Perth prestige property prices power ahead

Knight Frank has released its Prime Global Cities Index for the first quarter of 2021, which shows prime residential property prices are rising across the globe – and Australia is no exception.

The index tracks movement in the top five per cent of the global market each quarter. 

Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast were the best performing of Australia’s key cities, with the West Australian capital leading the charge with 4.1 per cent growth over the past 12 months.

Brisbane had 3.8 per cent growth and the Gold Coast 3.5 per cent growth, with Sydney and Melbourne experiencing softer growth rates of 1.9 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.

Globally, prime residential prices are rising at their fastest rate since the fourth quarter of 2017, with housing markets increasing in value terms by 4.6 per cent over the past year. 

Shenzhen, which links Hong Kong to mainland China, was the city with the fastest-rising prime prices in the year to the first quarter of 2021 at 18.9 per cent.

Source: Knight Frank

Despite the strong performance of Australia’s property market over the past 12 months, value rises have been relatively moderate compared to some of the world’s fastest-rising residential prices.

Two other Chinese cities – Shanghai (up 16.3  per cent year on year) and Guangzhou (up 16.2 per cent) – led the index this quarter, with improving economic sentiment and government investment in the Greater Bay Area of China credited for the acceleration.

Vancouver (up 15.2 per cent) and Seoul (14.8 per cent) complete the top five rankings. Auckland, which was the index’s previous frontrunner, has dropped to No.16 on the index with a 7.5 per cent year-on-year increase. 

“We have recently witnessed some incredible record sales at the very top end of the market, although when charting annually, the prime market price growth is coming off a much higher base than the mainstream market,” Knight Frank’s Head of Residential Research Michelle Ciesielski said. 

“Although prime price growth is trending below the global average in Q1 2021, the five major Australian cities have reported positive annual growth every quarter since Q4 2017. 

“When taking Perth out of the equation, the last time negative annual growth was recorded was further back in September 2013.” 

Ms Ciesielski said responsible lending had created pent-up demand in the mainstream market in late 2019, but the prestige market was less reliant on finance and experienced sustainable, continued growth through this time.

“Fast-forward to 2021, more prestige property buyers are leveraging the low interest rate environment, encouraging them to diversify their portfolios with alternate assets.”

Knight Frank’s Head of Residential Australia Shayne Harris agreed, saying the mainstream market has recently seen an uplift in listings across most markets in Australia but “we’re still experiencing the prestige market being very tightly held”.

“With the Australian ultra-wealthy population likely to spend a second consecutive winter at home, this is only expected to drive stronger price growth as the year progresses,” Mr Harris said. 

“Lifestyle properties will remain hotly contested whether that be in the city or in regional areas, with many of our clients not looking to factor in travel abroad for at least the next few years.”

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Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson was the news editor for Elite Agent. He worked with the company from February 2020 to June 2020. For current stories, news alerts or pitches, please email