April 2023 Property Report

Homeowners breathed a collective sigh of relief this month when the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept the cash rate on hold, following the release of softer inflation figures.

Meanwhile, it’s been a slower than usual start to the autumn property season, with many buyers and sellers still adopting a “wait and see” attitude.

Seasonal new listings have been down compared to previous years, as sellers hesitate given the current climate.

CoreLogic recently revealed house prices across the nation had plummeted 7.9 per cent over the year to February – the largest 12-month decline on record. For prospective buyers who are in a position to snap up a bargain, there are certainly opportunities to be found.

Interest rate news

At its April meeting, the RBA kept the cash rate on hold at 3.60 per cent. It follows 10 consecutive cash rate increases by the RBA, starting in May 2022.

Following the release of the latest inflation figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there were hopes that a cash rate pause could be on the horizon.

The ABS’s monthly consumer price index showed annual inflation of 6.8 per cent over the year to February – down from 7.4 per cent in January and a peak of 8.4 per cent in December.

The recent collapse of a major US bank, Californian-based Silicon Valley Bank, also added fuel to the argument that the RBA’s run of rate rises could be nearing an end.

Never before has it been so important to shop around for a home loan and compare products.

We’re here to help, so get in touch for a comprehensive home loan health check.

Home value movements

In March, we saw house prices rise nationally for the first time in 11 months, according to CoreLogic. Home values were up 0.6% in the month of March.

The growth was led by Sydney and Melbourne, which experienced increases of 1.4% and 0.6% respectively.

Meanwhile, some of the smaller markets, such as Darwin and Hobart, are still seeing properties prices fall.

We are seeing divergence in some cities as well, with certain suburbs faring better than others.

In some areas of Sydney, for example, the shortage of housing stock caused by vendors’ reluctance to sell has increased competition for properties and pressured buyers to pay more. As a result, record prices were being fetched for properties in at least 20 suburbs in February and March.

CoreLogic’s research director, Tim Lawless, said several factors were helping to drive up property prices, including below-average stock levels.

“Although interest rates are high and there is an expectation the economy will slow through the year, it’s clear other factors are now placing upwards pressure on home prices,” Mr Lawless said.

“Advertised supply has been below average since September last year, with capital city listing numbers ending March almost -20% below the previous five-year average.

“Purchasing activity has also fallen but not as much as available supply; capital city sales activity was estimated to be roughly -7% below the previous five-year average through the March quarter.”

Meanwhile, recently we saw the combined capital cities record the highest preliminary clearance rate since mid-April 2022. Auction volumes dropped over the Easter long weekend, as expected.

All dwellings Auctions Clearance rate Private sale Monthly home values change
VIC 110 52% 962 0.6%
NSW 461 56% 1265 1.4%
ACT 45 67% 68 -0.5%
QLD 141 45% 926 0.1%
WA 10 20% 576 0.5%
NT 5 40% 18 -0.4%
TAS 1 -% 152 -0.9%
SA 49 71% 266 -0.1%

* Monthly Home Values figures as of 31 March 2023 

* Australian auction results, clearance rates and recent sales for the week ending 9 April 2023 

* The clearance rate is preliminary and current as of 11.50pm 12 April 2023 

Ready for a fresh start in a new home? Looking to purchase an investment property or to refinance? We can find the right home loan for your specific needs.

Unlike going direct to a lender, we will get to know your unique financial circumstances and compare a range of mortgages to find one that marries with your goals.

To discuss your finance options, get in touch today.

Additional sources

CoreLogic RP Data Daily Home Value Index: Monthly Values

Lane Financial