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Despite ongoing rate rises last year, Australian property values have rebounded to near record highs or even new heights. According to CoreLogic statistics, the median house value rose 8.1% from January’s low due to the housing scarcity and low supply of properties.

2024 Australian Property Price Growth

Late last year, price rise and auction clearing rates slowed, indicating weaker market conditions. Some analysts predict slower growth in 2024, but others warn of a double-dip. Commonwealth Bank head of Australian economics Gareth Aird expects capital city prices to grow 5%. He anticipates prices to rise modestly, adding that the November rate hike, which raised the cash rate to 4.35 percent, will continue to hurt buyer demand. It will boost distressed listings, but he anticipated them to be limited. “When rates fall, it increases borrower capacity, which boosts prices,” he added.

Aird said the housing supply-demand imbalance, especially in the rental sector, will continue to raise prices, straining affordability. After rates peaked, investor demand was anticipated to rise. Brisbane is expected to increase the most at 6% due to its lower pricing, tighter labor market, and 2032 Olympics tailwinds, according to Aird. He predicts 5% price increases in Melbourne and Perth, 4% in Sydney, and 1% in Adelaide. ANZ senior economist Adelaide Timbrell expects capitals prices to grow 6% and Brisbane prices to surge 10%. Perth (7–8%), Sydney (6–7%), and Melbourne (3–4%) are expected to follow.

What will the top four banks predict for 2024 home prices?

ANZ expects capital city housing prices to rise 6%. Perth is expected to gain 7-8%, Sydney 6-7%, and Brisbane 9-10%. Melbourne prices should rise 3–4%. With slight variances among locations, CBA predicts capital city prices to rise 5%. Brisbane is expected to expand 6%, Melbourne and Perth 5%, Sydney 4%, and Adelaide 1%. NAB expects capital prices to grow 5.4%. Prices are predicted to rise 6.5% in Brisbane, 6.2% in Perth and Adelaide, 5.5% in Melbourne, and 5% in Sydney. Flat year-end prices are forecast in Hobart.

Westpac expects combined capitals growth of 6%. At 10%, Perth is expected to expand the most, followed by Brisbane at 8%, Sydney at 6, Adelaide at 4, and Melbourne at 3.  “Post-COVID Brisbane and Perth’s population expansion and pandemic-boosted economies have exacerbated home supply issues, she added. “The mismatch between building approvals [over the past year] and expected population growth is strongest for Brisbane and Perth.”

Sydney & Melbourne Property Prices 2024

Sydney and Melbourne were more constrained by affordability and losing people to interstate migration, but they took the most new arrivals from overseas, which increased housing demand and prices, Timbrell said. Higher borrowing rates limit buyer spending power, but not all homebuyers are harmed. Higher borrowing rates limit buyer spending power, but not all homebuyers are harmed.

By borrowing below their capacity, customers whose spending power was less harmed by rising rates were also driving growth. Many people have unaffected borrowing capacity and are competing harder. She said more individuals are competing for cheaper houses, raising prices in that market. Timbrell stated that pay growth should outperform inflation in 2024, making saving simpler for people. This and a predicted cash rate high until December’s rate decrease would boost prices.

Price Constraint Mechanisms

As the cash rate bites household budgets and reduces borrowing ability, AMP chief economist Dr. Shane Oliver expects price decreases. We estimate capital city prices to decline 5% through 2024. Oliver predicted Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, and Hobart will be weakest.

Adelaide, Brisbane, and Perth can handle constant to upward price rise due to lower debt levels. They also gain from interstate migration, especially Brisbane and Perth.” Oliver attributed 2023 price rise to high immigration, decreased listing levels, and a housing scarcity. Along with demand from cashed-up purchasers less impacted by rate rises, such as those with large equity or parental support. He thought the purchasing pool was depleted.

“It appears that immigration is nearing its peak… while there will still be a housing shortage, I think we’re hitting affordability restrictions in rents and prices, which drives people to consolidate and eases demand,” he said.

The combination of restricted buyers and a supply increase from distressed listings will lower prices. Oliver predicted the cash rate will decline in the second part of the year after peaking. Given how high prices had risen and forecasts for a broader economic decline, he anticipated any price return would be delayed.

Summary

With such a large property growth already having occurred, it will be a challenge of constraints on borrowers vs constraints on supply that will ultimately move prices. For home owners without mortgages, this could help with equity release of their homes with access to relatively cheap borrowings. For the investors and home owners with larger mortgages, the increase in house prices may be of smaller comfort with the outsized repayments from multiple rate rises.

Sources

Core Logic – https://www.smh.com.au/property/news/a-tailwind-for-prices-the-outlook-for-property-values-in-2024-20231213-p5erbf.html

SMH – https://www.smh.com.au/property/news/a-tailwind-for-prices-the-outlook-for-property-values-in-2024-20231213-p5erbf.html