The best time to buy in Sydney and Melbourne has passed

The best time to buy in Sydney and Melbourne has passed
The best time to buy in Sydney and Melbourne has passed

There is likely to be a continued variance in performances from city to city and region to region.

Much of the growth over the year has occurred in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin however, more recently the figures being reported for Brisbane suggests that value growth is experiencing a moderate pick up.

Existing property owners and investors are the main drivers of the market currently spurred by the low mortgage rate environment.

From an investor’s perspective the best opportunity to enter the Sydney, Melbourne or Perth markets has likely passed, especially considering the strong value growth over the past year and the now falling rental yields. It will be interesting to see whether investors start to turn their attention away from these cities and towards higher yielding markets that are much earlier in their value growth phase such as Brisbane and Adelaide where value growth is now becoming more evident. They could also potentially start looking at other asset classes.

The best time to buy in Sydney and Melbourne has passed

RP Data anticipates that affordability constraints will start to impact on value growth in Sydney and Melbourne throughout 2014 as a proportion of potential buyers continue to be squeezed out of the market as values move higher. We have already seen a slowdown in the rate of value growth across Perth and it seems peak growth has now probably passed in both Sydney and Melbourne as well. Although all price segments of the combined capital city market are shifting higher we are seeing the greatest strength in the broad middle segment and comparatively weaker growth across the more affordable segment.

The best time to buy in Sydney and Melbourne has passed

Source: RP Data

Despite the signs that the housing and construction sector is picking up as mining investment slows, it does not mean that the economic changeover will be without its challenges.

Globally, the US economy appears to be picking up and the Chinese economy appears to be experiencing a soft landing in terms of its moderation in economic growth however; there are currently a number of concerns around the Chinese housing market. Even the Eurozone’s prospects appear to be improving.

Federal Treasury is now forecasting that the unemployment rate will peak at 6.5%t and they have cut their economic growth forecast for this year from 2.75% to 2.5%. The anticipated jump in the unemployment rate is a potential risk for the housing market. If home owners start to suffer widespread job losses or potential buyers become concerned about job security this will potentially result in an increase in arrears rates and would likely dampen housing market activity.

Of course, if interest rates were to increase this would likely extinguish some of the current housing market exuberance. The low consumer sentiment reading is also likely to have an impact on the housing market; a more nervous consumer will be less inclined to spend many hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home. Furthermore the high level of investment activity is a further potential pitfall for the market.

If value growth slows or potentially falls there is a risk that many of these investors could look to exit the market at the same time, potentially creating downwards pressure on home values. 

The best time to buy in Sydney and Melbourne has passed

Source: RP Data

Cameron Kusher

Cameron Kusher

Cameron Kusher is senior research analyst at CoreLogic RP Data.

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Cameron Kusher

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