Australian property prices rose 0.6 per cent in March, capping off a solid first quarter of 2024 in which median home values lifted about $12,000. Property prices rise 0.6 per cent in March as Perth heats up. Every capital city except Darwin saw median dwelling values rise over the past month, CoreLogic figures published on Tuesday showed.

Perth led the way at 1.9 per cent, followed by Adelaide (1.4 per cent) and Brisbane (1.1 per cent). Australia’s largest capital Sydney experienced more moderate growth of 0.3 per cent against higher dollar valuations.

Home values rose again in March, extending the streak to 14 months, according to new data.

CoreLogic said its national Home Value Index rose 0.6 per cent in March, for a quarterly total of 1.6 per cent. Since declining 7.5 per cent between April 2022 and January 2023, the national Home Value Index (HVI) has increased 10.2 per cent, or, in dollar terms, by about $71,832, rising to new record highs each month since November last year.

Change in property values

City / Region Monthly (%) Quarterly (%) Median Value
Sydney 0.3% 0.9% $1,139,375
Melbourne 0.0% -0.2% $778,892
Brisbane 1.1% 3% $817,564
Adelaide 1.4% 3.3% $734,173
Perth 1.9% 5.6% $703,502
Hobart 0.2% 0.1% $649,097
Darwin -0.2% 0.4% $498,433
Canberra 0.4% 0.8% $838,976
Combined Capitals 0.6% 1.5% $848,475
Combined Regional 0.6% 1.8% $620,032
National 0.6% 1.6% $772,730

 House prices beat expectations

Median values rose 1.6 per cent over the quarter nationally, up from 1.4 per cent over the final three months of 2024 as the property market continues to shrug off the effects of higher interest rates on borrowers.

CoreLogic’s national home value index has now increased 10.2 per cent, or $71,832, since falling 7.5 per cent between April 2022 and January 2023.

CoreLogic said that markets are continuing to “traverse the high interest rate and high cost-of-living environment better than most would have expected” amid ongoing levels of high housing demand.

Though the pace of the rebound since April 2022 has moderated, with Lawless saying the market has not been immune from broader economic conditions. “Rate hikes, cost-of-living pressures and worsening housing affordability are all factors that have contributed to softer housing conditions since mid-last year,” Lawless said.

Perth property prices surge

Property prices have risen an astonishing 5.6 per cent over the March quarter in Perth, taking median values to $703,502 in the past month.

It’s being caused by elevated levels of migration, CoreLogic said, with net overseas migration of 18,122 in the September quarter of 2023, which is several times higher than the decade average of 4639. “The extreme flip in demographic trends has delivered a significant positive demand shock across WA housing,” CoreLogic said.

Cheaper properties lead upswing

Another interesting part of the upswing in early 2024 is that properties on the lower end of the value scale are driving faster growth than more expensive homes.

Lower-quartile home values are now up 3.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to 0.7 per cent for the most expensive dwellings. That’s a flip from last year, where more expensive properties in the upper quartile of the value distribution drove growth.

Additionally, housing affordability issues have seen lower-priced homes lead the growth, with values for higher-priced homes increasing by less.

“With housing affordability becoming more challenging and borrowing capacity lower than a year ago, it’s no surprise to see demand being skewed towards the middle-to-lower end of the value spectrum,” Lawless said. Nonetheless, home sales are up in numbers as well, by an estimated 3.7 per cent in the first quarter compared to the decade average for this time of year.

Source: CoreLogic

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