Welcome to our December Newsletter

Thursday, January 10, 2019

With Christmas just days away, we’d like to send our very best wishes to you and your family for a happy and safe holiday season.

What a year it’s been! It was great to see many of our first-home buyer customers finally getting their foot on the property ladder, as homes became a bit more affordable. There were plenty of bargains for property investors, despite the tightening in credit conditions, and those still in the market to buy a home in December will be ending the year on a high note. Property prices and auction clearance rates continue to weaken, creating a buyer’s market with plenty of property still up for sale.

Interest Rate News

At its last meeting for 2018, the RBA kept the official cash rate on hold at 1.5% for the 27th meeting in a row. They will not reconvene until February, so rates look set to remain stable well into the New Year. Forecasters are predicting it will be some time before there will be any change in rates, so it’s looking good for home-owners in 2019.

Property Market News

Average home values are down by 5.6% year-on-year (YOY) across the nation. Sydney has shown the largest home value decline of -8.06% YOY, with a fall of -1.43% in November. Melbourne saw a fall of -5.80% YOY and a decline of -0.97% in November. Perth also saw a YOY decline in home values of -4.19% although prices only fell by -0.74% in November. Darwin also saw a slight decline YOY of -0.78 but home values appreciated in November by +0.71%.

Other capital cities fared better this year. Brisbane/Gold Coast saw a marginal increase YOY of +0.19% and only saw a slight decline in home values of -0.02% in November. Canberra enjoyed a considerable increase in home values of 4.04% YOY and an increase of +0.63% in November. Adelaide saw an increase of 1.42% YOY and an increase of +0.06% in November. However, Hobart was the standout performer in 2018 with home values increasing +9.34% YOY and +0.70% in November.

Whilst the number of properties on the market and up for auction looks very healthy for this time of year, clearance rates continue to fall. For the last week of November, there were 1514 auctions in Victoria with a clearance rate of 46%, 1116 auctions in NSW with a clearance rate of 49%, 286 auctions in QLD with a clearance rate of 37%, 154 auctions in SA with a clearance rate of just 42% and 105 auctions in the ACT with a clearance rate of just 50%. WA held just 57 auctions with a clearance rate of 40% and Tasmania held only 7 auctions and all properties sold.

Are you in the market to buy a home?

There’s an unusually large number of houses up for sale this December. Clearance rates are tracking lower and private sales are showing substantially longer selling times. This suggests vendors may be willing to lower prices before the property market slows down even further, as is usual during the summer months. If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, read our article about why the holidays may be a good time to buy – and see us about getting pre-approval on your home loan so you’re in a good position to negotiate your price.

Merry Christmas!

*The QBE Australian Housing Outlook Update 2018