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Capital city dwelling values increase by 1.0% in September to be 2.9% higher over the quarter

by Tim Lawless

The latest CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index reveals further gains across most capital city housing markets last month, taking the current growth phase into its 52nd month.

Capital city dwelling values continued to show a strong headline rate of growth over the September quarter, with the CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index rising 2.9% over the past three months. The combined capital city index, which is heavily weighted towards the Sydney and Melbourne markets, recorded a 1.0% month-on-month gain, taking capital city dwelling values 41.3% higher since the growth cycle commenced in June 2012.

Growth conditions were substantially different from region-to-region. The top performing market was Melbourne where dwelling values pushed 5.0% higher over the third calendar quarter, due largely to a strong rise in house values (+5.2%) which balanced a softer result for the unit market (+2.9%). Canberra showed the second highest rate of growth over the quarter with values up 4.5%, followed by Sydney at 3.5%.

In contrast, the weakest housing market over the quarter was Darwin where dwelling values declined by 4.5%, to be 11.1% lower than the most recent 2014 peak in property values and 13.9% lower than the previous 2010 peak in dwelling values. Perth dwelling values also slipped 3.2% lower over the quarter to take the cumulative decline in values to 10.4% since their December 2014 peak, and 5.2% below the previous peak in 2010. Brisbane dwelling values also slipped lower over the quarter falling by a marginal 0.3%, attributable mostly to larger declines across the unit sector.

Index results as at September 30, 2016


Darwin dwelling values are now roughly equivalent to what they were seven years ago, while in Perth, dwelling values have retraced back to 2007 levels.

The combined regional markets of Australia, where the measure of value growth lags by one month, saw house values slip 1.1% lower over the three months to the end of August. While modest declines were recorded across most of the ‘rest of state’ housing markets, the weakest conditions continue to be experienced in regional Western Australia, where house values have fallen 12.4% over the past twelve months. The weak housing market conditions across the regional areas of Western Australia were also highlighted in the recent CoreLogic Pain and Gain report, which showed one third of houses which resold over the June quarter did so at gross loss.

While the headline rate of growth remains positive across most cities, the majority of capital cities have seen their growth trend moderate compared with a year ago. The only capital city markets where the current quarterly rate of growth was higher (compared with the September 2015 quarter) was Hobart, Canberra and Adelaide.

The quarterly pace of capital gains in Sydney peaked over the June quarter of 2015 at 7.4% and, similarly, Melbourne’s quarterly rate of capital gain peaked at 7.9% over the same quarter.

Although value growth in Sydney and Melbourne is not as strong as it was at its peak, growth continues to be supported by high auction clearance rates which are now at their strongest levels since the June 2015 quarter. In Sydney, clerance rates remained above 80% throughout September, while Melbourne clearance rates have consistently been above 75%, albeit on substantially lower volumes than a year ago. The top three auction markets for spring activity have been: Inner Melbourne (780 auctions over the four weeks of September with a clearance rate of 75%), Melbourne’s Inner South (560 auctions with a clearance rate of 82%) and North Sydney/Hornsby (545 auctions with a clearance rate of 85%). The most successful auction markets have been Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs where 89% of auctions were successful during September, Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula (88% of auctions cleared) and Sydney’s Ryde (87% of auctions cleared).

For media inquiries contact: media@corelogic.com.au

Methodology: The CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index is calculated using a hedonic regression methodology that addresses the issue of compositional bias associated with median price and other measures. In simple terms, the index is calculated using recent sales data combined with information about the attributes of individual properties such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, land area and geographical context of the dwelling. By separating each property comprising the index into its various formational and locational attributes, differing observed sales values for each property can be separated into those associated with varying attributes and those resulting from changes in the underlying residential property market. Also, by understanding the value associated with each attribute of a given property, this methodology can be used to estimate the value of dwellings with known characteristics for which there is no recent sales price by observing the characteristics and sales prices of other dwellings which have recently transacted. It then follows that changes in the market value of the stock of residential property comprising an index can be accurately tracked through time. CoreLogic owns and maintains Australia’s largest property related database in Australia which includes transaction data for every home sale within every state and territory. CoreLogic augments this data with recent sales advice from real estate industry professionals, listings information and attribute data collected from a variety of sources. For detailed methodological information please visit www.corelogic.com.au

Recent updates to the CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index – April/May 2016
CoreLogic’s periodic audits of analytic methods and algorithms identified an improvement to the Hedonic Index sampling methodology in early 2016 which was applied throughout April. CoreLogic implemented a dynamic mechanism for excluding extreme (outlier) transactions. After rigorous back testing and validation, it was determined that dynamic price filters would deliver a more robust and precise output. As a result of these changes, the CoreLogic Hedonic Index recorded higher than normal intra-month volatility in the capital city index readings throughout April and May. This improvement will ensure that the Hedonic Home Value Index will continue to represent the timeliest and most precise measurement of housing market conditions available.

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