Home values slide further but regions prove resilient

The housing market fell another one per cent in January, with the major cities still leading the downturn.

CoreLogic’s home value index shows ongoing resilience in regional areas despite fewer people moving out of cities, and the massive pandemic upswing in the regions eroding much of the affordability advantage.

Home values in non-capital cities surged 41.6 per cent during the pandemic advance compared to a 25.5 per cent lift across capital cities.

But since the June peak, combined regions have softened just 7.4 per cent while combined capital city values sunk 9.6 per cent from their April high point.

Research director at the property data firm, Tim Lawless, said regional markets could be experiencing a structural shift in housing demand.

“With more Australians willing to base themselves outside of the capital cities and remote working remaining a viable option across some sectors of the labour force, it’s unlikely we’ll see a mass exodus from regional markets,” Mr Lawless said.

All capital cities recorded weakening dwelling values in January with Hobart and Brisbane falling the furthest, declining 1.7 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively.

The national correction in home prices may be moderating, however, with the one per cent decline in January following a 1.1 per cent drop in December.

Mr Lawless said the quarterly trends indicated a slowing pace of decline across most regions.

“However at -1 per cent over the month and -3.2 per cent over the rolling quarter, national housing values are still falling quite rapidly compared to previous downturns.”

January marked a new record for the size and pace of a downturn, with the national index down 8.6 per cent from its peak in April 2022.

The slowdown is still a long way from unwinding the 28.6 per cent gain over 19 months, although Melbourne is just 0.4 per cent shy of its pre-boom level.


Poppy Johnston
(Australian Associated Press)


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