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Small drop from a great height

Australia’s home values fell again in November, albeit by a small amount, new figures show.

CoreLogic’s latest monthly Home Value Index has revealed that national dwelling values fell 1.0% in November, the smallest monthly decline since June.

Despite seven consecutive monthly falls, values are still considerably higher than at the beginning of the pandemic, sitting on 7.0% or approximately $53,400 below the peak value recorded in April 2022.

National housing values surged 28.6% higher through the recent upswing, adding roughly $170,700 to the value of the average dwelling.

Although values continue to trend lower, the rate of decline has been consistently moderating since the national index dropped by 1.6% in August.

CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said the easing in the rate of decline is mostly emanating from the Sydney and Melbourne markets, but is also evident across many of the smaller capitals and most regional markets.

“Three months ago, Sydney housing values were falling at the monthly rate of 2.3%”, he said, adding that that has now reduced by a full percentage point to a decline of 1.3% in November.

Similarly, in July, Melbourne home values were down 1.5%, whereas the monthly decline has almost halved to 0.8%.

“The rate of decline has also eased across the ACT (from a 1.7% fall in August), and is no longer accelerating in Brisbane. Most of the broad rest-of-state markets have also seen the pace of declines decelerate”, Lawless said.

“Potentially we are seeing the initial uncertainty around buying in a higher interest rate environment wearing off, while persistently low advertised stock levels have likely contributed to this trend towards smaller value falls.

“Next year will be a particular test of serviceability and housing market stability, as the record-low fixed rate terms secured in 2021 start to expire”, he added.

Around the capital cities, Brisbane and Hobart (both down 2.0%) led the monthly rate of decline in November, while at the other end of the spectrum, Perth values held firm and Darwin nudged 0.2% higher over the month.

Across the broad housing types, unit markets have continued a run of relative resilience. In November, capital city unit values were down 0.6%, while house values declined at twice the pace with a 1.2% drop.

This trend has been seen throughout the downturn to-date, with capital city unit values down 4.7% from the recent peak, while house values are down 8.4%.

Sydney remains the only city where housing values have fallen by more than 10% from their peak. Through the upswing, Sydney values increased by 27.7% before peaking in January. Despite the sharp fall in values through the downturn to-date (11.4%), Sydney home values remain 10.3% above pre-COVID levels (March 2020).

Due to a weaker upswing, Melbourne values are only 2.8% above where they were at the onset of COVID. Most of the other capital city and broad rest-of-state regions are still recording dwelling values at least 25% above March 2020 levels.

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