Politics

Australian House Prices Are Finally Starting To Drop, But Don’t Start Celebrating Just Yet

It's happening (kind of).

Will 2018 be the year Australia’s absurdly cooked housing market calms down enough to give those of us who aren’t billionaire investment bankers a chance to actually own a house? Well, given we’re just three days in it’s probably too early to tell but there are some early signs of sanity on the horizon.

New data released by property consultants CoreLogic has revealed property prices across the country dropped by 0.3 percent last December. In Sydney, Australia’s most expensive property market, prices dropped 0.9 percent in December and decreased 2.1 percent across the quarter.

Now those numbers might not sound all that significant, but as CoreLogic’s head of research, Tim Lawless, pointed out they are pretty bloody stark when you consider Sydney prices were going up by 17 percent earlier in 2017.

Melbourne prices also fell in December, while the cost of housing in Darwin crashed by 6.5 percent last year.

CoreLogic is predicting a significant decline in Sydney prices over the next year or so, suggesting prices could drop by 7 percent. The last that time happened was 14 years ago.

But before you start running to the bank to apply for a new home loan it’s worth bearing in mind that even taking into account the recent price drops, housing in Australia’s big capital cities is still absurdly expensive.

The median house price in Sydney is now over $1 million, and the median price of apartment is $774,000. In Melbourne the median dwelling price is $720,000. That’s significantly cheaper than in Sydney but it’s still out of control.

So yeah, prices are dropping but we’re still pretty fucked. Happy 2018.