Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed some quality time with family and friends over the Christmas and New Year break.
Welcome to our first newsletter for 2019. As many people are still on their summer holidays, there’s not much happening in our property markets this month. Few auctions have been listed around the country and most property movements are occurring through private sales.
Property market activity
Declines in property listings are quite typical in summer, however the drop in national property listings in December 2018 was higher than expected at 9.2%. In Sydney property listings declined by a huge 17.7%, Melbourne 17.2% and Canberra 15.5%. Hobart experienced a decline in property listings of 5.8%, Adelaide 4.1%, Darwin 2.9% and Perth 9%.
Home value movements
In 2018, there was a general softening in property values, for both units and houses across the country. Sydney experienced a year on year decline of 8.88%. Melbourne experienced a year on year drop in values of 7.04%. Perth’s home value decline for the year was more moderate at 4.73%. Darwin experienced a year on year decline of 1.54% with most of this fall occurring in December when prices dropped 1.84%.
Other markets experienced year on year growth. Canberra’s yearly home values were up by 3.27%. Brisbane/Gold Coast’s prices were up 0.02% year on year, while Adelaide’s yearly growth was 1.33%. The outstanding performer was Hobart, with an annual home value increase of 8.66%.
Interest rates and lending news
Interest rates have remained stable during the holiday period and we can expect the RBA to keep the official cash rate at 1.5% for some time. The next RBA board meeting will happen on February 5. Some market analysts predict an improvement in economic conditions which may prompt an RBA cash rate rise later this year, whilst others are predicting a cash rate cut. It’s a game of wait and see!
From January 1 the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) removed its 30% limit on interest-only residential property lending. This may prove to be a big bonus for property investors, as it will likely prompt an improvement in lending conditions for them across the board.
What are your plans for 2019?
Did you overspend during Christmas? If you are experiencing a Christmas debt hangover, read our article about how we can help if you’re struggling to organise your finances. We’ve also provided some guidance for those needing to refinance an interest-only loan and ideas for achieving your property goals in 2019. Remember, we’re always happy to chat about your needs and goals so please don’t hesitate to give us a call.