Economic Insights: The Ups and Downs of Australia’s 2024 Property Market - Property Inc

Economic Insights: The Ups and Downs of Australia’s 2024 Property Market

As we approach 2024, Australia’s housing market continues to navigate through the challenges of housing shortages, spiraling home and rental prices, and fluctuating interest rates. Two insightful articles, “The stark graph that shows why property prices could be higher a year from now” by Kate Burke and “2024 housing outlook: Economist’s top predictions for Australia’s property market” by Thierry Ng, offer a comprehensive analysis of the trends and forecasts shaping the property landscape.

According to Kate Burke, the housing supply shortage, a decades-long issue, is a critical factor driving property prices upwards. Dr. Nicola Powell, Domain’s chief of research and economics, highlights this, stating, “That existing housing shortfall has collided in 2023 with strong population growth, a constrained construction sector … and the tightest rental market on record.” These factors, combined with a drop in sellers, have sustained property prices, despite a backdrop of rising interest rates and a cost of living crisis.

Burke also notes the resilience of specific markets. For instance, Sydney’s median house prices are just 0.4 percent below their peak, while Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and regional Australia have seen prices reach or return to peak levels. Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart, and Darwin, however, still lag behind.

Ng’s article, focusing on predictions from Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee, presents a forward-looking perspective. Conisbee predicts that despite the potential for another rate hike in 2024, mortgage owners should expect some relief with a possible rate cut in late 2024 or early 2025. She also foresees a continued climb in housing prices due to the ongoing supply shortage and robust population growth.

An interesting trend highlighted by Conisbee is the rise in demand for green homes, driven by increasing energy costs and environmental concerns. Furthermore, despite the high-interest rate environment, investor activity in the property market is expected to remain subdued, impacting the availability of rental properties.

Diverging Opinions and Regional Variations

While most forecasts agree on the continued pressure on housing prices, there are varying opinions on the extent and nature of this growth. Some experts, like independent economist Stephen Koukoulas, anticipate a potential slowdown or even a slight decline in prices, especially in markets like Sydney and Melbourne.

In conclusion, as we look towards 2024, the Australian property market presents a complex picture of rising prices, limited supply, and evolving consumer preferences. Both Burke’s and Ng’s articles provide valuable insights into understanding the dynamics at play, offering a comprehensive overview for potential buyers, sellers, and investors navigating this challenging landscape.


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