The property market finishes 2019 with a wet sail

JANUARY 8, 2020

Like a super maxi in the Sydney Hobart sailing classic, the Australian property market has cruised into the New Year on a significant high.

Dwelling values rose by 1.1% over December and by 4.0% over the quarter to finish out 2019 on a positive note according to the CoreLogic national home value index. 

This exceptional quarterly result represents the fastest rate of national dwelling value growth over any three months since November 2009. 

Leading the charge were Sydney (up 6.2%) and Melbourne (up 6.1%) with Canberra next best with growth of 2.3% for the December 2019 quarter. CoreLogic’s Tim Lawless said, “The positive year-end results mask what has been a year of two distinct halves -we saw capital city dwelling values fall by 3.8% over the first six months of 2019 and then rebound by 7.0% over the second half of the year. 

On an annual basis, Australian dwelling values tracked 2.3% higher over the 2019 calendar year with five of the eight capital cities, and five of the seven ‘rest-of-state’ regions, achieving growth. Among the capitals, Sydney and Melbourne recorded the highest annual capital gain, with both cities posting a 5.3% rise in dwelling values over the year. Regional Tasmania, where values were 6.1% higher over the year, led the regional markets.

“The housing value rebound was spurred on by lower mortgage rates, a relaxation in borrower serviceability assessments, improved housing affordability and renewed certainty around property taxation policies post the federal election. Lower advertised stock levels persisted providing additional upward pressure on prices amidst rising buyer activity.”

Looking ahead to 2020, Angus Raine, Executive Chairman at Raine & Horne, said the next 12 months is shaping up to be the opportune time for empty-nesters living in our major cities seeking to downsize into more suitable homes. “The key indicators favour downsizers in many capital city markets with the number of properties for sale down compared to this time last year, while many suburbs in Sydney and Melbourne are achieving auction clearance rates of close to 80%,” said Angus.

“With this fantastic mix of positive news, there’s an excellent opportunity for downsizers who have put their plans on hold for the last three years to find a buyer and shift to a smaller property in 2020.

“In the current market, a downsizing strategy could free up significant seven-figure sums for some empty-nesters. Subsequently, 2020 is the year for downsizers to take advantage of stronger market demand.”

Meanwhile in regional Australia, thirty-two of the non-capital city sub-regions recorded a rise in housing values noted CoreLogic, led by Victoria’s Warrnambool and South West region (+3.6%) and Tasmania’s Launceston and North East region (+3.5%).