More downside ahead as prices slide again in Sydney and Melbourne: Shane Oliver

More downside ahead as prices slide again in Sydney and Melbourne: Shane Oliver
More downside ahead as prices slide again in Sydney and Melbourne: Shane Oliver
EXPERT OBSERVER
 
Australian capital city dwelling prices fell for the sixth month in a row in April, with a fall of -0.3% in April which left prices down -0.3% from a year ago.
 
Weakness continues to be led by Sydney (-0.4%mom/-3.4%yoy) and Melbourne (-0.4%/+3.7%yoy) with most other cities seeing gains. 
 
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More downside ahead as prices slide again in Sydney and Melbourne: Shane Oliver

Last year’s APRA driven tightening in lending standards for interest only borrowers is clearly continuing to impact and along with poor affordability, rising supply, falling price growth expectations and the end of FOMO (fear of missing out) are pushing prices down in cities which have seen strong gains over the last few years, ie Sydney and Melbourne.

The latest round of tightening bank lending standards around borrower’s income and expenses will add to this. We expect prices in Sydney and Melbourne to fall another 5% this year, another 5% next year and to still be falling in 2020.

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More downside ahead as prices slide again in Sydney and Melbourne: Shane Oliver

However, having not had the same boom over the last five or six years other capital cities are likely to perform better. Perth and Darwin look to have bottomed, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra are likely to see moderate growth and the boom in Hobart (+1.2%mom/+12.7%yoy) is likely to continue for a while yet.

Similarly home prices in regional centres (+0.4%mom/+2.4%yoy) are likely to hold up better with continuing modest growth as generally speaking they haven’t had the same boom as Sydney and Melbourne and so offer much better value and much higher rental yields.

Despite the surge in supply capital city unit prices (+0.1%mom/+1.9%yoy) are continuing to hold up better than house prices. This may reflect the entrance of more first home buyers following last year’s stamp duty concessions for them in some states and a perception that a new unit closer to transport may offer better value than a stand alone house. I would still be cautious in areas with lots of cranes though!

Implications for interest rates

The continuing weakness in home prices in Sydney and Melbourne with more to go is consistent with our view that the RBA will leave rates on hold out to 2020. Home price weakness is now at levels where the RBA started cutting rates in 2008 and 2011.

 

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Shane Oliver Dwelling Prices

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