Melbourne property prices sink: Is there worse to come?

Melbourne house prices fell 1.3% in November, according to the latest CoreLogic Home value index, although apartments dropped by a larger 3.2%.

The rest of Australia’s state and territory capitals recorded gains in the month of November, with Sydney seeing an increase of 0.8%, although Adelaide and Darwin saw the strongest gains of 2.9% and 3.7% respectively.

Even Perth recorded a monthly increase of 0.6%, but house prices in the West Australian state capital are still down 3.4% over the past 12 months.

Sydney and Melbourne have both recorded double-digit year-on-year gains of 13.1% and 11.3% respectively. Combined capitals have seen prices rise 9.3% over the year, with Canberra and Hobart also contributing substantial gains of 8.4% and 8.5% respectively.

Brisbane saw a 0.2% increase in house price values, but units fell 0.3% in November.

Core Logic Capital City house price index table

Source: CoreLogic


Since January 2009, Sydney house prices have almost doubled, rising 95.7%, while Melbourne has seen a 78% gain in the median house price.

As CoreLogic’s head of research Tim Lawless said, “It appears that higher unit supply is progressively weighing down the capital gains across Melbourne’s unit sector, with annual gains tracking at 3.9% for Melbourne units compared to a 12.2% annual gain in Melbourne house values.

A similar trend can be seen in Brisbane, where the supply of units across key inner city regions is also high. Brisbane house values were up 4.3% over the past twelve months compared with a 0.9% fall in unit values,” he added.

A concern for Fairfax Media Limited’s (ASX: FXJ) Domain and REA Group Ltd (ASX: REA) is that listings are lower than they were a year ago. Sydney listings are 9.4% lower than last year, while advertised stock levels for Melbourne are 2.9% lower. Hobart listings have crashed 29% compared to last year, but overall listings across all capital cities is up 2.4% compared to last year.

Lower listing volumes could impact on their revenues, although both Domain and generate substantial revenues from premium packages and higher value products.

Buyer enthusiasm could alos be further dampened by the prospect of higher rates ahead. Several lenders have already started raising their mortgage interest rates, despite no move from the RBA.

That might just come next year though, which would be a negative for house prices, auction clearance rates and house listings.


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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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