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Housing values rise 0.6% in April, as low supply trumps high interest rates and inflation

Posted by Nathan McCullum on 01/05/2024

Australian home values continued to trend higher in April with CoreLogic’s national Home Value Index (HVI) rising 0.6%.

This was on par with the pace of gains recorded in both February and March, with the month-on-month rise adding approximately $4,720 to the national median dwelling value.

April’s increase takes the current growth cycle into its 15th month, with housing values up 11.1% or approximately $78,000 since the trough in January last year.

Beneath the headline numbers we are seeing multi-speed conditions with the mid-sized capitals continuing to lead the pace of growth. Perth remains at the top of the growth charts with a 2.0% rise in April, followed by Adelaide at 1.3% and Brisbane at 0.9%.

The monthly change in Sydney values (+0.4%) has held reasonably firm around the 0.4% mark each of the past three months, while Melbourne’s market (-0.1%) has broadly stabilised after recording a subtle -0.8% dip over the three months to January.

The smaller capitals have emerged from relatively soft conditions, with both Hobart and ACT recording three months of consistent, albeit mild, rises in home values.

“We aren’t seeing any signs of heat coming out of the Perth housing market just yet, in fact the quarterly pace of growth, at 6.0%, is approaching the cyclical highs seen during the pandemic when interest rates were at rock bottom,” said Tim Lawless, CoreLogic’s research director.

“On the other hand, we are seeing the pace of gains slow across the Brisbane market, easing below the 1% mark to 0.9% in April for the first time in 12 months. Affordability pressures may be impacting the pace of growth across the city, following a nearly $300,000 increase in values since the onset of COVID in March 2020, the largest dollar value increase of any capital.”

Almost every capital city is recording stronger growth conditions across the lower value range of the market. Darwin, where housing affordability is less challenging, is the exception, while Sydney’s lower quartile and broad middle of the market are showing the same quarterly change at 1.7% compared with a 0.5% rise in upper quartile dwelling values.

“The shift towards stronger conditions across lower value markets can also be seen between the housing types, with growth in unit values outpacing house values over the past three months,” Mr Lawless said.

“Hobart was the only city where houses recorded a larger gain than units over the past three months.”

Regional markets have shown a slightly stronger quarterly growth rate over the past five months than their capital city counterparts, following a 10-month period where the combined capitals index was outperforming. Looking at value movements over the past three months, the strongest regional markets were aligned with the strongest capital cities. Regional WA (+5.3%) led the pace of gains, followed by Regional SA (3.9%) and Regional Queensland (+3.2%), while Regional Victoria (-0.1%) was the only rest of state market to record a decline in values over the rolling quarter.

Home sales look to have moved through a cyclical peak in November last year. Although the monthly trend in home sales is highly seasonal, the less seasonal six-month trend has remained relatively flat since the November rate hike. Estimated sales over the past three months are tracking 8.6% higher than at the same time last year, and about 5.1% above the previous five-year average. However, it is likely a combination of worsening affordability and low sentiment will keep a lid on the volume of sales until interest rates start to track lower.

Source Corelogic – 1st May 2024

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