Best growth since 2010

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

AUS­TRALIAN home val­ues have posted their strong­est quar­terly gain since the end of the 2010 boom, but there are now signs growth may be be­gin­ning to mod­er­ate.

The new fig­ures come as res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity staged its first rally in three months and de­bate rages over whether the record low in­ter­est rate is cre­at­ing the con­di­tions for an­other prop­erty boom that could markedly worsen hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity.

The national dwelling value rose 4 per cent in the three months to Au­gust, the high­est rate of cap­i­tal gain since April 2010 - right be­fore the last boom be­gan to fiz­zle, ac­cord­ing RP Data-Ris­mark.

Syd­ney dwelling val­ues shot up 5.4 per cent over the quar­ter, while val­ues in Melbourne rose 4.8 per cent. They in­creased 3.7 per cent in Can­berra, 3.4 per cent in Dar­win and 3.1 per cent in Perth.

But the an­a­lyst group has also iden­ti­fied a slow­down in the mar­ket’s per­for­mance in Au­gust alone.

The national dwelling value rose just 0.5 per cent over the month, thanks pri­mar­ily to softer con­di­tions in Syd­ney and Melbourne.

Val­ues rose 0.6 per cent in Syd­ney, 0.2 per cent in Melbourne, 0.7 per cent in Dar­win and 0.9 per cent in Can­berra. Bris­bane was the stand out per­former for Au­gust, post­ing a rise of 1.5 per cent. Falls of 0.2 per cent were recorded in Perth and 1.9 per cent in Ho­bart.

‘‘We’ve had a re­ally strong June and July but a more mod­er­ate Au­gust,’’ said RP Data an­a­lyst Cameron Kusher. ‘‘It’s def­i­nitely the low in­ter­est rates that’s driv­ing this ac­tiv­ity.

‘‘The thing from here will be what hap­pens in spring. It’s look­ing like a pretty good spring sell­ing sea­son - the amount of stock on the mar­ket is fairly low and clear­ance rates are quite strong.’’

Louis Christopher, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of SQM Re­search, said the coun­try had seen its strong­est win­ter mar­ket in years and it was set to con­tinue for spring.

‘‘I’m still con­vinced its a very strong mar­ket out there, par­tic­u­larly for Syd­ney.’’ Signs of re­cov­ery in con­struc­tion There are also some ten­ta­tive signs of life in Aus­tralia’s res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion sec­tor, with the to­tal num­ber of dwelling ap­provals jumping 10.8 per cent in July, sea­son­ally ad­justed. It’s the first rise in three months for what is a key in­di­ca­tor of the health of the econ­omy.

The surge has sur­prised an­a­lysts, who were tip­ping a 4 per cent in­crease.

How­ever, much of the strength was seen in the apart­ment mar­ket, where build­ing ap­provals rose 24.4 per cent com­pared to 3.9 per cent for detached homes.

In Vic­to­ria, unit ap­provals soared 70 per cent but house ap­provals fell 1 per cent.

‘‘The big lift this months seems to have been caused by a few large apart­ment pro­ject ap­provals, par­tic­u­larly in Melbourne and Can­berra,’’ said MacroBusi­ness econ­o­mist Leith van Onselen. ‘‘If you re­move the lumpi­ness of the apart­ment mar­ket it’s still a pretty soft up­trend.’’

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