Negative equity climbs higher to 5%

by Ben Abbott19 Jan 2012

Almost 5% of dwellings in Australia have been estimated to be worth less than their original purchase price as of the end of the September quarter 2011.

RP Data's latest National Equity Report, launched late last year, showed that negative equity has climbed from 3.7% at the end of last quarter based on RP Data's automated valuations.

However, at the other end of the spectrum 43% are still worth more than twice their purchase price.

The hardest hit areas as expected are the embattled Far North Queensland and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, with instances of negative equity at 20.2%, 14% and 13.5% respectively.

Meanwhile, Western Australia’s Lower Great Southern and South West and South Eastern Western Australia are also showing high levels of negative equity according to the report.

Australian housing markets have recorded value declines recently with capital city home values down 3.3 per cent from their October 2010 peak to September 2011. 

Capital cities have proved a bastion against equity falls over the long term, with RP Data saying they have proven less susceptible to ongoing value falls than certain non-capital city markets.

For some lucky buyers their dwellings are now worth at least double their initial purchase price, with the highest proportion of these typically either regional and non-coastal, or capital city markets.

The RP Data Natioanl Equity Report attempts to quantify equity accumulation by Australian hoseholds at a 'base level' that does not take into account debt levels but is based on house price.