Australia’s housing downturn gathered momentum in June, with national housing values down 0.6% during the month, driven by sharper falls in Sydney and Melbourne and weakening conditions elsewhere.
CoreLogic’s national Home Value Index showed continued falls in Sydney and Melbourne dwelling values were the primary drivers of last month’s steeper drop, down 1.6% and 1.1% respectively.
That said, housing values were also down in Hobart and regional Victoria, down 0.2% and 0.1% respectively in June.
CoreLogic Research Director Tim Lawless said the housing market’s sharper reduction in growth coincided with the May cash rate hike, surging inflation and low consumer sentiment.
“Housing value growth has been easing since moving through a peak in March last year, when early drivers of the slowdown included rising fixed-term mortgage rates, an expiry of fiscal support, a trend towards lower consumer sentiment, affordability challenges and tighter credit conditions,” he said.
“More recently, surging inflation and a rapidly rising cash rate have added further momentum to the downwards trend. Since the initial cash rate hike on May 5, most housing markets around the country have seen a sharper reduction in the rate of growth.
“Considering inflation is likely to remain stubbornly high for some time, and interest rates are expected to rise substantially in response, it’s likely the rate of decline in housing values will continue to gather steam and become more widespread.”
CoreLogic said every capital city and broad rest of state region was now well past their peak rate of growth, as trend rates eased across the remaining markets.
Brisbane housing values flattened out to just 0.1% in June, while Adelaide recorded a 1.3% monthly change, as the only capital still recording a monthly growth rate higher than 1%.
Perth’s housing values lost steam in June as well, up just 0.4% despite temporarily showing a second wind as the state borders reopened.
The combined regionals index was up 0.1% in June, well ahead the combined capital cities index which fell 0.8% during the month.
The unit markets were holding their value a little better than houses across the largest capitals.
“The stronger performance across the unit sector comes after house values consistently outperformed units through the upswing,” Lawless said.
“Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, capital city unit values have risen 9.8% compared to 24.7% for houses, resulting in better affordability across the medium to high-density sector.”
National home values recorded a 0.1% month-on-month decline in May, as a combination of higher interest rates, rising inventory levels and lower sentiment dampened conditions.