After falling -9.1% between May 2022 and February 2023, Australian housing values look to have bottomed out, posting a second consecutive monthly rise. CoreLogic’s national Home Value Index (HVI) increased by half a percent in April, following a 0.6% lift in March to be 1.0% higher over the past three months.
The Sydney housing market has been leading the positive turn in housing conditions with dwelling values rising every month since February, increasing 1.3% in April. As a result, Sydney's dwelling values are now 3.0% higher than the recent trough recorded in January. The other largest capital cities have also recorded a rise in housing values over the rolling quarter, indicating that a positive growth trend has emerged. This has been confirmed by a number of indicators, such as auction clearance rates holding above the long-run average, lifted sentiment, and home sales trending around the previous five-year average.
CoreLogic's Research Director, Tim Lawless, believes that the housing market has moved through an inflection point, and a positive shift is evident. He further notes that the more positive trend in housing values comes amid a worsening imbalance between supply and demand. A significant lift in net overseas migration has run into a lack of housing supply, leading to more people fast-tracking purchasing decisions.
While interest rates remain above average, the growing expectation that the rate hiking cycle is over or nearly over, following a sharp decline in values, is supporting housing demand. This is contributing to a broader perception that the market has bottomed out, making it a good time to buy for those attempting to time the market. As interest rates stabilise, there is a good chance consumer sentiment will improve, bolstering housing market activity from both a purchasing and a selling perspective.
Although housing conditions are looking more positive, values across most regions remain well below their recent cyclical highs. Hobart is recording the largest drop from the recent market peak, down -13.0%, while Sydney's dwelling values are -11.2% below the recent high. Brisbane has recorded the third-largest decline, with values holding -10.7% below their recent peak.
Regional markets are showing greater diversity, with some regions recording falls in housing values. Regional NSW (-0.3%) and Regional Victoria (-0.4%) were the only rest of state regions to record a fall in housing values over the month, however, the quarterly trends in these regions are on a clear trajectory towards stabilisation in values. Several regions reached a new cyclical high in April 2023. Strong growth over the past two months saw Perth recover all of its recent declines, taking values to a new record high. Regional SA and Regional WA also recorded new cyclical peaks, although Regional WA values remain -13.7% below the record highs recorded in early 2008.