Australian House Prices Rising at the Fastest Rate in 32 Years

The robust growth in house prices shows no sign of slowing down, with the latest data from CoreLogic indicating dwelling values are rising at the fastest rate in 32 years. According to CoreLogic, national house prices rose by 2.8% in March, the most significant increase since October 1988. All capital cities saw strong growth in March, led by Sydney, with a robust 3.7% increase in dwelling values. At the same time, the weakest capital city was Adelaide, which still saw 1.5% growth. Regional Australia also continues to perform strongly, increasing value by 2.5%.

The last time house prices rose this quickly in Sydney was in the previous boom in 2015, before the credit tightening policies introduced by APRA. In March, the strong result means that both Sydney and Melbourne have fully recovered from the slight COVID-induced downturn in mid-2020. Sydney prices are back above their 2017 highs by 2.6% and have fully recovered from the -14.9% fall we saw after the last boom. Similarly, Melbourne house prices are fully recovered and are back at record-high levels.

We are also starting to see the larger capital cities overtake the smaller capitals that had previously seen solid growth—the first quarter also closed with substantial gains, with dwelling values up by 5.8% nationally. In terms of the units vs. houses, there is still clearly more robust demand for lower-density property as places increased by twice as much as units over the first quarter. At the same time, the upper end of the market is still producing the bulk of the gains. In March, the upper quartile of homes increased in value by 3.7%, outpacing the lower quartile, which showed a 1.6% increase.

Australian House

Tight Listings Continue for Now

The substantial gains continue to come from record-low interest rates and tight supply. The RBA has made it clear interest rates are likely to remain low for the next few years while listings are also at historically low levels.

Graph of the Cash Rate Target

Total listings nationwide are still a5% below the five-year average. However, that could be slowly starting to change as new listings are on the rise as homeowners gain confidence and look to capitalize on the state of the market. New listings are currently 3% above the five-year average and appear to be trending higher. However, CoreLogic notes that things will likely slow down from the current record-setting pace. For the time being, markets across the country are favoring sellers.

So far, the strong demand from buyers has not been met by increases in inventory levels. However, the sellers will return to the market at some point, as we’ve already started to see new listings on the rise. Similarly, there has been a large influx of first-home buyers, whose decision to purchase a property has likely been brought forward by the range of Government incentives on offer. If they haven’t already, many of these incentives are set to end this year

While it has been stated that interest rates are likely to remain low for some time if the housing market continues to overheat, there is also some possibility that we could also see tighter credit policies, which, as we know, can have an immediate impact on demand. For now, house prices will likely continue to rise, according to CoreLogic. However, we should expect the pace of growth to slow down.

Tyson Houlding
I’m a lifestyle blogger with a passion for writing, photography, and exploring new places. I started this blog when I was 18 years old to share what I was learning about the world with family and friends. I’ve since grown into a freelance writer, blogger, and photographer with a growing audience. I hope you find inspiration and motivation while reading through my work!