Monthly Market Report

February 2018
01-02-2018 | Australian Market Solid To Strong In Most Areas Outside Quieter Sydney & Melbourne.
ABC News spoke to a number of industry experts to see what they believe the new year has in store for the property market. While the pundits agreed that Australia’s real estate boom is over, it’s definitely not all doom and gloom.

CoreLogic’s head of research for Australia, Cameron Kusher, said that the heat has certainly come out of the market. "At a national level I think that values will be lower, and that will really be driven by Sydney, the areas surrounding Sydney and even, potentially, Melbourne later in 2018. To the end of November Sydney prices were already down 1.3 per cent and I think by the end of 2018 we could see them down as much, potentially, as 5 or 6 per cent in some regions."

Mr Kusher cited tighter home lending restrictions, fewer investors and more properties on the market as the main reasons prices will continue to soften, potentially resulting in double-digit peak-to-trough falls over the next couple of years.

"It could be as large as 10-15 per cent in Sydney, probably not quite as severe in Melbourne … you could see a 5-10 per cent fall in Melbourne coming over the next few years," he said. However on a more positive note, he also speculated that after an extended period of price falls, Perth's property market looks set for a flat year in 2018. "It does look like maybe the bottom has been reached in Perth," he said.

Mr Kusher predicted modest growth for Adelaide and Brisbane, slowing to moderate growth for Canberra (2-4 per cent), and Hobart to remain the strongest market, albeit slower than its double-digit hike in 2017. He believes some of the strongest markets will be outside the capitals, especially in "sea change" and "tree change" regions along the east coast and Tasmania, with retiring baby boomers "100 per cent" a "big driving force" behind the price jumps in some regional areas.

Managing director of SQM Research, Louis Christopher, is more optimistic about the short-term market outlook, particularly for Sydney, and is forecasting a stronger national average of 4-8 per cent growth. "There will be some variation there," he said. "Our most bullish scenario for a capital city is Hobart, where we believe the market will rise somewhere between 8-13 per cent."

He is forecasting modest to moderate price growth everywhere else: Adelaide 0-4 per cent, Perth 1-4 per cent, Darwin 1-4 per cent, Brisbane 3-7 per cent, Melbourne 7-12 per cent and Sydney 4-8 per cent.