Growth has pushed Canberra’s property prices to just behind those of Sydney and Melbourne, with an added boost from job security
Canberra has maintained a trend of consistent growth, which proves why job availability is so crucial to capital city performance.
“We have seen steady growth in this market – a key influence is that job security is high, given government employment plays a major role,” explains Charles Tarbey, chairman and owner of Century 21 Australasia.
Tarbey believes Canberra’s positive performance is set to continue to the end of the year. However, with the median house price in the city coming in just below the Sydney and Melbourne median, affordability could be an issue for buyers.
According to REIA president Malcolm Gunning, Canberra’s median house price increased by 10.2% in the 12 months to June 2017. Most of the demand is in the inner city, where sales volumes are high despite hefty price tags. Tenants are also jostling for space as vacancies tighten.
“Over the June quarter, the median rent for three-bedroom houses in Canberra increased 0.5% to $470 per week. The vacancy rate decreased to 1.3% over the June quarter, a fall of 0.4 percentage points,” Gunning says.
“[However], while the median house price for Canberra, as a whole, increased, median house prices decreased in all zones over the quarter.”
Buyers get comfortable with auctions
Canberra’s auction market had a strong showing over the winter, with volumes and clearance rates soaring. In fact, the city reported an average clearance rate of nearly 70% over the season – the highest since 2009.
“The strong clearance rate came from a higher number of auctions, which is another sign of a strong market,” says Andrew Wilson, chief economist at Domain Group.
Buyers are also getting used to the idea of buying property via an auction – the process is trusted more than it used to be and is more straightforward.
Nonetheless, Wilson expects Canberra’s growth to slow down soon, even if the economy stays strong.
“It’s in a little bit of a catch-up mode. I expect that it will start to level out next year. I think we’re seeing that in Sydney now,” he says.
For now, Canberra boasts a lively property market with options for all kinds of buyers, including first home buyers, downsizers and upgraders. Herron Todd White notes in its Month in Review for September 2017 that first home buyers on a budget tend to go for detached housing in Belconnen and Tuggeranong. New entrants to the market favour Gungahlin, where new suburbs are springing up near universities and town centres.
SUBURB TO WATCH
CALWELL: Tuggeranong suburb continues upswing
Close to the Monaro Highway sits the suburb of Calwell. Named for politician Arthur Augustus Calwell, it is a fairly new suburb that was only gazetted in 1975.
Calwell is the home of Calwell Centre, a group centre that serves Calwell, Richardson, Theodore and Isabella Plains. There are also several schools here, including Calwell High School and St Francis of Assisi Primary School. Several bus routes pass by Calwell on their way to Woden and Tuggeranong.
Calwell benefits from Canberra’s boom, being less than 30 minutes from the capital. Property values reflect this, as both houses and units saw over 5% growth in the 12 months leading up to August 2017.
Location: Calwell is just a short drive south of the Canberra CBD
Commutability: Many ACTION buses pass through Calwell to Woden and Tuggeranong