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  • Record prices hit in November but some markets are cooling

Record prices hit in November but some markets are cooling

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With 2023 now drawing to a close, Australian property prices have rebounded by a remarkable +8.3 per cent over the past 10 months according to CoreLogic data

Performance became more mixed in November, though, as some markets slowed considerably while others continued to surge ahead at a staggering pace. 

Will records continue to be broken or are we entering a new phase of the property cycle?

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National property prices: November 2023

Looking Australia-wide, growth slowed from October's +0.9 per cent increase down to a more moderate, but still strong, +0.6 per cent in November. 

That was enough to bring the national median home price up to a new record level above $750,000. 

MarketMonthQuarterAnnualMedian value
Sydney0.3%1.8%10.2%$1,125,533
Melbourne-0.1%0.6%3.0%$779,914
Brisbane1.3%3.9%10.7%$779,270
Adelaide1.2%3.9%7.6%$704,267
Perth1.9%5.4%13.5%$646,520
Hobart-0.1%0.1%-3.0%$656,568
Darwin-0.3%-0.7%-1.5%$496,792
Canberra0.5%1.1%-0.3%$842,677
Combined capitals0.6%2.2%8.2%$827,659
Combined regional0.6%1.8%3.4%$602,645
Australia0.6%2.1%7.0%$753,654

Sydney and Melbourne saw the biggest shift in November. Sydney's growth dropped down to a modest +0.3 per cent while Melbourne prices dipped slightly by -0.1 per cent. 

By contrast, Brisbane and Adelaide delivered further strong gains, with Brisbane's median price now matching that of Melbourne after an incredibly strong year. 

Perth hit another all-time high in November with standout growth of +1.9 per cent. Hobart remained more-or-less flat, Darwin saw a small loss, and Canberra prices recovered with a +0.5 per cent gain. 

Regional markets matched the capital cities' performance with +0.6 per cent value added overall. 

CoreLogic's research director Tim Lawless explained that stretched affordability in Sydney and Melbourne, coupled with November's interest rate hike, has "taken some heat out of the market," adding that more affordable homes were outperforming more expensive properties. 

In Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, however, an "imbalance between available supply and demonstrated demand is keeping strong upwards pressure on housing values."

Listing levels are varying greatly between markets

After an extended shortage of stock that helped boost prices throughout the year, new listings have been gradually climbing since June 2023. 

New listings finally returned to five-year average levels in November according to CoreLogic's national numbers. 

Sellers have returned to the market in force in a number of areas around Australia. Source: CoreLogic

Total listings have climbed at a slower rate as buyers have absorbed much of that stock. Currently, the total number of homes on the market is still nearly -13 per cent below the five-year average. 

Total listings are still sitting significantly below average levels despite the uptick in new stock. Source: CoreLogic

Mr Lawless pointed out that there is a large divide between capital cities, though. 

Total stock is still "remarkably low" in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth where listings are nearly -40 per cent below average levels. 

"Unsurprisingly, these cities are continuing to show a consistently high rate of growth amid strong selling conditions," he said. 

Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Canberra, meanwhile, have risen above average stock levels, resulting in a slowdown in monthly growth.

Regional markets matched capital city strength in November

Since the historic boom of 2021 when regional Australian property gained nearly +50 per cent in value, things have moved relatively slowly outside the capital cities. 

Throughout this year's recovery, regional markets have experienced more modest growth than the capitals, but in November the two were evenly matched. 

MarketMonthQuarterAnnualMedian value
Regional NSW0.5%1.4%1.4%$709,661
Regional VIC0.2%0.7%-2.2%$565,514
Regional QLD0.8%2.5%7.2%$605,256
Regional SA1.0%1.4%10.1%$387,211
Regional WA1.3%3.4%7.9%$454,986
Regional TAS0.3%0.8%0.2%$510,013
Combined capitals0.6%2.2%8.2%$827,659
Combined regional0.6%1.8%3.4%$602,645

Every state regional market saw an uptick during the month, with South Australia and Western Australia once again outperforming to reach new all-time highs. 

Regional growth has caught up to capital cities after a slower 2023. Source: CoreLogic

As of the end of November, the combined regions sit just -1.8 per cent lower than the peak level set back in May 2022.

The latest rate hike has had a cooling effect but may be the last

The RBA's decision to increase the cash rate once again in November came after four months of rate stability. As a result, consumer confidence took a hit and price growth broadly slowed. 

"The Melbourne Cup day rate hike has clearly taken some heat out of the market," Mr Lawless said. 

"As borrowing capacity reduces, we may be seeing more demand deflected towards lower housing price points, with the broad middle of the market now recording the strongest rate of growth in Sydney and Melbourne."

He added that "the lower than expected monthly inflation outcome for October may help to allay fears of further rate hikes and lift consumer spirits a little, but the risk of another increase in the cash rate remains."

While the November decision may have come as a shock to many Australians, the majority of forecasts predict we're now, finally, at the interest rate peak. 

Of the big four banks, CBA, Westpac and ANZ all expect no further hikes, with NAB suggesting a further 0.25 per cent increase could come in February. 

From there, they all tip rate cuts to come later into 2024 at the earliest.

What's next for Australian property?

As mentioned above, the future of interest rates will still be one key factor dictating the property market's path over the next 12 months. 

There are several other forces at play though. "The factors that have supported value growth are losing their potency, with advertised stock levels rising to above average levels in some cities," Mr Lawless said. 

CoreLogic's report proposed that 2024 would be a "very different housing market" with subdued growth and more variation between different markets. 

Even so, Australian housing is still broadly undersupplied, with few signs that new builds in 2024 will catch up to demand. 

Overseas migration looks to be moving through a peak but rapid population growth remains an issue for both renters and buyers who have been struggling to compete over a lack of available stock. 

Overall, the report said "housing value performance is likely to be softer next year relative to 2023," pointing to WA and Queensland as two markets that are well-placed to outperform. 

"Unit values also are positioned to outperform relative to houses, given the cheaper price points and burgeoning undersupply across the medium to high density sector."