Last year was a very mixed one in the Australian property market. At the start of the year, most of Australia was enjoying a strong sellers market with the exception of one or two areas. Many cities saw property prices rocket and auctions enjoyed seeing properties being snapped up by investors. However, this was all set to change after the first half of the year, which is when there was a significant market shift.
The latter part of the year still looked promising with various positive factors in terms of the economy. This included a low level of unemployment, low interest rates, and a significant growth in terms of population. However, one of the things that did change was the number of investors that were willing or able to invest in property. Despite the continued low interest rate, lending restrictions from lenders became tighter in the second part of the year and this resulted in property listings increasing and property investor numbers falling.
How some of the major cities fared
Changes in the property market varied from city to city during the course of last year. Here are how some of the main capital cities fared:
- Sydney: In Sydney, price growth during the first six months of 2017 was strong and there was a lot of competition amongst buyers, putting sellers firmly in the driving seat. However, in the second part of the year, property listings began to increase and investor demand dropped as the result of more stringent lending.
- Brisbane: The outlook for Brisbane for 2018 is pretty positive, and this has been affected by a number of factors. Last year, the area enjoyed pretty steady price growth along with a healthy level of demand from buyers and investors. In addition, the affordability factor has had a part to play in this success, and experts believe this will continue over the course of this year. 2018 will also see the Commonwealth Games take place on the Gold Coast, which may further bolster the success of the market.
- Melbourne: With tough competition amongst buyers in this area, auction figures enjoyed healthy growth in Melbourne last year. Price growth also remained healthy over the course of the year. During the final few months of 2017, however, Melbourne saw an increase in property listings and a drop in investor levels, which created a slowdown in the market.
- Perth: In Perth, the slowdown was actually during the first half of the year in 2017 where property listings increased and investor levels fell. However, during the second part of the year, this went into reverse with property listings falling and buyer levels increasing. Improvements in the state of the economy in this area suggest that this trend could continue over the course of this year.
- Hobart: Last year, Hobart had the best performance amongst all capital cities in terms of the property market. There was more interest from buyers and investors, low sales listing resulting in more competition, and an improvement in the economy. The trend, according to experts, will continue throughout this year.
Adelaide also experienced a steady market last year and is expected to do so this year too. In Canberra, there was healthy price growth that should continue this year. Darwin, however, saw its property market damped over the course of 2017 due to poor economic performance and stagnant job and population growth.