State Snapshot

These Snapshots are designed to give you a brief overview of some of the key aspects of each State of Australia, and include the latest Economic and Property Market Statistics.

The Australian market has developed a level of consistency over many years.

The Australian Property Cycle usually lasts approximately 7 years, so do not be too focused on the one year performance, as changes may already be occurring to the underlying market.

Each city has a different timing of it's cycle, but the characteristics are remarkably similar. For a detailed explanation of Australian Property Cycles visit our Members Only Special Reports Section.

The return over 15 years is an excellent guide as it would include 2 cycles and is a better representative of each markets overall performance.

With such a close level of return in each state, it is safe to consider each market, and the primary focus should be on obtaining a quality property, rather than trying to "pick a winner".

Quick View To Your Favourite State & City

New South Wales - Sydney

Queensland - Brisbane

Victoria - Melbourne

Western Australia - Perth

South Australia - Adelaide

Tasmania - Hobart

Northern Territory - Darwin

 

The market will protect you and reward you for a quality decision rather than a speculative one.

As with all property markets around the world, Australia was affected by the Global Economic Crisis as fear has gripped buyers and nervousness pushed prices lower, albeit briefly. It was the first to emerge into positive growth which has demonstrated how safe and secure the Australian market is based on fundamentals of good regulation, sensible supply and a regular quality inflow of migrants.

This saw the Australian property markets have less decline during the worst of the recent Global Financial Crisis (only a modest 6%) and recover much faster than other countries as the global economic position improved throughout 2009.

The growth results in the twelve months to June 2010 were extremely attractive. Some of it was recovery of the slow year and fear discount of the GFC, the majority was the market continuing its safe and steady moderate growth trend.

Since then, political uncertainty of a hung parliament, a slow down in population growth and a cooling off of the mining boom has seen economic growth accross Australia at modest levels.  This has led to a very low interest rate policy being driven by the Reserve Bank and we are currently enjoying the lowest rates in the past 50 years.

Population growth has remained the foundation of the stable Australian property market. The national growth rate has slowed from the highs in 2009 of 2.1% down to the current 1.4% at March 2016 (Source Australian Bureau of Statistics).  However growth in the main states remains strong with New South Wales (103,200) & Victoria (114,900) leading the way. 

In recent times an influx of Foreign Developers has seen an escalation of high rise, small size apartments that are testing the upper range of our price barriers but find acceptance with foreign investors that consider them good value when compared with their options in their home country.  These may cause issues in the supply equation and we expect modest to low growth due to soft demand for this style of accommodation in the resale market, albeit that it will remain relatively easy to rent.

The focus of capital in these high rise apartments has resulted in a shortage of supply in larger, more liveable apartments and townhouse and houses which remain in strong demand and continue to offer solid growth aspects in most markets across Australia.

The below table shows the long term growth trends achieved in each capital city over the past 15 years, based on the Quarterly Median House Prices to June 2016.

 

 June 2016
Median Value (A$'000's)

Average Annual Growth

1 Year

5 Years

10 Years

15 Years

Sydney

$1,023.2

1.91% 9.68% 6.94% 7.13%

Melbourne

$725.0

3.87% 4.21% 6.81% 6.27%

Brisbane

$495.0

3.34% 2.38% 4.3% 7.82%

Perth

$525.0

-4.20% 2.24% 2.89% 7.99%

Adelaide

$450.5

4.77% 1.90% 4.63% 7.69%

Canberra

$579.0

5.46% 1.98% 4.30% 7.24%

Darwin

$576.0

-5.57% 2.26% 5.11% 7.79%

Hobart

$395.0

4.91% 1.32% 3.61% 8.25%
Australia Average  $698.6 2.28% 5.42% NA NA

Source Real Estate Institute of Australia

To calculate how your property has actually performed, you should use our Special Tool Box item, the Property Growth Rate Calculator, which will compute the annual growth rate over a stipulated period of time, so you can compare against the averages above.

For a more detailed look at your preferred area of interest, view the below State Summaries with information on property growth, vacancy, unemployment, economic & population growth.


New South Wales

The founding state of Australia , New South Wales has it's capital of Sydney nestled on the banks of the world famous Sydney Harbour .

Sydney is a truly world class city and has held icon status in Australia for many years thanks to its visually famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

A city of almost 5 million people, it is regarded as the financial capital of Australia and successfully hosted the Olympic Games in 2000 bringing further prominence internationally.

 The NSW coastline is truly magnificent with great beaches and panorama providing a great diversity of real estate options.

The Sydney property market is supported by the fact that a true land scarcity exists, as the city is bound by mountains and ocean, then a significant portion of area is consumed by the harbour.

This fact combined with the ongoing popularity as a destination for new migrants underpins a strong and healthy Real Estate Market.

NSW boasts a steady and reliable economy with the opportunity that being the largest city in Australia can offer.


Best Attributes
Financial Capital & Business Hub High International Recognition
Strong High End Employment Prospects Acute Land Shortages near city
Natural Attractiveness of Harbour, Ocean & Mountains Largest Incoming Migration Population

Current Economic Statistics

Annual Growth House 2 (to June 16)

 1.9% Median Price A$1,023,400 (23.6% June 15)
Annual Growth Apartments 2 (to June 16)  8.0% Median Price A$670,100 (11.7% June 15)
Average Vacancy Rate June 16 (all Dwellings) 2  1.8% (1.7% June 15)
Current Unemployment Rate 1 (June 16) 5.5%
Current State Final Demand Growth 1 (June 16)  6.1%
Annual Population Growth Year to March 2016 1 1.4%
Main Economic Activity Financial Services, Tourism, Agriculture

Source: 1. Australian Bureau of Statistics www.abs.gov.au, 2. Real Estate Institute of Australia


Property Entry Point

House

Apartment

Budget Sector Range A$800,000 to A$950,000 A$650,000 to A$850,000
Middle Market Range A$950,000 to A$2,500,000 A$850,000 to A$1,500,000
Premium Market A$2,500,000 and above A$1,500,000 and above


Current New South Wales Property Market Comment

The Sydney property market has had a fantastic period of growth over the past four years, with prices rising over 60% in that time.

This was largely due to strong population growth and significant undersupply in the genuine housing sector and was further helped along with a low interest rate environment.

The market will naturally start to cool now to more modest growth due to buyer fatigue and difficulty of buyers accessing sufficient finance to find higher purchase prices.

The rapid uplift in prices has also seen the rental yields fall reduce as rent increases haven't kept pace.  This has been largely offset by the low interest rate environment we are experiencing in Australia.

With a low vacancy and on going increase to population, we expect this market to remain stable with some danger in the off plan sector where prices may have been set at too optimistic a level by the developers, so some caution should be shown there.

Genuine living property will continue to face demand pressure and offers opportunity, especially while interest rates remain soft albeit rent yields have also come down due to the rapid rise in values.

NSW introduced a Foreign Investor Surcharge of 4% of the purchase price on 1st July 2016.  This does not apply to Australian Citizens living abroad.  It is payable by foreign nationals acquiring property in NSW and Permanent Resident Visa holders that have not been in Australian for 200 days in the year prior to purchase.


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Victoria

The state of Victoria , has it's capital of Melbourne on the banks of the Yarra River , and is close proximity to Port Phillip Bay .

A city of some 4.5 million people, it has been named as the “ World's Most Livable City ” every year since 2011 by the Economics Intelligence Unit. When visiting Melbourne it is easy to understand why, as the locals truly enjoy the social aspects of living in a well integrated multi-cultural environment.

Melbourne is famous for it's passion for sport, food, fashion and all things entertaining. The city regularly hosts special events and festivals so there is always some activity of interest.

The Yarra meanders through the edge of the city and past the famous Botanic Gardens which border the city.

Victoria boasts many natural resources, a very moderate climate and diverse mix of cultures, styles and activities.


Best Attributes
Vibrant Welcoming city Strong Employment prospects
Active and interesting community events and festivals Stable and diversified economy
Excellent lifestyle advantages for every economic standard Very good infrastructure

Current Economic Statistics

Annual Growth House 2 (to June 16)

 3.9% Median Price A$725,000 (8.8% Jun 15)
Annual Growth Apartments 2 (to June 16)  4.4% Median Price A$532,300 (4.0% June 15)
Average Vacancy Rate June 16 (all Dwellings) 2  2.7% (2.0% Sep 12)
Current Unemployment Rate 1 (June 16) 5.8%
Current State Final Demand Growth 1 (June 16)  6.1%
Annual Population Growth year to March 16 1  1.4%
Main Economic Activity Events, Mining, Tourism, Fashion, Agriculture

Source: 1. Australian Bureau of Statistics www.abs.gov.au, 2. Real Estate Institute of Australia


Property Entry Point

House

Apartment

Budget Sector Range A$300,000 to A$500,000 A$250,000 to A$450,000
Middle Market Range A$500,000 to A$1,200,000 A$450,000 to A$800,000
Premium Market Range A$1,200,000 and above A$800,000 and above


Current Victoria Market Comment

Melbourne market has divided into two zones.  Genuine living accommodation and small inner city apartments.

The Genuine living market remains strong due to strong population growth and soft supply.

There are genuine concerns for the stability of the small size inner city apartment market as a high influx of new stock and soft buyer demand will combine to stagnate prices with the possibility of discounting by investors or developers seeking to liquidiate and having to inspire buyers to take their positions. 

These have proven especially popular with foreign investors who now face difficulty in gaining finance to support their purchase.   Victoria also introduced a Foreign Buyers Levy of 7% effective from 1st July 2016 to benefit from the surge in foreign buyer activity and this may lead to a softening of demand from the offshore buyer who traditionally acquires off plan inner city apartments.

Be very cautious when acquiring 1 bedroom apartments under 50sqm or 2 bedroom under 65sqm in size as there is an oversupply of this stock and limited demand on the secondary market.  As a result we are seeing price reductions and under valuations on completion.

Population growth remains strong and is currently the highest quantum of population for all Australian States with 114,900 increase for the 12 months to March 2016.  This will keep the market buoyant and we should see a continued shortage of property in the larger dwelling categories as families migration and births make up the majority of the increase.

As such, the safe sector of the market is likely to be houses, townhouses and larger living apartments.

The strong appeal of Melbourne as the World's most liveable city, and high population growth will mean that the genuine property sector shall remain safe and opportunistic.


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Queensland

The state of Queensland, has it's capital of Brisbane nestled on the banks of the Brisbane River .

A city of some 2.3 million people, it was for many years Australia's fastest growing city, mainly due to the popularity of new migrants and a large influx of Australians relocating from other states. The state tourism slogan of Queensland , beautiful one day, perfect the next aptly describes the great climate that this state enjoys.

As an investment option, there are many choices in the state of Queensland.

To the North, Cairns acts as a gateway to the World heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef and Rain forests, the Central Coast offers an endless stream of tropical beaches and islands, the Sunshine Coast has been an investment hotspot in recent times, Brisbane City continues to grow at excellent rates and to the south, The Gold Coast remains the dominant holiday destination in Australia with its Beaches and theme parks.

The overall appeal of this state and low state taxes, has seen Queensland prosper and continue to enhance its reputation as an economic power state.

The economy is supported by many major mining, agricultural and tourism industries and is regularly attracting major business enterprises to use the state as a national or regional base.


Best Attributes
Steady population growth Strong Employment prospects
Proximity to larger Australian capital cities Steady, growing Economy
Diverse Economy with strong agricultural and mining base Excellent Infrastructure
Low State taxes encouraging business and economic growth

Current Economic Statistics

Annual Growth House 2 (to June 16)

 3.3% Median Price A$495,000 (0.8% June 15)

Annual Growth Apartments 2 (to June 16)  0.3% Median Price A$402,500 (4.4% June 15)
Average Vacancy Rate June 16 (All Dwellings) 2  2.7% (3.0% June 15)
Current Unemployment Rate 1 (June 16)  6.2%
Current State Final Demand Growth 1 (June 16)  1.0%
Annual Population Growth year to March 2016 1  1.3%
Main Economic Activity Mining, Tourism, Agriculture

Source: 1. Australian Bureau of Statistics www.abs.gov.au, 2. Real Estate Institute of Australia


Property Entry Point

House

Apartment

Budget Sector Range A$350,000 to A$650,000 A$300,000 to A$450,000
Middle Market Range A$650,000 to A$900,000 A$450,000 to A$700,000
Premium Market Range A$900,000 and above A$700,000 and above


Current Queensland Market Comment

The Brisbane market has started showing signs of improvement.

The last few years has seen the market underperform as a result of some significant factors including the floods of 2011 and aftershocks from the Global Financial Crisis of 2009.  This saw the population growth of Queensland slow markedly and the traditional influx of Sydney & Melbourne relocations slow to a trickle.

As these southern markets have now experienced a large uplift in pricing, we will start to see more and more people sell up in the expensive NSW & Victoria markets and head north to Queensland where they can upscale their lifestyle for a fraction of the cost of similar housing in their former states.

With population growth starting to rise once more, this will no doubt have a positive influence on the property prices as natural laws of supply and demand take over.

The Queensland economy has a large mining sector which has been sluggish in recent time as well, but green shoots of growth are emerging and we remain confident that it is likely this property market should be a strong performer in the short to medium term.

Queensland introduced an Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty of 3% of the purchase price on 1st October 2016.  This does not apply to Australian Citizens or Permanent Resident Visa holders living abroad.


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Western Australia

The state of Western Australia, has it's capital of Perth nestled on the banks of the Swan River .

A city of some 2.0 million people, it benefits from being a fairly young city. Although WA was colonised over 175 years ago, Perth has really only emerged as a significant population centre over the last 40 years.

 The benefit of this is that the city is very modern, the infrastructure well planned and the potential still untapped.

Western Australia has great diversity and mineral wealth.

From the fantastic beaches, splendid rivers, and world famous wine districts to the alluring deserts and gorges of the north, there is something for everyone in Western Australia.

Almost every mineral can be found in this great state from the gold in Kalgoorlie , to the Oil, Gas, Iron Ore and Diamonds of the Kimberly region. This good fortune contributes to the strength of the state economy, which regularly boosts the lowest unemployment and strongest growth of all Australian states.


Best Attributes
Young Modern City Closeness to Asian markets
Strong Economy Strong Employment prospects
Diverse Economy with strong mining base Excellent Infrastructure

Current Economic Statistics

Annual Growth House 2 (to June 16)

 -4.2% Median Price A$525,000 (-2.8% June 15)

Annual Growth Apartments 2 (to June 16)  -3.2% Median Price A$426,300 (-2.1% June 15)
Average Vacancy Rate June 16 (all Dwellings) 2  6.0% (4.7% June 15)
Current Unemployment Rate 1 (June 16)  6.4%
Current State Final Demand Growth 1 (June 16)  -3.3%
Annual Population Growth year to March 16 1  1.2%
Main Economic Activity Mining, Agriculture, Tourism, Fishing

Source: 1. Australian Bureau of Statistics www.abs.gov.au, 2. Real Estate Institute of Australia


Property Entry Point

House

Apartment

Budget Market Range A$350,000 to A$450,000 A$250,000 to A$400,000
Middle Market Range A$450,000 to A$900,000 A$400,000 to A$750,000
Premium Market Range A$900,000 and above A$750,000 and above


Current Western Australia Market Comment

The Perth market is in a state of confusion with the aftershock of a mining expansion boom ripping through confidence.  This in itself is not the main issue, but the cause of it as the population growth slowed from a peak of 3.4% in 2012 to the current level of 1.2% for the year to March 2016.

This rapid contraction has left an oversupply which has seen values and rents fall sharply and created a buyers market.

We remain confident in the value in the market at the present time and feel it is very close to the bottom of market, albeit still with room for negotiation.

As population growth starts to rise and the employment market normalises from the excesses of a mining boom, we feel confident of the growth opportunity in the Perth market in the medium term.

Western Australia has not introduced any additional Foreign Buyers Fees like the eastern states and with premium location 2 or 3 bedroom properties selling for less than an average 1 bedroom Sydney apartment, there will no doubt be investor interest in this market as a value acquisition.


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South Australia

The State of South Australia has it's capital city Adelaide hosting 1.3 million of the states population of 1.7 million. Adelaide is known as the "City of Churches" due to it's high number of churchs considered to be architectural icons.

With over 3,700kms of coastline the state has much natural beauty and benefits from it's close proximity to the other major Eastern States.

 As such, South Australia has benefited greatly in becoming a manufacturing and service hub for many major National Corporations as it offers lower operational costs than it's larger neighbouring states.

The state is best known for producing some of the worlds best wines, with areas such as Coonawarra, McClaren Vale and the Barossa having instant recognition.

Wine is in fact the states major export with almost A$1.4 billion dollars worth of export sales in 2004.

A diversified mining and manufacturing base compliment this fine State.

Best Attributes
Manufacturing & Service Hub Excellent Climate
Steady Economy Young Emerging City
Varied Natural Beauty Well Established Local Market

Current Economic Statistics

Annual Growth House 2 (to June 16)

 4.8% Median Price A$450,500 (2.4% June 15)
Annual Growth Apartments 2 (to June 16)  1.2% Median Price A$330,400 (4.9% June 15)
Average Vacancy Rate June 16 (all Dwellings) 2  Not Available
Current Unemployment Rate 1 (June 16)  7.5%
Current State Final Demand Growth 1 (June 16)  2.6%
Annual Population Growth year to March 16 1  0.6%
Main Economic Activity Wine Production, Vehicle Manufacturing, Service Centres, Tourism, Agriculture

Source: 1. Australian Bureau of Statistics www.abs.gov.au , 2. Real Estate Institute of Australia


Property Entry Point

House

Apartment

Budget Sector Range A$250,000 to A$550,000 A$250,000 to A$350,000
Middle Market Range A$550,000 to A$950,000 A$350,000 to A$650,000
Premium Market A$950,000 and above A$650,000 and above


Current South Australian Market Comment

Although the population growth rate is lower than the national average, it is the quality and affluence of the incoming people that is having a positive influence on the local property market.

Adelaide still represents excellent value to anyone coming from interstate or overseas and the quality of locations and lifestyle is hard to beat.

Recent increase in mining related activity within the State may translate into a short term injection of activity which will also benefit the property sector.  In addition, the State Government has shown it's determination to improve the market through significant cash incentives to new build activity in the city, including full Stamp duty concessions for property up to A$500,000 in value and cash grants on acquisitions of A$400,000 and below.

We remain very confident about the future growth prospects of Adelaide and see it as a good entry cost to the astute investor.


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Tasmania

The Southern Most state of Australia and the only one separated from the mainland, Tasmania has proven to be one of the finest clean environments in the world, which is enjoyed by it's local population of 0.5 million people, based mainly in the states capital city of Hobart.

This has become one of it's most valuable assets and it strives strongly to protect this reputation. 

As such, Tasmania is considered an ideal retirement destination and the local property market has enjoyed considerable success due to the influx of people seeking to enjoy the pristine air, water and general environment.

The other major winner of the clean environment has been the fishing and agriculture industries, which are considered amongst the finest produce in the world.

This is put down to the pollution free environment of this state.

Even Tasmanian beer has received international recognition due to the quality of the "secret ingredient", pure Tasmanian water.

It's close proximity to Victoria and New South Wales also ensures it benefits greatly from eco-friendly Tourism which adds to the economy.


Best Attributes
Unspoilt Natural Environment Wonderful Agricultural Produce
Proximity to Mainland for Tourist Access Highly Regarded Retirement Destination

Current Economic Statistics

Annual Growth House 2 (to June 16)

 4.9% Median Price A$395,000 (-0.9% June 15)
Annual Growth Apartments 2 (to June 16)  -0.9% Median Price A$287,000 (2.6% June 15)
Average Vacancy Rate June 16 (all Dwellings) 2  2.6% (2.9% June 15)
Current Unemployment Rate 1 (June 16)  6.2%
Current State GDP Growth 1 (June 16)  4.0%
Annual Population Growth year to march 16 1  0.4%
Main Economic Activity Tourism, Agriculture

Source: 1. Australian Bureau of Statistics www.abs.gov.au , 2. Real Estate Institute of Australia


Property Entry Point

House

Apartment

Budget Sector Range A$100,000 to A$200,000 A$100,000 to A$150,000
Middle Market Range A$200,000 to A$500,000 A$150,000 to A$300,000
Premium Market A$500,000 and above A$300,000 and above


Current Tasmania Market Comment

Tasmania's population growth has increased from 0.2% to 0.4% in recent times.  Although below the national average of 1.4%, the increase does have an impact locally in pushing process up.

At the same time the Federal Government has used Hobart as an administration hub which is creating more secure long term jobs at a higher pay level than before which is also stimulating the market.

As such modest gains can be expected and the primary encouragement to own is the low relative value and occasional opportunistic acquisition.


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Northern Territory

The territories population of 244,000 is the lowest of any Australian state, however this has not stopped the Northern Territory from proving itself as a potential investment zone.

The capital of Darwin is the closest Australian city to Asia and is developing itself as a gateway for trade.

In addition, the environmental tourism in this state is very strong with the world famous Ayres Rock and Kakadu National Park almost instantly recognisable internationally. This was greatly assisted by the success of the "Crocodile Dundee" films.

Significant infrastructure investment is ongoing and this will no doubt continue to benefit investors.

The territory also boasts much mineral wealth on a grand scale.

Due to the small size of the capital, the recent growth has put pressure on the property supply and seen attractive growth rates as a result.


Best Attributes
Proximity to Asia Strong Mining Industry
Strong Eco Tourism Industry International Recognition
Ongoing Infrastructure Investment

Current Economic Statistics

Annual Growth House 2 (to June 16)

 -5.6% Median Price A$576,000 (-1.7% June 15)
Annual Growth Apartments 2 (to June 16)   0.0% Median Price A$496,200 (3.1% June 15)
Average Vacancy Rate June 16 (all Dwellings) 2  6.4% (6.9% June 15)
Current Unemployment Rate 1 (June 16)  4.5%
Current State GDP Growth 1 (June 16)  -8.9%
Annual Population Growth year to March 16 1  0.4%
Main Economic Activity  Mining, Military, Tourism, Agriculture

Source: 1 Australian Bureau of Statistics www.abs.gov.au, 2 Real Estate Institute of Australia


Property Entry Point

House

Apartment

Budget Sector Range A$100,000 to A$200,000 A$80,000 to A$150,000
Middle Market Range A$200,000 to A$500,000 A$150,000 to A$300,000
Premium Market A$500,000 and above A$300,000 and above


Current Northern Territory Comment

Darwin had experienced a few years of rapid growth due to a strong mining sector and national defense spending.

This resulted in some overheating and as the population growth has normalised some of the gains in property values have been given back with house prices contracting in the past 2 years.

The economy is also slowing somewhat and in many ways this will be a welcome rest for a market that has had too much growth too soon in a small population centre.

We expect negative to low growth in this market in the short term, but the strong mining and Asian gateway position will return as stimulus in the not too distant future.

Being a small population centre, you need to be careful with selection and finding value is not always easy.


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