Is the downturn over? Home values bounce back in February

Australia’s home values increased slightly in February, according to PropTrack, while separate figures from CoreLogic also show the downturn losing steam.

PropTrack reported home values nationally climbed 0.18 per cent in February, with all capitals aside from Hobart seeing prices rebound.

Adelaide led the rebound, with values up 0.44 per cent, followed by Sydney (up 0.36 per cent) and Melbourne (up 0.18 per cent).

They were followed by Brisbane (up 0.12 per cent), Perth (up 0.13 per cent) and Darwin (up 0.04 per cent).

Canberra values remained unchanged, while Hobart values declined 0.29 per cent.

The results follow revised national figures showing a slight uplift (0.09 per cent) in prices in January.

PropTrack Economist Eleanor Creagh said it was too soon to call time on the current downswing, with much of February’s price growth attributable to supply constraints.

“In recent months, the housing market correction has lost momentum, with the pace of price falls easing in most markets,” Ms Creagh said.

“However, it is too early to call an end to the downturn… While interest rates have been the primary driver of home price falls to date, there are factors beyond interest rates at play.”

Ms Creagh said a low number of new listings had concentrated buyer demand, “putting a floor” under home prices.

“Sellers in the market now are benefitting from low competition with other vendors, as buyers vie for available stock,” she said.

“The longevity and depth of the current downturn will be influenced by the level of supply, as well as the trajectory of interest rates, in the months ahead.”

Separate figures from CoreLogic (which uses a different methodology to collate its house price statistics) show a slowdown in the rate of value declines during February.

Nationally, home values declined 0.14 per cent over the month, the smallest monthly fall since May 2022, when values fell 0.13 per cent and when rate hikes commenced. 

A 0.3 per cent rise in values in Sydney was the key driver behind the slowdown, though most other capitals only recorded marginal declines.

Perth was the next best-performing capital, with values falling just 0.1 per cent.

It was followed by Adelaide (down 0.2 per cent), Darwin (down 0.3 per cent), Melbourne and Brisbane (both down 0.4 per cent), Canberra (down 0.5 per cent) and Hobart (down 1.4 per cent).

CoreLogic Research Director, Tim Lawless, also attributed the improved market performance to low stock levels.

“The past four weeks have seen the flow of new capital city listings tracking 17 per cent lower than a year ago and 11.9 per cent below the previous five-year average,” Mr Lawless said. 

“This trend towards a below average flow of new listings has been evident since September last year, coinciding with a loss of momentum in the rate of value decline.”

He cautioned that further rate rises had the potential to reverse February’s growth.

“Considering the RBA’s move to a more hawkish stance at the February board meeting, along with an expectation for a weaker economic performance and a loosening in labour markets, there is a good chance this reprieve in the housing downturn could be short-lived,” Mr Lawless said.

“We also have the fixed-rate cliff ahead of us; arguably the full impact of the aggressive rate hiking cycle is yet to play out.”

Show More

Jack Needham

Jack Needham was a Digital Editor at Elite Agent in 2022 & 2023

News Room

If you have any news for the Real Estate industry - whether you are a professional or a supplier to the industry, please email us: