The latest CoreLogic Regional Report (www.corelogic.com.au/reportstore) reveals challenging property market performance across Australia’s regions, with falling sales activity in the twelve months to February 2019.

Commenting on the regional report findings, CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said, “The regional markets are taking their lead from the capital cities, with the annual rate of value growth winding down across most regions. While value growth is typically slowing, many regional markets are experiencing a lift in rental rates.”

Highlights from the report (which includes new measures for dwelling values, 5-year changes in house/unit values and market trends) are:

  • New South Wales’ Illawarra and Western Australia’s Bunbury regions saw both house and unit values fall over the year.

The biggest fall in sales volumes for New South Wales was experienced in Illawarra (-21 per cent) when compared to February 2018. The region also saw the largest annual decline in house values (-10.1 per cent). Western Australia’s Bunbury region saw sales volumes fall -7 per cent over the 12 months to February 2019. Home values were also down across the region with house values down -4.1 per cent and unit values down -19.5 per cent over the year to March.

  • The largest annual increase in dwelling values for both houses and units was found in Victoria’s Latrobe-Gippsland region, which also delivered the largest increase in advertised rental rates for houses over the year to March, up 7.1 per cent. Victoria was also the location of the largest increase in rental rates for units, in Geelong (up 6.7 per cent).
  • Renters in New South Wales’ Illawarra region saw no change in advertised rental rates for houses or units’ year-on-year, Queensland’s Wide Bay saw no change for advertised rentals of units and Western Australia saw no change for advertised rentals of houses.
     

A detailed regional review follows:

New South Wales:
Sales activity was lower year-on-year across all three New South Wales regions, with the biggest fall in sales volumes seen across Illawarra (-21 per cent) when compared to February 2018.

The Illawarra region saw the largest annual decline in house values (-10.1 per cent), while the largest fall in unit values year-on-year was seen across Newcastle & Lake Macquarie (-9.4 per cent). The Illawarra region saw no change in advertised rental rates over the year to March 2019, while renting across the Newcastle & Lake Macquarie and Richmond-Tweed regions is more expensive than 12 months ago for both houses and units.

Queensland:
Queensland saw sales activity fall across all five regions over the year to February 2019, with the largest fall recorded across the Gold Coast (-17 per cent). Wide Bay was the only Queensland region where both house and unit values increased over the 12 months to March 2019.

The largest annual fall in both house and unit values for Queensland was seen in Townsville, where house values were down -4.8 per cent and unit values were down -13.5 per cent when compared to March 2018.

The cost of renting in Queensland is on the up, with advertised rental rates for houses increasing across all five regions. Cairns had the biggest increase (3.8 per cent), followed closely by the Gold Coast (3.7 per cent) and the smallest increase was recorded across the Sunshine Coast at 2.0 per cent.

Looking at units, the advertised rental rates increased in four of the five regions with Wide Bay the only region to see no change. The largest increase in rental rates for units was seen across Cairns (5.1 per cent).

Victoria:
Across Victoria, the Geelong region saw sales activity fall -18 per cent over the year to February, while transactions in the Latrobe-Gippsland region fell -10 per cent over the same period.

Both Victorian regions saw dwelling values increase over the 12 months to March 2019, with values increasing by 0.4 per cent for houses and 5.4 per cent for units in Geelong, compared to the Latrobe-Gippsland region, where house and unit values increased by 5.9 per cent and 7.9 per cent respectively.

Over the 12 months to March 2019, the advertised rental rates in Geelong increased by $20/week for both houses and units, while the Latrobe-Gippsland region saw advertised rents rise $20/week for houses and $15/week for units.

Western Australia:
Western Australia’s Bunbury region saw sales volumes fall -7 per cent over the 12 months to February 2019. Home values were also down across the region with house values down -4.1 per cent and unit values down -19.5 per cent over the year to March.

Looking at the rental market, the advertised rental rate for houses across the region saw no change when compared to March 2018, while units fell -3.2 per cent over the same period, meaning it is $10/week more affordable to rent the average unit.