More accurately there is a collection of markets, impacted by broad trends but also a host of local factors. Even where there are national trends – such as the recent tightening of credit availability – these can play out at a different pace, or with different intensity, in different markets. And sometimes those markets are in close geographical proximity.
"Surprisingly, Brisbane apartments have performed better than detached houses.”
Currently, much of the conversation around housing is focused on Sydney and Melbourne. These markets have experienced the sharpest rise in prices, have the most leveraged households, and make up a little less than half of Australia’s housing stock.
Brisbane is a great example of where the dynamics are playing out differently.
Cast your mind back a year ago and there were plenty of warnings about the Brisbane market given the potential for sharply weaker conditions as what was meant to be a glut of apartment supply stormed on stream.
How a year can change things.
The heart of all Queensland
In Sydney, house prices have fallen 3.3 per cent in the first seven months of the year, and Melbourne prices are 2.7 per cent lower. In Brisbane, however, prices are up 0.4 per cent.
Surprisingly, Brisbane apartments have performed better than detached houses.
The construction boom in Brisbane will see the stock of apartments more than 50 per cent higher than in 2011, much of this concentrated in the inner-city.
Interestingly, Brisbane apartment prices fell 3.5 per cent in the year to July 2017, but were up 0.8 per cent in the year to July 2018. Supply came on-stream as expected but what has been surprising is the acceleration in population growth to absorb this supply, and in particular inter-state migration, largely from neighbouring New South Wales.
Net inter-state migration inflow to Queensland in the fourth quarter of 2017 hit the highest quarterly rate since the third quarter of 2007 and has out-stripped inflow into Victoria for the past three quarters, the first such run since 2012.
In large part, ANZ Research believes this reflects relative housing affordability and renewed jobs growth in Queensland. The median house price in Brisbane is $A562,000 compared with $A1 million in Sydney and $A780,000 in Melbourne.