Sydney now second fiddle to Melbourne: Tim Lawless

Sydney now second fiddle to Melbourne: Tim Lawless
Sydney now second fiddle to Melbourne: Tim Lawless

Dwelling values across Australia’s capital cities were 0.9% higher in January driven partially by a rebound in Sydney and Melbourne.

The recent growth conditions have pushed the Melbourne market into first place for annual growth in dwelling values with an 11.0% rise compared with Sydney where values are 10.5% higher over the past twelve months. 

According to the January 2016 CoreLogic RP Data Hedonic Home Value Index results, dwelling values across Australia’s combined capital cities showed a 0.9 per cent rise in January after recording no change in December and a 1.5 per cent drop in November. 

This month on month rise wasn’t quite enough to pull the rolling quarterly rate of growth back into the black, with capital city dwelling values remaining 0.6% lower over the past three months. Hobart led the monthly figures with a 4.7% jump in values, followed by Melbourne where values were 2.5% higher and Canberra with a 2.8% lift. Sydney values also showed a rise of 0.5%, while the remaining four capital cities showed dwelling values to be either flat or down. 

The rolling quarterly trend was looking similarly diverse, with four of Australia’s eight capital cities recording negative dwelling value movements over the past three months, with Sydney dwelling values showing the largest fall, down 2.1 per cent. Values are down over the rolling quarter in Darwin (-1.4%), Adelaide (-0.9%) and Melbourne (-0.1%) as well. The strongest growth in home values over the quarter across the capital cities was found in Hobart with a 3.0% capital gain. 

Despite recording the largest annual decline in home values (-4.1%), Perth dwelling values posted a 1.7 per cent rise over the three months to the end of January. Other capital cities to record a rise over the rolling quarter were Brisbane (+0.8%) and Canberra (+1.2%). 

Over the past twelve months, capital city dwelling values have risen by 7.4% with Sydney’s capital gains of 10.5% no longer the highest annual rate across the capitals. While still a high rate of annual growth, Sydney’s annual rate of capital gain is now at a 29 month low and has been progressively softening since peaking at 18.4% in July last year. 

Melbourne’s housing market has been more resilient to slowing growth conditions which has propelled the annual growth rate to the highest of any capital city, with dwelling values 11.0% higher over the past twelve months. Previously, during the height of the growth phase, there was a large separation between Sydney’s housing market, which was streaking ahead, and Melbourne’s, where the rate of capital gain was substantial but still well below The heights being recorded in Sydney. The latest data reveals Sydney’s housing market is now playing second fiddle to Melbourne’s, at least in annual growth terms.

In fact, over the past six months, the performance gap between Sydney and Melbourne is stark. Sydney dwelling values have reduced by 0.6 per cent between July last year and the end of January 2016, compared with a 3.0 per cent rise across Melbourne dwelling values. The last six months have also seen both Brisbane and Canberra dwelling values rise by 2.0 per cent while Hobart values are 1.3 per cent higher and Adelaide dwelling values have been virtually flat with a 0.1 per cent rise.

Tim Lawless is head of the CoreLogic RP Data research and analytics team and can be contacted here.

Tim Lawless

Tim Lawless

Tim Lawless is national research director of CoreLogic RP Data.

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Sydney Dwelling Value

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