The synchronised nation-wide rise in house prices looks set to be Australia’s “biggest ever property boom”, one expert has said, as Aussies spend more time than ever looking at property listings online.
The current upswing in Australia’s housing market is set to continue for the rest of the year and into 2022, according to hotspotting.com.au managing director Terry Ryder.
“We now have an upcycle that includes all capital cities and all state regional markets. It has the potential to be our biggest ever property boom,” Ryder said in the Autumn 2021 edition of the quarterly Price Prediction Index.
“The numbers revealed by this survey are extraordinary, taking markets to levels not previously seen in the six years of our quarterly analysis of sales activity and prices.”
Ryder’s Price Prediction Index has coincided with a suite of new data from realestate.com.au pointing to rising demand and buyer activity.
Buyer search volumes on the website are up 62.7 per cent from a year ago, and views per listing have more than doubled, up 106.8 per cent year-on-year, and expected to continue to rise.
Australians are also snapping up homes faster than ever and looking for bigger, more expensive homes, with the average number of days that properties are listed for sale hitting record lows across every state in March this year.
Realestate.com.au also saw an increase in the number of searches for properties in the range of $1 million and above, which constituted 42.3 per cent of searches over the last 12 months (up from 36.2 per cent), amid a “significant drop” in searches for sub-$500,000 properties.
Property sales volumes, which are 39.8 per cent up compared to 12 months ago, are expected to keep rising, said realestate.com.au economist Anne Flaherty.
“There is typically an increase in the number of listings brought to market over the second half of the year,” she said.
“This, combined with strong market demand, is likely to drive further growth in sales activity over the remainder of 2021.”
This sentiment was strongly echoed by Ryder, who indicated that there was much more than merely record-low interest rates driving the property boom, with a total of 15 factors contributing to rising house prices across the country.
Where will the house price growth be?
While hotspotting.com.au data found 75 property growth markets across Australia (up from the usual 50), there are five in particular that have been hand-picked by Ryder as “star” growth markets.
Victor Harbor, regional South Australia
This little-known South Australian coastal town is hands down the nation’s number one market based on sales growth, said Ryder.
“The Victor Harbor LGA is a standout market,” he said. But it’s not the only one performing strongly in regional SA; nine out of 10 markets in the region are seeing rising sales activity.
“McCracken, Victor Harbor, Encounter Bay and Port Elliot are all growth markets, with prices responding,” he said.
Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW
One of Sydney’s more upmarket suburbs, the inner-eastern suburb has bucked the trend of property price declines in Sydney’s inner-city ring. The number of sales per quarter have risen over the last quarter, and this is contributing to price performance, said Ryder.
“The median house price for Darlinghurst has risen 9 per cent, while the median price for apartments has increased 13 per cent.”
Arundel, Gold Coast, Queensland
Despite the fact that the tourism industry is still finding its feet, the Gold Coast property market has surprised many with its growth.
“31 Gold Coast locations with rising sales momentum include the inland suburb of Arundel which has shown a sturdy growth pattern over the past two years,” said Ryder.
Prices in Arundel, which is just a 20-minute drive from Gold Coast’s Surfers Paradise, are up 14 per cent to $635,000 over the last 12 months, and also has a strong rental market.
Bowral, Wingecarribee, NSW
This area, also known as the Southern Highlands, lies south of Sydney and west of Wollongong and has been described as a “standout”, with Bowral house prices increasing 21 per cent over the last year.
“This region … is attracting a lot of buyers out of Sydney, and other towns like Bundanoon and Moss Vale have experienced huge increases in buyer demand over the past 6-9 months,” said Ryder.
“Moss Vale’s median price has risen 10% in the past year, while nearby Mittagong is up 12%.”
Unlikely regional locations
Regional areas are leading Australia’s property boom as the widespread uptake of remote work saw people look for homes further afield than metropolitan cities.
“While the growth in major regional cities like the Sunshine Coast, the Central Coast and Ballarat is unsurprising (and has been happening for several years), the prevailing trends in markets across the nation are generating big growth in locations that don’t usually feature in these discussions,” said Ryder.
Little-known regional areas with “spectacular uplift in sales activity” include:
West Busselton WA
Moonta Bay SA