INDUSTRY NEWSNationalReal Estate News

Time to grab a bargain in our most expensive suburbs?

You may have a little bit of luck in Sydney and Melbourne, but elsewhere prestige is still recording price rises.

Interest rates are on the move, prices are slowing but at a suburb level we are yet to see much evidence of widespread declines in prices.

So much so that only 1.5 per cent of Australian capital city suburbs have seen a decline in house prices over the past 12 months.

The cities with the greatest number of price fall suburbs are not surprisingly Sydney and Melbourne, the capital cities that are expensive and therefore more sensitive to rate rises.

There are currently 10 suburbs with prices declining in Melbourne and eight in Sydney. As a proportion of total suburbs, Darwin tops the list with just over 5 per cent of suburbs seeing price declines.

While it isn’t too surprising that Melbourne and Sydney have the most suburbs seeing price declines, by price point it becomes more interesting.

In Sydney, a higher proportion of very expensive suburbs ($3 million plus median) and more affordable (less than $1 million median) are seeing price declines.

The middle range (between $1 million and $3 million) are yet to see much movement down. In Melbourne and Adelaide, cheaper suburbs are not seeing much movement down, however at higher price points, a higher proportion of suburbs are seeing declines.

Elsewhere around Australia, it is cheaper suburbs, perhaps reflecting the first home buyer pull back, as well as fewer investors. Higher price point suburbs are either holding steady, or alternatively still recording increases.


It is likely too early to see much movement year-on-year at a suburb level, particularly given that Australian median house prices have continued to rise since the start of the year, despite interest rate increases.

Sydney and Melbourne have only recently seen a very slight decline in prices. Nevertheless, price increases are set to continue to slow over the remainder of the year.

With inflation remaining high, it looks like we are in for a few more interest rate increases, and with that a calmer market.

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Nerida Conisbee

Nerida Conisbee is the Chief Economist at Ray White.