Australian Property Market Experiences Shifts Amidst Economic Changes - Property Inc

Australian Property Market Experiences Shifts Amidst Economic Changes

The Australian property market has seen a whirlwind of activity over the past year. Melissa Heagney-Bayliss of Domain reported that after a hot start to the year, the market began cooling as spring approached. The auction clearance rate, a key metric in gauging the market’s health, hit a peak of 77.2% in June but had slipped to 64.5% by September. While these numbers might suggest a downturn, the reality is more nuanced.

According to Dr. Nicola Powell, Domain’s chief of research and economics, the drop is largely due to a rise in the number of properties listed for sale. “This is what we were anticipating in early spring,” Powell said, pointing to a recent jump in property listings which has given buyers more options and subsequently led to less competition at auctions.

Matthew Ward, director at McGrath Hunters Hill, echoed these sentiments, indicating a noticeable shift in buyer behavior. “Buyers are not adopting a buy at all costs approach,” Ward observed. Instead, many are being more discerning and taking their time to find the right property. He also noted that sellers are now more attuned to the “moodiness of the market,” with properties taking slightly longer to sell than before.

Meanwhile, Nicholas West of Nelson Alexander Carlton North highlighted another contributing factor – the volume of properties, especially apartments. West mentioned a surge in listings, especially from investors reacting to rising holding costs. “Volume is up, but it’s a lot of apartments,” he said.

Westpac’s senior economist, Matthew Hassan, reassured that despite the rise in listings, he doesn’t expect a sharp drop in house prices. He emphasized the importance of migration, both within the country and internationally, in keeping the market vibrant. However, Hassan also hinted at a potential shift. “High prices might encourage more people to move to regional areas, or other states where property is not as expensive,” he speculated.

In a separate report by The Australian, Steven Byerley wrote about Stockland Corp., Australia’s largest ASX-listed residential property developer. The firm remains confident in the housing market’s recovery, even with challenges like higher lending rates and a sluggish economy. Stockland’s CEO, Tarun Gupta, highlighted the company’s diverse portfolio as its strength in the current economic scenario. “We are dynamically reshaping our portfolio… and creation of new, high-quality logistics and land lease assets,” Gupta commented during the company’s annual meeting.

However, there was a note of caution. Andrew Whitson, Stockland’s chief executive for communities, warned that the recovery, while promising, remains fragile due to affordability issues. Whitson remains optimistic, suggesting the market will find its balance once interest rates stabilize and wage growth becomes more pronounced.

In conclusion, while Australia’s property market has seen dramatic fluctuations recently, key industry figures remain cautiously optimistic about the future. However, as the landscape continues to evolve, both buyers and sellers will need to remain agile and informed.


“The property market dropped, then boomed. Now it’s changed again” by Melissa Heagney-Bayliss. 

“Property giant confident in housing recovery” by Steven Byerley. 

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