Australia’s property market has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with house prices in some suburbs rising over 14% in just the past 6 months. As a leading property valuation company in Australia, ValuNation has conducted extensive research into this property boom to provide homeowners, investors and policymakers with data-driven insights.
Key Factors Driving Property Price Growth
Several interconnecting factors are fuelling the uptrend in Australian real estate values:
Demand for housing continues to substantially outstrip supply. Australia’s population grew at a record pace in 2022 from high immigration and natural increase. Most new arrivals require rental accommodation initially, squeezing vacancy rates to all-time lows of 1.5% nationally. Lack of affordable rentals pushes more Australians into home ownership.
New housing construction has not kept pace with population growth over the past decade. Land release and development approvals remain sluggish. Meanwhile, labour and material constraints make building more expensive. Constrained supply allows sellers to command higher prices.
Low Interest Rates
Despite recent hikes, interest rates remain near historic lows by long-run standards. Cheap debt has enabled buyers to bid up property prices. With more rate rises anticipated, this driver may ease over 2023. But ongoing strong economic growth will prevent major declines.
Investors are again seeing residential property as an attractive asset class, given still-low rates and large tax concessions like negative gearing. This demand adds to price pressures, especially for cheaper apartments.
Schemes like HomeBuilder and the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme increased purchasing power for owner-occupiers. This worsened supply-demand imbalances. Stamp duty reform may have a similar impact.
Impacts on Households
For homeowners, rising values build wealth. But big mortgages leave households exposed to higher interest costs. Potential negative equity also looms if prices correct downwards.
Renters have little respite. With vacancy rates tight, rents increased 11.8% nationally over the past year. Lack of affordable rentals hurts lower-income families most.
Higher prices lock more first home buyers out of the market. Deposit requirements become more onerous. Those who do buy must take on larger loans, risking financial stress.
According to ValuNation data, suburbs showing the strongest growth recently include:
- Hurlstone Park, Sydney (+14.4%)
- Fairlight, Sydney (+13.4%)
- Smithfield Plains, Adelaide (+13.1%)
- Kings Langley, Sydney (+13.1%)
- Biggenden, Queensland (+13%)
Premium suburbs near Sydney’s CBD are rebounding after dipping last year. Ongoing demand for affordable housing continues to drive growth in Adelaide. Brisbane’s market also remains strong.
Rapidly rising housing costs have significant economic and social ramifications. Policy reforms are required to improve affordability and market stability.
- Increasing land releases for new housing
- Streamlining development approvals
- Reforming stamp duties and other taxes
- Boosting social and affordable housing construction
- Curbing tax incentives that distort investment demand
Careful changes are needed to rein in house price growth to sustainable levels. This will require coordinated action across all levels of government. With thoughtful policies, home ownership can remain accessible for future generations of Australians.
Australia’s property boom has delivered big gains for some households but left many struggling with unaffordable prices or rents. ValuNation’s data and insights help inform smarter policies to deliver more equitable and stable housing market outcomes. Although price growth shows signs of moderating, structural undersupply means housing costs are likely to remain high in the absence of major reform.