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Dwelling values firm in March

By Marilyn Campton

Home values remained steady throughout March, according to the latest CoreLogic hedonic home value index, released this week.

The March figures show that capital city home values were 0.2 per cent lower in the month, while values across the regional markets tracked 0.4 per cent higher.

The downward trend reported by the capitals was due mainly to falls in Sydney (down 0.3 per cent), Melbourne (0.2 per cent) and Adelaide (0.3 per cent). All other capitals reported improvements, with values rising in Brisbane (up 0.1 per cent), Perth (0.3 per cent), Hobart (1.7 per cent), Darwin (1.0 per cent) and Canberra (0.2 per cent).

CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless noted that regional markets are now consistently outperforming the combined capitals around the country.

Six of the eight capital cities have recorded a fall in values over the first quarter of 2018, ranging from a 1.8 per cent drop in Sydney values to a 0.1 per cent fall in Darwin.

“The broad-based falls highlight that the softening trend in the Australian housing market is largely due to weaker conditions in Sydney; however, most other capitals are also recording subtle falls”, Lawless remarked.

“Dwelling values were steady over the quarter in Brisbane and have continued their strong run of growth across Hobart, up 3.4 per cent.”

The unit sectors across Sydney and Melbourne have shown stronger conditions relative to detached housing.

“The March home value indices results also confirm that the unit sector is now consistently outperforming the detached housing market – a trend which has been evident since mid-2017”, he said.

“The stronger performance is subtle at the combined capitals level: capital city house values were down 1 per cent over the March quarter while unit values were down a more moderate 0.7 per cent.”

Lawless suggested the stronger performance from the unit sector may mean that buyer demand is becoming more concentrated in the medium to high density sector where entry prices are lower and commuting times are often more convenient, compared with the detached housing markets around the outer fringes of the city.

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