Australia’s Housing Market: A Tale of Shortages and Price Rises - Property Inc

Australia’s Housing Market: A Tale of Shortages and Price Rises

Australia’s housing landscape is undergoing significant shifts, with Victoria at the heart of a concerning housing shortage and nationwide house prices on an upward trajectory. Two recent articles provide a comprehensive view of the current situation.

Victoria’s Declining Home Approvals

Nathan Mawby’s article, “Victoria at heart of housing shortage as nation’s home building woes expected to persist for several years,” highlights a troubling trend in the Australian housing market. In 2023, the country saw its lowest annual home approvals in over a decade, with a notable decrease in Victoria. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal a stark drop to just 3,559 home approvals in December 2023 – the lowest for the month since 2011.

Senior Economist Maree Kilroy from Oxford Economics Australia notes, “The trajectory of dwelling approvals points firmly to a softer 2025 for completions,” emphasizing that Australia’s housing undersupply is expected to last for several years. This scenario is exacerbated by record levels of migration.

Linda Allison, Urban Development Institute of Australia Victorian chief executive, remarks, “I think it’s a fairly expected result when you consider the various pressures on the housing and construction market at the moment,” indicating a cautious optimism for improvement as the year progresses.

House Prices on the Rise

Contrasting with the shortage of housing approvals is the rise in house prices, as detailed in The Business’ article, “House prices rose in January and are anticipated to keep going up if rates come down.” National house prices increased by 0.4% in January, marking a 12th straight month of value rises. CoreLogic’s head of residential research, Eliza Owen, states, “Nationally, we’re expecting house prices to rise in 2024, but probably at a slower rate than what we saw last year.”

The article also touches on the dynamics of the rental market, with Owen predicting continued price increases, albeit at a slower rate than in 2023. Additionally, the preference for houses over units has become more pronounced, with a significant gap in median values.

The Impact of Interest Rates and Buyer Trends

The housing market’s future is closely tied to interest rate movements and buyer behaviors. AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver suggests that falling inflation could lead to rate cuts from mid-year, potentially influencing property prices. First-time buyers, migrants, and overseas buyers are actively competing in this dynamic market, as evidenced by various real estate agents and auctioneers’ observations.


Australia’s housing market presents a complex picture of shortages and price increases. Victoria’s decline in home approvals, coupled with rising house prices and the anticipation of interest rate cuts, paints a challenging landscape for potential homeowners and the construction industry alike. The balance between supply, demand, and economic factors continues to shape Australia’s housing future.

References: Nathan Mawby’s article from [Source]; “House prices rose in January and are anticipated to keep going up if rates come down” by The Business. 

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