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Prices up, rates down and sales soar, but property boom might be losing steam


House prices are up 16 per cent, interest rates were at historic lows and house sales are 40 per cent above the five year average, yet CoreLogic thinks the market may be running out of steam.

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The reason the research company gave was that the market was too expensive and increases were trending down, but also because key financial support from the Federal Government had ended.

It follows lockdowns across the three biggest states and speculation that may push Australia into another recession. The ANZ job ads series also fell in July for the first time in 14 months. 

 The CoreLogic data showed a rise of 1.6 per cent nationally in July which meant house prices had risen 14.1 per cent over the first seven months of the year and 16.1 per cent over the past 12 months.

In Brisbane, house price values were up 2 per cent for the month and 15.9 per cent for the year. Regional Queensland prices were up 1.7 per cent and 19 per cent respectively. 

CoreLogic said the previously stronger performance across regional markets relative to the capital cities had normalised through 2021.  

CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless described the market as strong, “but losing steam’’.

Lawless said the 16.1 per cent lift in national housing values over the past year was the fastest pace of annual growth since February 2004, however the monthly growth rate had been trending lower since March this year when the national index rose 2.8 per cent. 

He said affordability was the key issue and pointed to data showing dwelling values had risen more in a month than incomes had risen in a year which meant housing was moving out of reach for many members of the community. 

The expiry of JobKeeper and other support had also had an impact.

“It is, however, encouraging to see additional measures being rolled out for households and businesses as the latest COVID outbreak worsens,’’ he said.

“On the flip side, demand is being stoked by record low mortgage rates and the prospect that interest rates will remain low for an extended period of time. 

Dwelling sales are tracking approximately 40 per cent above the five-year average while active listings remain about 26 per cent below the five-year average. 

“The mismatch between demand and advertised supply remains a key factor placing upwards pressure on housing prices,”  Lawless said.

“Sydney is the most expensive capital city by some margin and it has also been the city where values have risen the most over the first seven months of the year. 

“Worsening affordability is likely a key contributing factor in the slowdown here, along with the negative impact on consumer sentiment as the city moves through an extended lockdown period.”


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