Sydney, Melbourne lead post-GFC growth

Sydney property prices have increased 57 per cent and Melbourne prices 50 per cent over the past six years, according to the latest figures from CoreLogic RP Data.

The property market analysts also found Melbourne prices were up 2.7 per cent and Sydney prices 1.4 per cent in January, driving 1.3 per cent price growth across Australia’s capital cities in the first month of the year.

Sydney also led the way over the past 12 months with 13 per cent.

The past six years were significant because they marked the period after the GFC, said CoreLogic RP Data head of research Tim Lawless.

“There is a significant gap between the next best performers (after Sydney and Melbourne) over the same six year period,” he said.

“Darwin has seen less than half the level of growth at 24 per cent, followed by Canberra at 18 per cent and Perth at 17 per cent total growth.

“At the other end of the spectrum is Hobart where dwelling values are unmoved over the six-year period, Brisbane values are 9 per cent higher and Adelaide values have moved 10 per cent higher.”

Reviewing the figures for January, Mr Lawless said houses and units showed an equal rate of capital gain that month but detached housing was clearly the stronger performer for capital growth in the longer term.

Across the combined capitals index, detached housing values were 8.2 per cent higher over the past 12 months, compared with a 6.2 per cent capital gain for units.

According to Mr Lawless, the lower rate of capital gain across the apartment market coincides with greater supply across the medium to high-density housing sector.

Based on recent ABS data, apartment approvals reached an all-time high in November, which, according to Mr Lawless, is possibly keeping a lid on capital gains across the multi-unit sector.

Detached housing values were being driven higher by scarcity of land and lower supply levels, he said.

Mr Lawless said the rolling annual rate of capital gain in Australia’s capitals had been trending lower, suggesting some heat may be coming out of the property market.

“At the end of January the annual rate of dwelling value growth across the combined capitals index had slowed to 8.0 per cent, down from the early 2014 peak of 11.5 per cent,” he said.

“This slower rate of appreciation should provide some comfort to regulators that housing demand is starting to taper, despite the historically low interest rate environment.”