Brisbane and Hobart house prices set record for largest, fastest drop

Brisbane and Hobart house prices have fallen sharper and faster than ever before after a “specular upswing” through COVID-19, according to property analysts CoreLogic.

The cities are the only two capital markets to set record declines — but the drop has barely made a dent on pandemic gains, according to the company’s home value index.

Values rose 43 per cent in Greater Brisbane after a pandemic population surge, but have gone down 10.9 per cent from its peak in June 2022 to January 28.

In Hobart, prices dropped 9.3 per cent in the past eight months after a five-year upswing.

Tim Lawless, from CoreLogic, said the two markets had a similar rise and rapid fall.

“They’re both relatively affordable markets — at least, they were prior to the pandemic — and they both recorded quite spectacular rises in housing values through the upswing.

“Another similarity is that they were both seeing very strong interstate migration rates that have now pulled back to some extent. Hobart of course, also broadly falls into that lifestyle category, that many areas of south-east Queensland could also be described as.”

Nationally house prices dropped 8.6 per cent since the Reserve Bank of Australia began raising interest rates. 

In Sydney, prices dropped nearly 14 per cent, but it was not yet record-breaking in the capital, Mr Lawless said.

“Through the previous downturn, for example, which ran between the middle of 2017 and the middle of 2019, Sydney housing prices were down nearly 15 per cent through that trough,” he said.

“So Sydney is not quite at a record level of decline, but it’s probably a matter of time considering we’re still seeing values falling at around 1 per cent month-on-month in that market.”

Supply and demand still off-balance

Recent homeowners may find their property is worth less now than what they paid, but Mr Lawless said it’s unlikely many would go into negative equity.

“Typically, most homeowners would have at least a 10 per cent deposit if not a 20 per cent deposit, which means there is some insulation in this downturn. The thing to keep in mind is most homeowners in Brisbane are still sitting on a substantial amount of equity.

“We’re still seeing Brisbane housing prices about 28 per cent above what they were before the pandemic.”

And although Brisbane’s stock levels are about 40 per cent lower than average, Mr Lawless said it was still a buyer’s market.

“At the moment buyers do have time on their hands, there’s no real urgency to buy into the market like what there was a back in 2020 and 21. They can negotiate and if they don’t get the price they think is fair market value they can move on to the next property .

“For sellers, they really need to be realistic about their pricing expectations.”

Tony Roberts is confident his Lutwyche home will sell for a good price.
Tony Roberts is confident his Lutwyche home will sell for a good price.(ABC News: Emma Pollard)

Homeowner Tony Roberts is in the process of selling his Lutwyche property, and said he was not deterred by reports of house prices dropping.

Mr Roberts and his family have owned the house for 20 years, and he said availability and its location gave him confidence in a good result.

“Certainly when I came out here, it was a lot more suburban,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s ever a good time to leave the family home, but this seems as good as any.”

Brisbane City real estate agent Dean Yesberg said he had not seen any significant drop in inner-city residential property prices yet.

“Prices right now are very stable,” he said.

“In fact in our unit market, prices are on the rise with very low supply and big demand.”

Mr Yesberg said the biggest factor impacting the city’s housing market is a lack of availability — but a further increase in interest rates could change that.

“As people come off their fixed loans, we think there will be an increase in supply of property coming into the marketplace,” he said.

Article source: Queensland Property Investor

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