Welcome to the inaugural QBE Australian Housing Outlook Update report – a snapshot of what’s changed since our major Housing Outlook report launched in October 2017.
A moving market
The influence of first home buyer incentives, population growth and limits on investor lending are now driving the Australian property market, affecting median price growth across capital cities and regional areas.
Weakened investor demand caused a reduction in Sydney’s median house price in the second half of 2017, while a softening has occurred in Melbourne. Weaker investor demand has had a larger effect on median unit price growth, with many cities - Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, and Darwin - recording falls in the six months to December 2017.
Regional centres in New South Wales and Victoria have benefited from first home buyer stamp duty exemptions introduced in July 2017.
Strong net overseas migration inflows into New South Wales and Victoria continued during the September quarter of 2017, while net interstate migration into Queensland was stronger than anticipated in 2017.
There were 104,100 loans approved to first home buyers nationally during 2017. This is stronger than expected and is the highest annual total since immediately after the Global Financial Crisis when the First Home Owner’s Grant Boost Scheme was introduced.
Investor activity weakened through 2017 as bank lending to investors tightened in response to Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) guidelines.