Sydney the exception in a cooling market

by Julia Corderoy11 Dec 2014
The median house price for the Australian residential property market rose slightly in the September quarter, however it was mainly buoyed by the Sydney market.

The capital city median price increased by 0.7% for houses and 0.5% for other dwellings, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) and Bendigo Bank quarterly property market report.

Compared to the September quarter of the previous year, the median house price went up by 9.9% with all the capitals contributing to the increase.

The median house price for the eight capital cities is now $620,901, buoyed by Sydney’s heated property market. While Sydney house prices increased 3.8% over the quarter, the remaining capital cities saw either declines or no change over the quarter.

Sydney’s median house price was recorded at $843,994, 36% above the national average. Hobart remains the lowest median house price across Australian capital cities at $360,000, 42% lower than the national average. The Melbourne housing market remained unchanged over the quarter, while the Brisbane market increased by 1%.

The median price for other dwellings for the eight capital cities was $497,239. Darwin experienced the largest increase, with prices up 5.2% to $510,000 over the quarter. However, the Canberra property market suffered a beating over the quarter, with other dwelling prices declining 4.8% to $400,000.

REIA president, Peter Bushby says these figures, along with the recent talk of a rate cut, will be great news for the dwindling first home buyers’ market.

“The expectation of not only continuing low interest rates throughout 2015 but also the possibility of a cut should stimulate much activity in the housing market with this report by Bendigo Bank and REIA showing the cooling market provides an ideal time for investors and first home buyers alike.

“With moderating prices in all capital cities except Sydney and Melbourne, first home buyers in particular should feel confident in being able to enter the market.”

According to REIA’s Housing Affordability Report released last week, first home buyers have dropped to a historic low and now make up just 12% of the owner-occupier market.

“The combination of a moderating market and low interest rates will hopefully reverse this trend and the re-emergence of first home buyers is good news for everyone,” Bushby said.