Predictors of Australian Housing Market in 2024:

Drivers of Property Price Growth:

  • Continued Population Growth: Strong population growth without sufficient new dwelling supply, leading to an extreme shortfall, putting upward pressure on house prices and rents. Melbourne is attracting a large inflow of overseas migrants and students. 

  • Anticipated Interest Rate Decline: Expectation of interest rates falling in the second half of 2024, coupled with potential relaxation of APRA's mortgage serviceability buffer (currently at 3%), increasing borrowing capacity.
  • FOMO Effect: Fear of missing out (FOMO) as buyers realize recovery from 2022 price falls, with media highlighting new record prices achieved.

Challenges and Headwinds:

  • Affordability Concerns: Stretched affordability, prompting buyers to opt for townhouses or apartments over homes, or choose more affordable suburbs.
  • Unemployment Goals: The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) aiming to increase unemployment to curb inflation, creating financial uncertainty and impacting buyer decisions.
  • Consumer Sentiment: Lingering poor consumer sentiment from 2023, driven by economic uncertainty, peaking interest rates, and inflation concerns, likely to persist in the first half of 2024.

Market Trends:

  • Differential in Property Types: Recent trends show houses outpacing apartments in value. The price gap between units and houses is at a record high. Family-friendly apartments in desirable neighborhoods are expected to experience strong capital growth.

 MELBOURNE

While property price growth is expected to be lower in 2024 compared to last year, there is a positive aspect: you have the opportunity to outperform the national market by strategically investing in the right property and location.

By this, I don't mean simply targeting the next hotspot. Instead, focus on acquiring high-quality properties in areas with long-term potential, such as gentrifying suburbs.

Property investment provides numerous chances to enhance your outcomes through your time, skills, and knowledge, allowing you to surpass average returns.

It's not just about location; you can also increase property value through refurbishment or redevelopment.

After booming through 2020 and 2021 with prices rising by 15.8%, Melbourne housing values fell -7.9% from their peak in March 2022 through to the recent trough in January 2023.

While the Melbourne housing market clearly turned the corner in early 2023 with prices rising consistently - they have been rising much more slowly than some of our other capital cities. Which means, in my view, Melbourne represents right now a superb opportunity.

Currently, there are around 5.8 million people in Melbourne which by some estimates means it has now overtaken Sydney as Australia's largest capital city.

There are firm indications that Melbourne property values and rents will keep rising in 2024. With Sydney having jumped significantly ahead, Hobart and Adelaide overtaking Melbourne and Perth and Brisbane rapidly catching up, the rapid escalation in Melbourne prices may not be far off. 

This new property cycle creates a window of opportunity for home buyers and investors to get into the property market as the Melbourne market picks up again.

Melbourne could be one of the most lucrative markets for property investors looking to capitalise on the impending price rebound when interest rates are cut later this year.

It would be very wise to position yourself before this happens.

Melbourne has a unique lifestyle and economic benefits that will attract overseas migrants as well as plentiful jobs for highly paid knowledge workers. 

Here's what the major Australian banks are forecasting for property prices in Melbourne in 2024:

  • ANZ forecasts capital city property prices to lift 6 per cent. Melbourne prices are predicted to lift 3 to 4 per cent.
  • CBA expects capital city prices to lift 5 per cent, with small variations across the cities. Melbourne is tipped to life by 5 per cent.
  • NAB predicts prices across the capitals to rise an average of 5.4 per cent. Prices are expected to lift 5.5 per cent in Melbourne.
  • Westpac forecasts 6 per cent growth across the combined capitals. Melbourne is pencilled in at 3%.

You can always beat the averages.

Currently affordability constraints, including consecutive cash rate hikes and reduced borrowing capacity, combined with the perceived value units offer are all helping to steer buyer demand towards units.

This is creating a window of opportunity for homebuyers and property investors with a long-term perspective.

And when interest rates start to reverse and buyers will come back into the market with a vengeance. The time to position your self is before that happens.

And it's not just for houses…

There is currently a clear flight to quality properties in Melbourne, with A-grade homes and "investment grade" properties still in short supply for the prevailing demand, but B Grade properties are taking longer to sell and informed buyers are avoiding C Grade properties.

Moving forward strong immigration and a lack of supply of properties will help keep pushing Melbourne property prices up. With Brisbane, 

Melbourne’s population is forecast to rise by roughly 500,000 over the five years to 2026-27, after increasing by an astounding 1.7 million people (52%) so far this century.

That's the equivalent of two Hobarts’ worth of population growth in only five years.

In fact Melbourne’s population is expected to grow by one million people over the next ten years.

The market is not easily explained. So if you are interested in either Buying or Selling in Melbourne, feel free to schedule a no obligation call for 45 minutes where we can go through in detail the market. Remember, I don't SELL houses (or apartments!) so there is no hidden agenda.

I provide advisory services to certain types of buyers and sellers, and am always happy to discuss the market with ANYONE as my business is very selective, doesn't suit most people, but relies on referrals from people just like you who I have helped without any obligation or commitment.

APARTMENT SUPPLY AND HEAT MAP 2016-2028:

CBRE estimates Melbourne's apartment delivery will average 10,000 pa over 2024-28, nearly 40% below Sydney.

  • Apart from Location – Location – Location  is there ANOTHER Golden Rule of Property Investing in Australia? 

YES there is. It is the QUALITY of your property that is of major importance to it’s financial success going forward 2024 to 2028. 

KEY POINTS

    • The quality of the property determines long-term investment returns.
    • Average-quality property yields average returns; above-average quality leads to above-average returns.
    • Combined with strategic locations near the water, city hubs, parks, shops, schools and supermarkets, helps ensure investment success. Wherever possible, focus in inner and middle ring properties ONLY.
  • Focused Investment Energy:
    • Direct energy towards asset quality working with your professional property buyers agent.
    • Outsource all other matters (tax, borrowing, property management, building inspections etc.) to advisors.
  • Attributes of Quality Property:
    • Sustained buyer demand exceeding supply.
    • Appreciating value/prices in the long run.
    • High-quality property is scarce.
  • Factors Impacting Supply and Demand:
    • In prime investment locations, supply is fixed or diminishing.
    • Supply includes land supply and dwelling type/style.
  • Land Supply Dynamics:
    • Well-established, blue-chip suburbs have fixed and finite land supply.
    • Outer suburbs may have abundant land supply due to releases within a 20km radius.
  • Property Type and Style Effect on Supply:
    • High-land-value locations see stable house supply; apartments can change more readily.
    • Example: Victorian style houses have finite supply, potentially diminishing.
  • Buyer Demand Exceeding Supply:
    • Buyer demand refers to potential buyers desiring property in a certain location.
    • Demand substantially exceeding supply leads to rising property prices.
  • Imbalance in Supply and Demand:
    • Invest where buyer demand substantially exceeds supply.
    • Notionally, 10 buyers for every seller ensures price stability despite changes in supply or demand.
  • Long-Term Price Support:
    • Despite changes, the number of buyers exceeds sellers, supporting prices.
    • Prices remain resilient even during supply increases or demand reductions.

Tips: 

Location Matters:

Look for properties in inner and middle-ring suburbs.  Avoid properties in the west, as they are unlikely to appreciate to the same level.

Proximity to City Centre:

Suburbs close to the city centre tend to perform better over the long term. Avoid most CBD apartments. Avoid most Southbank and Docklands apartments.

Value Appreciation Factors:

Properties closer to the CBD, Yarra River, beaches and Dandenong Hills will experience faster value appreciation.

Research Confirmation:

Research confirms that suburbs near the CBD, with high demand, employment opportunities, and limited available land, outperform outer suburbs.

Supported by research from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.

Gentrification Impact:

Gentrification has significantly influenced property values in inner- and middle-ring suburbs.

Demographic Shifts:

Gentrification resulted from demographic changes, not deliberate planning policies.

Exodus of industry, migrants, and workers paved the way for gentrification in inner suburbs.

Changing Demographics:

Changing demographics, including declining household size, contributed to the appeal of small inner suburban dwellings.

Ideal accommodation for professionals working in or near the CBD.

Attractions for Gentrifiers:

Gentrifiers initially attracted by job diversity, educational opportunities, and lifestyles in inner suburbs.

Trend continues as Australians increasingly opt for urban living over traditional suburban homes in the outskirts. However, townhouses and houses remain very popular in Melbourne.

We will see more investors getting into the Melbourne market, and while accepting that while there are no bargains to be found, in 12-24 months' time properties they purchase today will look like absolute  bargains. Whether a house,  townhouse or unit (apartment) secure the services of an experienced buyers agent to represent you against the selling agents to avoid over paying, or buying the wrong property. Use their research capabilities to choose the correct location.

 

FINAL WORDS / CONCLUSION

NEGATIVE REAL INTEREST RATES

Despite the  rises in interest rates over 2022 and 2023, Australia still has negative real interest rates.

That is inflation is higher than cash rate interest (before tax)  so it is inevitable that those sitting on cash - losing money in real terms daily - would turn to the property market.

Meanwhile, mortgage debt to GDP has been falling  because  of higher inflation. The bears hate this, because it means in effect the Australian housing market is not as geared as it once was, lowering overall risk.

MONEY SUPPLY

The Reserve Bank has really pulled back its printing of money to low levels,  which should help inflation in 2024.

REAL GDP 

Slowed not yet negative. This is a risk, if Australia falls into recession. Nominal GDP seems to have a strong long term relationship to house prices.  In 2022 the rise was 12%.

Watch the nominal GPD figures for a macro view on house prices.

HOUSE PRICES

The Melbourne market, like Sydney, has been driven by huge increases in underlying demand. I personally believe Melbourne is a huge buying opportunity in 2024.

 But interest rates, inflation, external and internal migration, the GDP and unemployment will all play a part. However, I will be wrong if there is a a slowdown in migration.

But long term, Melbourne is sure bet in the inner and middle rings, but not the outer suburbs. 

To discuss the market, and see whether my Service For Byers Can Help you, lets chat!

Call Mike BENTLEY