Melbourne's uneven price correction: Matthew Hassan

Melbourne's uneven price correction: Matthew Hassan
Melbourne's uneven price correction: Matthew Hassan


While Sydney and Melbourne remain at the centre of the current housing correction there are some significant differences between the two, in terms of the timing, scale and spread of price declines.

Melbourne’s price correction started later in the piece but has gathered pace since mid-2018. Prices are now down 8.7% from their peak but have been tracking closer to a 10%+ annual pace of decline over the last 6mths.

Notably, the price correction has shown much bigger differences across segments and tiers. For Sydney, there is about a 4ppt wedge between price declines across houses and units, and across different market tiers. For Melbourne, it’s a much larger 8-12pt wedge with units and bottom tier areas holding up much better (indeed, prices across the bottom 25% properties are essentially flat).

This theme is also apparent across sub-regions. The big movers over the second half of 2018 were Melbourne’s Inner East and Inner South, with the Inner City and West holding up considerably better. Prices are also performing better across the regional Victoria.

Some of this difference may relate to differences in the supply-demand balance across part of Melbourne. Overall, the city’s rental market remains tight with vacancy rates holding around 2%. However, parts of the city are seeing a significant surge in apartment completions, from around 10k a year mid-decade to 17-18k a year currently.

Meanwhile, rental vacancy rates are extremely tight across Victoria’s regions, having fallen from 2% in late 2017 to just 1.2% in early 2019. This in turn suggests the uneven performance is likely to continue.

Melbourne's uneven price correction: Matthew Hassan  

MATTHEW HASSAN is a Senior Economist for Westpac

Melbourne Market Correction

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