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Sydney house prices rise as units fall, marking largest price gap on record

Sydney housing prices took a massive tumble in the June quarter, losing close to $22,000 off the median price.

The September quarter saw a big rebound, with prices up 1.2 per cent to an average of $1,154,406, regaining over $13,000 of the value lost during June.

This quarterly growth pace is still almost four times lower than the same time last year, and a substantial $43,500 below the mid-2017 price median.

This is all according to the latest Domain Housing Price Report, which we cover off in detail here.

Sydney unit prices declined again over the September quarter, down 0.2 per cent to $732,423, with values approximately $56,000 below the mid-2017 average.

As Domain notes, the divergence of median house and unit prices has pushed the gap to the largest on record at 58 per cent.

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Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said “while house prices were about $43,500 below the mid-2017 market peak, unit values were now $56,000 below their peak, and would continue to show weakness because the apartment market had been harder hit by the pullback in investors, reduced overseas demand and changes in housing preferences post-lockdown”.

Dr Powell notes that, as home loan holidays and government support packages come to an end, the marketplace faced further risks.

“While there is currently no evidence of an increase in distressed selling, the risks increase once financial support is removed,” she said.

As the report notes, buyers have been brought into the market by low interest rates, tax cuts, and the easing of restrictions.

“Consumer confidence has made a remarkable rebound, boosted by the federal budget, success in containing the coronavirus and the prospect of further interest rate cuts. Strong buyer demand has absorbed rapidly rising new supply.

“With high vacancy rates, weak gross rental yields and fewer opportunities for capital gains, it may be some time before investors return.”

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