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Australian House Prices Reaching Record Highs

Property prices across Australia are soaring to record highs. In Sydney, the average price of a home in the Harbour City is now $1.1 million with units coming in at $800,000. That’s about $117,000 more expensive than they were in February. Similarly, in Melbourne, almost one third of homes are now selling for $1 million compared to only around 10% a decade ago. While high prices, along with faster average selling times, are great news for sellers, some buyers may struggle to enter the property ladder at all.

Increasing property values

The Australian Property Institute recently teamed up with The Search People, a tech company, to survey around 600 Australian property valuers on their perspectives on the real estate market. Nearly 66% predict “continued strong growth” for real estate values in the country’s six main capitals in the next half a year. This was also labelled a “worrying” prediction set to put a number of prospective buyers in unfair positions. Specifically, over 60% of property valuers in Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne anticipate an increase in house prices. Brisbane paints an even bleaker picture with 70% expecting a price jump and 12% forecasting property values in Queensland to increase by over 10%. Adelaide is the cheapest place to purchase property — despite over 55% of valuers also expecting future price increases here.

Housing bubble

“Professional valuers believe Australia’s residential real estate prices will continue to rise despite serious affordability and sustainability concerns,” the survey also found. While most property valuers surveyed expect a property marketing boom, they also believe the country’s entering a property bubble. “A combination of record low interest rates and buyers’ uncertainty of investing in other alternatives is fuelling high demand. This coupled with low supply is driving a ‘fear of missing out’ for many buyers”, explains Rafe Berding of the Search People. “As a result, in some cases, properties are being snapped up significantly above the asking price within moments of being listed”. While a bubble may be forming, it doesn’t seem set to burst at least in the short term.

The future of buying and selling homes

Australia’s real estate market is also changing in other ways thanks to the advent of new technology. For example, digital lenders are now operating exclusively online as an alternative to traditional lenders that rely on legacy banking infrastructure. Digital lenders offer home loan financing delivered through intuitive digital platforms like apps. The quick, streamlined application process and better rates are fast making digital lenders popular with buyers. Additionally, virtual viewings are increasingly commonplace with some realtors even offering interactive tours. With VR headsets and hand controllers, buyers can direct themselves through a property before deciding to commit to an in-person viewing.

High values, record low interest rates, and an influx of buyers mean there’s never been a better time to sell property in Australia. For those looking to buy, however, the survey also suggested Australian’s should be able to access their superannuation to help cover the cost of their homes.
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