the March quarter, which shows a tightening in the market compared to last quarter.”
However, this is prior to markets showing the impact of COVID-19 and the economic fallout that could hit the property market.
Mr Kelly said with the new lending to household data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, lending to households for investment in dwellings decreased by 16.3 per cent over the quarter and decreased by 13.1 per cent for owner-occupiers.
“The decrease is usual for the March quarter and has been occurring for the past 10 years,” Mr Kelly said.
“Our next report will reflect the impacts of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic on both the sales and rental markets.”