The case of falling house prices

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Dwelling values in the country declined by 8.2% compared to their peak, making it the largest drop in prices from May 1989 to May 2019. CoreLogic reported that housing prices have been at a historic high for 56.8% of that time.

The property data provider found that figures across the nation are at historic highs for a greater share of time than any of the individual regions have been.

Prices across combined capital cities slid by 10.1% from their September 2017 peak as of May. Data showed that the fall is the deepest correction throughout any period since May 1989, and the combined capital city index has been at a historic high for 51% of the months over the past 30 years.

The combined regional market index, meanwhile, recorded a more modest decline compared to the capital cities with values currently 3% lower than their peak. Over the 30 years since May 1989, the combined regional market sat at a peak for just over half of the months (51.2%).

Research Analyst Cameron Kusher said that there is a sense that property values are rising more often than not. However, both Sydney and Melbourne bucked the trend most of the time.

Between May 1989 and May 2019, Sydney dwelling values sat at historic highs for 44.9% of the time. Figures revealed that the current downturn in Sydney is the deepest of any over that period with values currently 14.9% lower than their peak. In addition, the decline could be hitting an unchartered territory.

Regional NSW dwelling values decreased by 4.9% compared to their peak as of May. Over the 30 years from May 1989, regional NSW dwelling values logged historic highs for only 38.2% of the time.

Melbourne dwelling values slid by 11.1% compared to their previous peak, making it the deepest correction any time since 1980.

“While the city has seen a number of corrections since May 1989, they have generally been shallow with a quick recovery,” CoreLogic said.  The 1989 downturn resisted the trend as dwelling values failed to recover until 1997. Over the past 30 years, values sat at a historic high for 44.9% of the time.

Over the past 30 years, dwelling values in regional Vic lingered at historic highs for 47.4% of the time. Dwelling values declined by 1.1% compared to their previous peak with the falls occurring over recent months. Notably, prices sat at historic highs over the past 30 years more regularly than those in Melbourne.

“When downturns have occurred, they are often small, and values return to previous peaks fairly quickly. The current downturn for a number of regions is unprecedented in terms of the magnitude and length of declines. Given this it could be a number of years after values begin to recover until they return to their previous highs,” Kusher said.


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