The Australian housing market has seen home prices rise for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Figures from CoreLogic’s national home value index showed that residential property values were up by 0.4 per cent in October, following five months of consistent declines.
Values were up in every capital city, except Melbourne. Prices have started to stabilise in the city however, with a decline of just 0.2 per cent for the month.
In Sydney, prices were up by 0.1 per cent for the month, bringing the median property value up to $860,955.
It seems to be the top end of the market that has led Sydney’s price growth, despite having underperformed through most of the pandemic.
October’s monthly results showed the upper quartile was up by 0.3 per cent compared with a 0.2 per cent lift across the lower quartile.
According to CoreLogic’s Head of Research, Tim Lawless: “While this is only one month of data, it has often been the case that premium housing markets lead both the downturn and the upswing, so it will be interesting to see if higher value properties gather further momentum over coming months.”
Consistent with the rise in dwelling values we are also seeing strong auction activity.
“Sydney’s clearance rate breached the 70% mark in late October for the first time since early March, and auction volumes have been at similar levels as last year,” Mr Lawless said.
“Melbourne, which is normally the largest auction market, saw the number of auctions held rise from virtually nothing in September to around 600 auctions over the final week of October”.
Overall, market activity has been on the rise across the country, likely due to record low interest rates, generous government support, improving sentiment and the low number of new virus cases.
While CoreLogic warned of the possibility of distressed sales due to the winding down of JobKeeper and the home loan deferrals expiring, this doesn’t seem to have had an impact on housing market performance as of yet.
If anything the outlook for the property market is looking mostly positive at the moment, and with mortgage rates having just dropped again, there’s a good chance that market activity and property values will continue on their upward trajectory.