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apar tments. However, investors may soak
up the excess to meet rental demand.
Performance across regional areas
is var ied. In central Queensland, the
Gladstone market is cor recting after
a strong period driven by speculative
activity. Sales activity in Rockhampton
and on the Sunshine Coast has been
strengthening, and the Gold Coast is just
star ting to show some signs of mov ing off
the bottom, says Wilson.
Adelaide, typically the least volatile of
all the capital city markets, is edging
forward. Buyer activity is rising in value
suburbs. However, prices for prestige
properties are still falling.
“Adelaide has quite healthy activity
from first home buyers because the
market is so affordable,” says Wilson.
Investor activity has not been as
strong, but yields of about 5 per cent and
the prospect of moderate prices growth
may woo more investors.
The “joker in the pack” is always
the local economy, and the city’s
unemployment rate is higher than that of
any other mainland capital, he says.
BHP’s decision earlier this year
to defer indefinitely its $30 billion
mining expansion at Olympic Dam, and
questions over the long-term viability of
one of the city’s largest employers, car
manufacturer Holden, has dampened
confidence in South Australia. “ It never
rains but it pours for SA,” says Wilson.
He predicts prices will rise 3 to 5
per cent in 2013 – “quite a reasonable
outcome” given all the constraints of its
Christopher sees growth of 2 to 3 per
cent. “Adelaide has a lot of listings.”
Per th’s market is the heavy hitter.
“It’s moving from strength to strength,
driven by recor d levels of population
moving to Per th looking for work.
That’s putting a lot of pressure on
accommodation,” says Wilson.
“Perth will certainly see price growth
up to 10 per cent this year.”
Driven by the generous incomes young
people can ear n in mining, and the high
cost of renting, Per th has the highest
proportion of first home buyers of all
“Perth rents are set to overtake
Sydney rents sooner rather than later,”
Despite the str ength of the overall
market, Perth’s top end remains quiet
and investor s haven’t been as active as in
Christopher sees a slowdown ahead
for Perth. “ Vacancy rates are rapidly
increasing and we are already seeing
downward pressure on rents in the city.
Sooner or later that’s going to translate
into slower capital growth for Perth, and
I think that’s starting to happen now.”
Public service job cuts led to a flat spot
in Canberra at the end of last year, but in
2013 the market has rebounded solidly,
“ The unemployment rate has fallen back
down in Canberra, which you usually see
in an election year.”
He predicts prices will grow 3-5 per
cent this calendar year.
Due to a higher median price, it’s a
tough market for fir st home buyers to get
Any future fiscal consolidation could
affect the Canberra market. “Cuts to
the public ser vice will always have an
impact, so we’ll have to watch that over
the medium term.”
Darwin has moved into growth mode,
says Wilson. “ I would expect that to
continue to move for ward this year and
we’ll see a price rise of 5-7 per cent for
houses over the year.”
Christopher is similarly positive,
saying the city’s rapid capital growth
since 2011 is likely to continue.
Overall, the Darwin economy is strong.
“Certainly there are a lot of resources
projects still to come on line there,” says
Wilson, “and there are a lot of workers
moving into Dar win, particularly from
Queensland, looking for work in mining.”
Hobart’s property market has had a
rough two years and, after showing signs
of life at the end of 2012, prices are flat
to falling, says Christopher.
Hobar t is hands-dow n the cheapest
capital city in Australia. At the end of
June, Hobar t’s median house price was
$317,659, according to APM.
RP Data figures show prices in Hobart
fell 0.4 per cent in the year to July 31, but
rose 2 per cent in the three months to the
end of July.
Carolyn Boyd is a freelance writer.
Rolling annual and quarterly change in capital city dwelling values
Jul03 Jul05 Jul07 Jul09
(Source: RP Data)
CHEAPER TO BUY THAN RENT IN 692
TOWNS AND SUBURBS IN 2013 COMPARED WITH 179
LOCATIONS IN 2012 (Source: RP Data)
27/09/13 4:56 PM
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