June quarter in review

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The latest research from the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has found that increased regulation around investment lending is making a noticeable impact on the nation’s property markets.

House prices – UP

According to the REIA Real Estate Market Facts report for the 2017 June quarter, the weighted average median price for houses for Australia’s eight capital cities increased to $768,227, with prices increasing everywhere except for Adelaide and Perth.

The weighted average median price for other dwellings also increased to $604,456, owing to increases recorded in Melbourne, Sydney, Darwin, Adelaide and Hobart, while Brisbane, Canberra and Perth recorded decreases.

Rents – DOWN

Median rents for three-bedroom houses were found to have decreased over the June quarter in all capitals but Canberra, with Adelaide recording the largest decrease (-2.9%).

Other two-bedroom dwellings saw median rents increase in Canberra Hobart and Sydney, but decrease in the other capitals, with Brisbane experiencing the largest decline (-5.1%).

Vacancy rates – STEADY

The REIA found that in the June quarter, the weighted average vacancy rate for the eight capital cities remained steady at 2.8%, with the highest rates being found in Darwin (7.3%) and Perth (6.9%). The largest vacancy rate decrease was found in Canberra (-0.4%), while the only capital to see an increase in its vacancy rate was Perth (+0.8%)

Housing finance – UP

The June quarter saw investor housing finance increase by 12.8%, and owner occupied finance by 13.6% – the first time in eight quarters where owner-occupiers overtook investors.  

REIA president, Malcolm Gunning, said:

“The decline in investors is in response to the more rigid lending criteria imposed by APRA on investment property lending which is cooling the residential markets, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney.”

“The past level of investor activity is flowing through in higher vacancy rates than has been the case for the last two years.”

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