Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Australian Property doesn't always make you money as data shows house price falls over the past decade

By Rebecca Trigger

Updated Tue at 7:44am
PHOTO: Millenials can't expect the kind of price gains in property their parents enjoyed. (ABC News: Ian Cutmore)
RELATED STORY: Sydney continues to drag down national property prices

RELATED STORY: Perth property bust finally set to end with slow growth forecast for 2018
MAP: Australia

Home values have plunged by up to 25 per cent in real terms across five of Australia's eight capital cities in the past decade, with Perth values most savagely hit, new data has revealed.

A report by analysts CoreLogic applied the latest Consumer Price Index data, which shows the rate of inflation, to national dwelling values over the past 10 years

EMBED: Total change in real dwelling values decade to 2017

It found only Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart had recorded growth in real dwelling values over that period.

Perth property prices have been worst hit with a fall of 25.4 per cent recorded on real values, once inflation was factored in.

Darwin recorded a fall of 16.7 per cent, while Brisbane has also seen an 11.4 per cent decline.

Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart have remained largely stagnant, while Sydney values soared by 44.1 per cent and Melbourne 39.1 per cent.
Sydney starting to pull market down

The new data has also painted a far grimmer picture of more recent property value declines.

On the latest quarterly figures, it appears steeper declines in Sydney's market have led national property price averages on a downward spiral.

Sydney recorded growth of just 1.2 per cent in 2017 in real terms, and in fact chalked up a 2.5 per cent slide over the December quarter.
EMBED: Graph: Real vs nominal annual change in home values year to Dec 2017

Perth recorded a 4.1 per cent fall in values last year, rather than the nominal drop of 2.3 per cent, without inflation factored in.

Only Darwin saw sharper falls of 8.3 per cent in real terms, compared with the recorded nominal rate of 6.5 per cent.

Hobart saw promising growth of more than 10 per cent in the last year, but the report notes this may be tempered as price rises begin to offset affordability.
Don't expect returns boomers and generation Xers enjoyed

Real Estate Institute of WA (REIWA) president Hayden Groves acknowledged for first-home buyers, the picture may appear grim, and the old adage that property would double in value every 10 years no longer rang true.

"Certainly within the last 40 years or so you could almost predict it, that between every seven and 10 years you would see the capital value of your asset double," he said.

"That has not been the case in the last decade."

But he said Perth's property price woes had a silver lining for investors, who would anticipate there was nowhere for Perth to go but up.

REIWA data paints Perth in a slightly rosier picture of health.

The body recorded a price peak of $540,000 for properties in the first quarter of 2014 in Perth, and $517,000 in the December quarter last year, a 9.4 per cent drop.

The median property price 10 years ago was $475,000, and $517,000 now, but this does not factor in inflation.

Mr Groves pointed out wages had also grown $420 per week in Perth over the same period, and the low interest rate environment made property purchases favourable.

"Whilst we acknowledge the last 10 years have been a particularly difficult time for the Perth property market, we also note there's a great deal more optimism in the market right now," he said.

"We don't anticipate further falls in the short term."
Don't give up on property investment yet

Investment adviser Nick Bruining said losses depended on when and where people had bought.

"They've clearly lost money if they've decided to sell, and it does depend on when you made that purchase," he said.

"In pockets there's certainly good investments, close to the city areas are looking better.

"Outlying areas which have been developed in the last four or five years very much in the mortgage belt, [are] very vulnerable to changes in interest rates, and I guess that's possibly the next inflection point.

"What is does show is the affects of the mining boom were very pronounced, and what we've now seen the decline with that when people start to move out of the state."

He said people needed to factor in both rental returns and likely growth before assessing their bottom line.

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