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Apr 04, 2024

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It doesn’t seem that long ago when Perth’s property values made us the cheapest major capital in the nation. At the time, it failed to make any sense that Hobart and Adelaide’s median house prices were significantly higher than ours given our low unemployment, high wages, lifestyle and economic strength.

Two years ago, Perth’s median home value for the March quarter was reported by Core Logic as $525,800. The current median house value for Perth as reported this week sits at $703,502. In March 2022, we were the most affordable place in Australia to buy real estate with all the evidence pointing to Perth being on the brink of a property boom.

Back then, buyers dabbling in the Hobart property market parted with $820,000 during the quarter, in our nation’s capital they paid $982,000 and in Brisbane $760,000. In Darwin, the median house price reached $583,000 and Adelaide put on a tremendous 7.1 percent spurt from the previous quarter to reach a median of $649,000. Melbournian buyers paid a median of $1,121,500 for a detached house and Sydney topped the list with an extraordinary median of $1,590,900 for the quarter.

Perth’s median house price growth for the twelve months to March 2022 was 4.1 percent. Compared to the same twelve-month gains had in Hobart (31.5 percent), Brisbane (26.7 percent) and Adelaide (24.8 percent), Perth’s property price gains back then were comparatively modest.

Perth’s annual house price growth is now a nation-leading 19.8 percent and showing no signs of slowing. Brisbane sits in second place at 15.9 percent, Adelaide 13.3 percent and Sydney (somewhat remarkably given their high median price) has put on a further 9.6 percent. Remaining capitals are still growing but by less than 3.5 percent.

Usefully, Core Logic’s statistically references ‘series peaks’ demonstrating current market sentiment within the context of a ‘since -COVID’ cycle. Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth are the last remaining cities to be at peak since that time with Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart all having peaked in early 2022.

It would appear Perth has some way to go with Adelaide’s median home value at $734,173, and Brisbane’s – the capital most typically value-aligned with Perth – at $817,564 with both still growing.

I predict Melbourne will continue to constrict from its current $778,892 median value, Hobart’s anaemic growth at 0.3 percent could turn negative at the year progresses and Sydney’s growth pattern will stall. I punt Adelaide is close to peak growth and whilst remaining positive will only gain 5 to 8 percent over the next twelve months and Brisbane should continue its double-digit performance for the remainder of 2024.

With Perth gaining 1.9 percent in March and 5.6 percent for the quarter, we could see gains of around 22 percent this year. Meanwhile, local rents are up 13.7 percent for houses and 15.9 percent for units. Housing affordability has deteriorated and will get worse before more supply arrives.