The Australian property market has concluded the year of 2023 on a high, despite a year filled with ups and downs, and unexpected twists. The Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) has released a comprehensive report detailing the various factors that contributed to the year’s dynamic market conditions, emphasising resilience and adaptability as defining characteristics.
REBAA President Melinda Jennison provided insight into the year’s trajectory, stating, “Regional variations, supply-demand dynamics, and changing rental landscapes have all played pivotal roles in shaping this narrative. As the year draws to a close, the real estate sector continues to navigate the waves of change, offering both challenges and opportunities.” Jennison also noted signs at the beginning of the year indicating that the national housing market downturn was losing momentum, despite climbing interest rates.
Jennison highlighted the remarkable performance across different cities, revealing that between February and October, Perth, Sydney, and Brisbane saw property prices surge into double-digit growth. However, this growth rate was not consistent nationwide, as the volume of listings affected the pace of monthly price growth. Jennison’s report underscored the critical influence of local supply and demand dynamics on market performance.
Strong rental growth also played its part. Jennison remarked, “Adelaide and Brisbane led the charge in January, with the most substantial increase in annual house rents, according to CoreLogic. However, by October, the scene had shifted, with Perth and Melbourne taking centre stage in the annual house rent increase rankings.”
From a state perspective, REBAA representatives provided a localized view of the property market trends. Linda Johnson, the NSW State Representative, reported a general upswing in property prices despite affordability challenges. She said, “Affordability issues are also pushing people further out, and there is a quest for a better lifestyle, work from home/office balance, as well as a renewed focus on housing as a stable investment amid economic uncertainties.”
In Victoria, stagnant house prices were attributed to interest rate hikes and additional taxes on property investors, according to Luke Assigal, the REBAA Victoria State Representative. Amid these challenges, Assigal conveyed optimism about potential price rises in 2024 due to supply shortfalls and population growth.
Queensland’s REBAA Representative Joanna Boyd emphasized the state’s housing prices were driven to new heights due to limited housing stock and strong demand, creating a seller’s market. However, the pause in interest rate hikes in October provided some stabilization.
Jess Elam, the REBAA SA State Representative, discussed South Australia’s strong market performance, while Sam Spilsbury, representing Tasmania, spoke of a slowdown in the market due to reduced buyer activity and increased concern over low levels of investor activity.
Finally, Tiron Manning, REBAA Regional Australia Representative, outlined the stability in markets in regional NSW and discussed the variability across different regions, including Victorian regions that suffered following the lockdown buying frenzy, price increases in the Sunshine Coast region, and tight rental listings.
The report compiled by REBAA highlights a property market that, while tumultuous at times, ended the year buoyantly, with diverse regional behaviours and the potential for continued growth into 2024.