National dwelling values are currently -8.2% lower than their peak which is the largest decline in values any time over the past 30 years. Throughout the period from May 1989 to May 2019, national dwelling values have been at an historic high for 56.8% of that time. As the rest of this article will show there is actually quite a difference in these figures throughout the capital city and rest of state regions. In fact, the national figures are at an historic high for a greater share of time than any of the individual regions have been.
As at May 2019, dwelling values across the combined capital cities have fallen by -10.1% from their September 2017 peak. The -10.1% fall is the deepest correction throughout any period since May 1989. Since May 1989, the combined capital city index has been at an historic high for 51.0% of the months.
The combined regional market index has seen a more moderate decline than the capital cities with values currently -3.0% lower than their peak. Over the 30 years since May 1989, the combined regional market index has been recorded at a peak for just over half of the months (51.2%).
Between May 1989 and May 2019, Sydney dwelling values have sat at historic highs for 44.9% of the time. The current downturn in Sydney is the deepest of any over that period with values currently -14.9% lower than their peak. The current downturn is plotting unchartered territory with prior downturns generally shorter and not particularly deep.
Regional NSW dwelling values, as at May 2019, were -4.9% lower than their peak. The last time they were further away from their peak was January 2013. Over the 30 years from May 1989, regional NSW dwelling values have been recorded at historic highs for only 38.2% of the time. As the chart shows, there have been fairly regular periods in which values have fallen across the region.
Melbourne dwelling values are currently -11.1% lower than their previous peak which is their deepest correction any time since 1980. While the city has seen a number of corrections since May 1989, they have generally been shallow with a quick recovery, the exception was the 1989 downturn where dwelling values didn’t recover until 1997. Over the past 30 years, values have been at an historic high for 44.9% of the time.
Over the past 30 years, dwelling values in regional Vic have been at historic highs for 47.4% of the time. Dwelling values are currently -1.1% lower than their previous peak with the falls occurring over recent months. Interestingly, values have been at historic highs over the past 30 years more regularly than those in Melbourne.
Brisbane dwelling values are currently -2.4% lower than their April 2019 peak. The correction to-date is fairly moderate compared to the other downturns experienced over the past 30 years. Over the 30 year period, dwelling values have been recorded at their peak for 49.3% of months.
Dwelling values in regional Qld have spent only 40.4% of their time at historic highs over the past 30 years. Although values have been at their peak fairly rarely, it is largely due to two corrections between 1994 and 1999 and the current correction which has been ongoing since 2008. Although values recorded a peak to trough fall of -12.6% by October 2012, values are yet to return to their 2008 peak and remain -5.3% lower as at May 2019.
Adelaide dwelling values have begun falling over recent months and as at May 2019 they were slightly below their previous peak (-0.5%). Over the past 25 years, dwelling values in Adelaide have been at historic highs for 53.8% of the time. Adelaide has seen some downturns over the past 25 years however, they have typically been fairly shallow and not taken particularly long to recover.
In regional SA dwelling value have been below their previous peak since April 2015 and are currently -3.0% lower. The regional SA market has seen lots of short periods of value falls over the past 25 years resulting in values being at historic highs for just 32.2% of the time.
Over the past 30 years, dwelling values have been at their peak for 38.5% of the time. The current decline is the deepest of any over the past 30 years, -19.2% lower. There have been a number of corrections over this timeframe however, they have mostly been quite small. The current downturn is showing no signs of ending as yet and has been ongoing since the middle of 2014.
The current housing downturn in regional WA has seen values fall by -32.5% from their peak in January 2008 (more than a decade ago). There is no evidence as yet that the declines are ending. As a result of the ongoing declining values, regional WA values have only been at historic highs for 32.1% of the time over the past three decades.
Following strong growth in values over recent years, Hobart dwelling values have fallen by a cumulative -1.3% over the past two months. Throughout the past 30 years, Hobart dwelling values have been at an historic high for just 37.7% of the time. There have been many small downturns over the period and two quite large ones which ran for a number of years despite peak to trough falls during these downturns being less than 10%.
Regional Tas is the only major region of the country in which values are currently at their historic high. Until the past few years there had been an ongoing deep correction in values occurring. Over the past three decades, values have been at historic highs 35.7% of the time.
Darwin dwelling values last peaked in 2014 and they are currently 29.5% lower than this peak. This is the largest and deepest correction seen in Darwin although there isn’t a particularly long data history. Over the past 18 years, values have been at record highs for just 25.3% of the time.
Values in regional NT are volatile due to few properties, as a result values have been at a peak just 28.6% of the time over the past 18 years. Regional NT values last peaked in 2010 and they are currently -8.1% lower.
Dwelling values in Canberra are currently slightly lower than their peak after a decline of -0.2% in May 2019. Over the past 25 years, dwelling values in Canberra have been at historic highs 38.2% of the time. Over the period there have been four major downturns with the 1994 downturn running until 1999 and the 2010 downturn running until 2015. The other two downturns were reasonably short and sharp.
The results within this Pulse may be viewed as somewhat surprising. Surprising in the sense that property values seem to be rising more often than not yet across the individual regions the majority have seen values below their previous peak more often than not. When downturns have occurred they are often small and values return to previous peaks fairly quickly. The current downturn for a number of regions is unprecedented in terms of the magnitude and length of declines. Given this it could be a number of years after values begin to recover until they return to their previous highs.