Australia’s housing market continued along a recovery trend through November, with our national home value index recording a second consecutive monthly rise.
With dwelling values up 0.8% over the month, the new recovery trend follows a 2.1% drop in Australian home values between April and September.
At this rate of appreciation, we are likely to see CoreLogic’s national home value index surpass pre-COVID levels in early 2021.
Although housing values look set to surpass their pre-COVID highs early next year, both Sydney and Melbourne home values remain at levels similar to those seen in early 2017.
While rising, Perth values are similar to levels in 2006, and Darwin values are in line with 2007 levels.
At the other end of the spectrum, housing values moved to new record highs in Brisbane, in Adelaide, Hobart, and Canberra through November.
House and unit values have diverged over recent months.
the resilience in Melbourne unit values is surprising given the high supply levels across inner-city areas and the sharp decline in rental conditions.
We suspect the stronger trend in Melbourne unit values relative to houses could be short-lived unless overseas migration turns around sooner than expected which would help to shore up rental tenancy demand.
The stronger performance across the regional areas of Australia continued in November, with CoreLogic’s combined regionals index recording a monthly growth rate double that of the combined capitals.
Regional home values were up by 1.4% in November compared with a 0.7% rise in capital city values.
Regional Queensland has led the rise in values over the past three months, posting a 3.2% lift, followed be regional NSW where values are 3.1% higher.
Regional housing demand is being supported by a range of factors including the normalization of more flexible working arrangements across some occupations, as well as lifestyle factors, lower housing prices, and improved transport options.
With many employers now embarking on a ‘return to office’ program and the price gap between the capitals and regional markets narrowing, this trend could gradually start to lose momentum, but we are expecting the regional lifestyle markets to remain in high demand for some time yet.
The lift in housing values comes as a range of other indicators points to further improvement.
Inventory levels remain low across Australia at a time when demand is rising, leading to a market that is favoring sellers over buyers.
The number of properties advertised for sale remains 20% lower than this time last year, and 24% below the five-year average.
Total listing numbers are low despite a sharp rise in fresh being added to the market.
The spring period saw a 42% rise in the number of new listings added to the marketplace nationally, while the total number of listings dipped 0.6%.
This reflects a strong rate of absorption as prospective buyers continue to outnumber newly advertised supply additions.
The number of settled sales has held reasonably firm since July, with rising sales activity outside of Victoria offsetting the sharp drop in Victorian home sales caused by the recent lockdown period.
Nationally, CoreLogic’s settled sales estimates over the past three months were about 1% higher than the same period last year.
This is partially due to the stronger demand across regional areas where buyer activity has seen a more significant lift than their capital city counterparts.
Auction markets have strengthened as well, with November clearance rates holding around the 70% mark, that’s well above the decade average of 61%.
The strength in the auction clearance rate comes as the number of auctions rises into the first half of December.
Higher auction volumes will provide a timely test of the market depth prior to the seasonal slowdown through late December and January.
Private treaty measures are also tightening.
The median selling time reduced from 57 days in June to 42 days in November and discounting rates have reduced from 3.9% in April to 2.8% in November.
Article Source: propertyupdate.com.au
Boomers a ‘Force of Change’ in Retirement Property Market
As teenagers they invented pop culture and now—much older, collectively wealthier and arguably wiser—they are defining a new age group and re-inventing retirement living.
Millenials may have surpassed them in numbers but baby boomers are still having significant influence on world economies and trends—not least in the property market.
“The baby boomers are coming through and have become a force for change in the seniors’ market,” said Cameron Kirby, managing director of Kirby Consulting Group, a retirement and aged care specialist.
“The more progressive operators are definitely getting their ducks in a line.
“And there’s a lot of developers interested in dipping their toes in the market for the first time, some of them with more than 30 years’ experience in the development industry, because they can see there is huge opportunity.
“[But] many developers that want to enter into this space are probably a bit reticent because they’re worried about the complexity of it, they’re worried about the unknowns.
“The opportunities, however, far outweigh any of their concerns.
“And if you’re offering what the market wants, you’re going to be successful.”
Kirby will be a speaker at The Urban Developer Developing For An Ageing Demographic vSummit on April 28.
“The sector is continuously changing,” he said.
“You’ve got land lease communities and over-55 developments that have been moving into the traditional retirement village space.
“And, at the moment, there’s a lot of talk about integrated care in retirement living with a greater weighting on having more retirement villages and less aged care.”
Last year, a survey by benchmarking firm StewartBrown showed 58 per cent of aged care homes were operating at a loss, up from 55 per cent the previous financial year, and 32 per cent made a cash loss.
“Aged care has got some major challenges … but in the meantime there’s also the baby boomers coming through,” Kirby said.
“What I’ve seen over the last 10 years is a bit of a slide where low-care people that used to go into aged care are more likely to go into retirement villages and, equally, people that used to go into more traditional retirement villages are now probably more interested in moving into land lease communities and over-55s concepts.
“Land lease communities are growing very fast and are hugely attractive, there’s no doubt about that … but retirement villages have upped the ante enormously as well, they tend to offer much more wellness and are moving more towards the care side of things.
“Certainly, operators who are offering care in retirement villages are going from strength to strength.
“There’s an increasing amount of quality retirement villages with hotel and resort-style living and state-of-the-art amenities coming online. Pools, gyms, spas, saunas, cinemas, you name it they’ve got it.
“But those retirement living operators that have a full continuum of care solution that’s what the market is demanding … [the boomers] know they’re going to need some support down the line so they’re planning for their future.
“It really doesn’t matter, however, whether you’re doing aged care, retirement, over-55s or land lease community … because demand is outstripping supply. There is a market for all of those and they attract very different types of buyers.”
Kirby said given Australia’s ageing demographic, the seniors and retirement market was a “much more defensive proposition” for developers.
“Just as healthcare is a defensive stock on the stock market, I think seniors living is a much more defensive play in the property sector,” he said.
“It tends to be more needs driven than what a straight-out residential property play would be.
“And so, I think if we are going to be headed towards a softer property market this is an area that can really shine because seniors will still have the wealth and will still want to move and look at downsizing opportunities.”
Article Source: www.theurbandeveloper.com
Houses still in high demand, apartment prices lag
The price growth of apartments continues to lag rocketing house prices in many suburbs across Sydney and Melbourne, with the trend showing little signs of abating.
The widening price gap between houses and units is a long-term trend driven by land scarcity in our biggest cities, with the difference tending to be widest between houses and high-rise apartments.
While house prices in Sydney’s North Ryde soared 29 per cent in the year ended March 31, unit prices in the suburb grew by a mere 6 per cent. Similarly, prices in Homebush grew 29 per cent, compared to unit price growth of just 7 per cent.
In Sydney’s Pennant Hills, house prices grew 24 per cent, while unit prices were flat, figures from CoreLogic show.
It is the same story in many parts of Melbourne, with Essendon North house prices growing by 19 per cent over the same period, while apartment prices fell by almost 1 per cent.
Houses in Melbourne’s Canterbury saw their prices jump more than 14 per cent, while units dipped 4 per cent. In inner-city Hawthorn East, houses were up 9.6 per cent, compared to a 6 per cent fall in unit prices.
Earlier analysis by CoreLogic showed more expensive property markets, particularly those close to CBDs and in areas where there are high numbers of units relative to houses, tend to have the biggest price gaps.
Eliza Owen, head of research at CoreLogic, says one of the reasons for the relative recent poor price performance of unit markets is COVID-19 related travel restrictions, including the closure of Australia’s international borders.
Demand for investment units in urbanised centres likely fell because of their high exposure to migrants and international students.
During the height of the pandemic, many units were empty, particularly in inner Melbourne.
The re-opening of international borders is seeing arrivals from overseas rising quickly, which should help to support the prices of units in both Sydney and Melbourne, she says.
However, Owen says one area of concern remains the prospect of higher mortgage interest rates, with prices of investment units more sensitive to rate movements than houses.
Many analysts expect the Reserve Bank of Australia to start increasing official interest rates this year, possible as early as June, with lenders expected to pass on any hikes in their variable rate mortgages.
Following two years of surging property prices, the big gains made over the past year appear to be over.
Sydney house prices were 0.1 per cent lower in March after being flat in February. Unit prices were 0.5 per cent lower in March and 0.3 per cent lower in February.
In Melbourne, house prices down 0.2 per cent lower in March, following flat prices February. Unit prices were 0.2 per cent higher in March and 0.1 per cent higher in February. However, those small gains came after big falls in inner-city unit property values during COVID-19 restrictions.
Coming off the back of strong annual growth, falling affordability continues to be a key factor affecting property market conditions.
A surge in the cost of living and rising rents is restricting the ability of prospective homeowners to save and borrow.
In last month’s federal budget, the government expanded the number of places available in its low-deposit scheme.
The program allows first-home buyers, and others, to buy new or existing dwellings with a deposit of only 5 per cent, instead of the usual 20 per cent that is needed to avoid paying expensive lenders’ mortgage insurance.
Article Source: www.brisbanetimes.com.au
Brisbane house prices leave units in the dust
The gap between house and apartment prices in Brisbane is now the widest in at least two decades, but is set to shrink over the next 12 months as housing affordability bites and buyers choose cheaper options, Colliers says.
Colliers residential director Queensland, Andrew Roubicek, said the price difference between houses and apartments in Brisbane has reached 45 per cent compared with an average of around 20 per cent between 2003 and 2015.
Brisbane house prices further escalated with the onset on COVID-19 when people placed a higher value on privacy with interstate migration to the Sunshine State also propelling Queensland’s property market.
Property data company CoreLogic estimates that Brisbane house prices increased 32 per cent in the year ended March 31 compared with 15 per cent growth for units over the same period.
CoreLogic said house price growth is slowing faster than units and Mr Roubicek predicted that Brisbane apartment values will rise by “at least” another 15 per cent in the next 12 months.
Mr Roubicek said rising construction costs have hit the new apartment market hard and that comparable established stock costs about 25 per cent less.
“There have been several examples of new developments achieving pre-sale [targets] only to have developers refund deposits and tear up contracts because building costs escalated to a point where it was financially unviable,” he said.
“As a consequence, developers who are looking to acquire new development sites are forced to increase their projected sales prices by around 20 per cent.
“Just 18 months ago a two-bedroom apartment in Brisbane might have sold off the plan for $9000 per square metre.
“But to build that apartment today the developer would need to achieve a sale price of $11,000 per square metre for the project to stack up.”
He said as result new stock is selling slower than established units, a trend that will play out through the rest of this year.
“The market is coming to terms with those newer prices and are seeing in the short-term better value for money in the established unit market.”
He said it is a similar scenario to when GST was introduced in 2000.
“When GST came into the market overnight the cost of housing went up 10 per cent and put more demand into the established market, where the prices of stock grew and the difference between new and second hand became narrower.”
Mr Roubicek said he believed the record price gap between houses and apartments will contract through the year.
“If you believe in history, if you believe in charts, and take a long-term view you would have to think that gap is going to narrow because everyone’s talking about affordability, everyone’s talking about interest rate movements,” he said.
“Natural forces will push what would have been a buyer of a detached home back into the unit market because of affordability.”
Article Source: www.afr.com
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