Sydney is like other international cities with end of ever rising property boom

Sydney is like other international cities with end of ever rising property boom
Sydney is like other international cities with end of ever rising property boom

Sydney is not alone in seeing the end of the property boom with mild house price declines now a reality for some vendors.

The end of the ever-upward price cycle is actually happening across the world, from London to Beijing to Sydney.

After a five year boom that saw the median price up 75 percent, Sydney has belatedly joined others among the world's most sought-after cities where prices are coming back at bit.

Each city has their own set of circumstances, though there are some uniting threads too.

Many have had tax changes expressly introduced to dampen demand.

Many cities have prices somewhat out of kilter with housing affordability and the current trend of household income stagnation.

There are also tougher lending standards - and in our case a banking royal commission - that have combined to undermine the prevailing market.

Sydney doesn't have the troubling Brexit issue which has contributed to price falls in the UK capital.

But like Sydney, London sales volumes are down and more properties are being offered for sale as sentiment turns, especially within central London's best districts where prices are down 17.6 percent since the 2014 peak.

Prime London prices have been weakening since the 2014 stamp duty hike, according to research by Savills, with London's housing slowdown now spreading to other prime markets in the commuter belt. At the same time London developers have record numbers of pricey apartments, likely creating a glut.

In New York, the same trend with home sales in New York's most expensive boroughs falling now for three quarters, as inventory rises and sales volumes sits 17 percent lower.

Canadian home price growth has slowed, though its prices are still above their 2017 peak. Canada's frenzied housing market has dissipated in the wake of tightened mortgage lending, a foreign buyers tax, and four interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada since last July.

Bloomberg noted recently there had been more than 30 restrictions, from buying thresholds to mortgage curbs, that have helped send sales to a historical low across China. New homes in China are now being offered for less than existing homes by some developers who faced heavy financing constraints.

While Hong Kong home prices are still rising, economists claim a cocktail of concerns ranging from the downbeat stock market, to trade war fears, and rising interest rates would soon take their toll on sentiment.

It seems it doesn't matter where you are around the world there's economic uncertainty, financial fragility and housing risk. There's never an all-encompassing sweet spot for everybody.

As the world's wealthy have been increasingly buying homes on multiple continents, legally or or sometimes illegally, the combined downturn could pose an interesting threat to some markets, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Australian home loan lenders are currently not prepared to lend to prior levels, which has dampened buyer enthusiasm.

Ofcourse Sydney is not one market, but rather hundreds across the suburbs, so there will still be bullish prices achieved this spring.

While the bleak headlines cast a pall over Sydney, for many Sydneysiders, it will be still be getting on with their lives.

This article was first published by the Saturday Daily Telegraph.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

Sydney House Price

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