It feels like rocket fuel has been added to the Brisbane property market in the last month. Let’s explore what has been happening on the ground, and unpack what the monthly data tells us.
Sentiment has accelerated rapidly and so too are prices in some locations around the city. The buyer depth has been increasing throughout November and plenty of buyers are complaining that properties are selling too fast, often before they have time to fully consider if the property is right for them.
The latest lending figures show that owner-occupier lending has risen to historical highs, excluding refinancing. In Queensland, first home buyer numbers are up 70 per cent year-on-year. The value of housing finance commitments (excluding refinancing) increased 40.2 per cent in Queensland over the September quarter, accounting for around 31 per cent of the uplift in finance nationally.
Investor lending remains relatively modest overall, looking at nationwide data, although based on our own level of inquiry, there is definitely a lot of investor interest in Brisbane at the moment.
Over the month, we also saw mortgage lending get a little easier once again, with assessment rates from many banks being reduced. This, alongside the interest rate cut on Melbourne Cup Day, has resulted in an increased borrowing capacity for many property buyers.
Also, consumer confidence is the strongest it has been in seven years.
Housing loan deferrals are also falling, down from more than 900,000 loans at the peak of the pandemic to under 300,000 now, a decline of almost 70 per cent. This is also providing reassurance for property markets, with the risk of forced selling due to mortgage-holders unable to make their repayments rapidly diminishing.
Finally, Queensland had some good news on the employment front, adding back 206,000 jobs in only five months to see total employment higher now than a year ago. And of course, vaccine tests are proving to be increasingly effective and there is talk of a nationwide rollout early in 2021.
Last month, we reported that Brisbane property prices were showing signs of growth and we are pleased to confirm that this positive growth trend is continuing. Let’s explore what is happening in our local property market.
Brisbane property market prices
According to the latest Hedonic Home Value Index data by CoreLogic, dwelling values in Brisbane saw an overall median monthly price rise of a 0.6 per cent over the month of November 2020. The quarterly growth in dwelling values across Greater Brisbane is now 1.5 per cent and annual growth is sitting at 3.2 per cent.
Of particular interest is that all segments of the Brisbane market appear to have had similar growth over the last quarter with upper quartile values 1.5 per cent higher compared with a 1.6 per cent lift seen in the lower quartile values, according to CoreLogic data.
This month is the first since the onset of the pandemic where all capital cities demonstrated positive price growth, with Melbourne the only capital city location still reporting negative growth for the quarter.
In the Brisbane housing market, we saw median values for the greater Brisbane region increase 0.7 per cent across the month of November 2020. The current median value for a Brisbane house is now $568,629, the highest it has ever been.
The unit market in Brisbane saw some positive growth in the median value once again with an increase of 0.2 per cent for the month of September 2020. The current median unit price in Brisbane is now $388,661, which is still 1 per cent lower than 12 months ago.