rocket australia
Property prices have skyrocketed this year, already. Image – Canva.
  • Property prices have risen across much of the country at rates not seen since the 1980s
  • New developments and stamp duty reform have also skyrocketed
  • HomeBuilder and concerns surrounding housing affordability have been raised

Since The Property Tribune launched in February we have published over 1,700 articles, with more than 200 of these based on residential property or buying and selling.

From rising property prices to the end of HomeBuilder and other stimulus packages, to calls for reform, housing affordability concerns for buyers and renters alike, it is safe to say it has been an interesting time.

Property prices soar

Although in some markets property prices have slowed down a little in recent weeks, property prices soared in 2021 so far, not just the capital cities, but also throughout regional Australia.

Back in February, Melbourne’s median house price was $900,000. By April, it had joined the million-dollar club, the second city to do so after Sydney.

The Harbour City continues to rise and rise: over the past six months, asking property prices have risen from $1.3 million to $1.56 million. In fact, sellers are often hiking asking prices mid-campaign.

Sydney

[Select part of the chart to zoom in on various years, and ‘reset zoom’ button to return]

House prices were rising at their fastest rate since 1988 in March, which follows what was the fastest rise in 17 years the preceding month.

And they’ve been rising since the last quarter of 2020, with the easing of the pandemic (did we speak too soon?), economic recovery and historically low interest rates of 0.1%.

The value of residential property reached over $8.2 trillion in June, reflecting an increase of $450 billion during the March quarter alone.

Auction clearance rates have generally remained high throughout much of the year too – even during lockdowns and Easter.

HomeBuilder is no more

Earlier this year, HomeBuilder continued to fuel the demand for building approvals, which has subsequently fallen.

The program has been a massive boon for the economy, with the Masters Builders Association (MBA) estimating that it has added $50 billion to the economy. It’s a far cry from this time last year, when the industry had stalled, and people were calling for government support to prevent doomsday. To their credit, the government acted swiftly.

The building stimulus program finished at the end of March, despite some calls for an extension and even a ‘social housing’ HomeBuilder. It had done its job.

In April, with eager home builders not able to get hold of a builder for love nor money, the HomeBuilder construction deadline was increased from six months to 18.

Affordability concerns

In April, we reported that 9 in 10 Australians believed property was becoming ‘unaffordable’ with just over a quarter of respondents adding they are currently under mortgage stress.

According to the ABS, the average house deposit is now over $100K.

In some good news, social housing stock is up – but not enough. The $5.3 billion Big Housing Build is a program hoping to improve the levels of stock in Victoria which has the lowest level of social housing per capita.

New developments

New residential developments remain popular.

Despite many buyers opting for larger houses as opposed to units or apartments, off-the-plan apartments were still sought after. A good example of this was on the Gold Coast – we have published over 40 stories about some apartment or another reaching near-record high levels – such as a penthouse in Coolangatta that sold for $8.15 million in May.

Reform

Reform continued to gain momentum – most notably by giving buyers the opportunity to opt-in for an annual tax in lieu of stamp duty.

Thanks to the housing boom, state and territory government have seen their revenues grow – New South Wales, for example, collected $6.2 billion in the year-to-February.

Tim McKibbin, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) has been pushing for further reform in the property arena such as adopting a Property Services Commissioner and reform planning systems.

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