First home buyers continue taking advantage of the NSW and Victorian government’s stamp duty schemes while other states start feeling the pinch of affordability issues and growing house prices.
Since July, 2000, the NSW state government has saved first home buyers $720 million in tax breaks and grants, which has seen them enter the housing market in strong numbers. In that time, the same five suburbs in Sydney have continued to attract the first home buyers: Liverpool, Greystanes, Blacktown, Campbelltown and Parramatta. Under the current rules which were brought in from July 2017, no stamp duty is payable for all new or existing properties valued up to $650,000 and there are discounts on homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000.
In conjunction with the tax breaks and grants, first home buyers will soon be able to benefit from falling unit and house prices across Sydney as market confidence continues to fall.
In the Victorian state capital, Melbourne houses are selling fast with property lasting an average of 33 days on the market. The city is tied with Hobart as the fastest selling in the country. The average time that property spent on the market around the country was 41 days in Adelaide, 42 in both Sydney and Canberra, 47 in Brisbane, 53 in Perth and 75 in Darwin. The numbers prove that Melbourne is the city people want to live in.
In Qld, all eyes are on the cities that are predicted to return more bang for buck than star performers in Sydney and Melbourne over the next three years. Propertyology found nine growth locations in the state where median house prices were less than $400,000 but whose returns were expected to beat the southern capitals. Ipswich and Logan in the greater Brisbane region topped the list, followed by Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Mackay, Townsville, Toowoomba and Cairns. The locations were assessed on their affordability, economic diversity and essential infrastructure.
Property is one of the biggest industry employers in the ACT which has seen the biggest improvement in job markets and annual employment growth in Australia, growing by 4.6 per cent. The ACT also topped the country in housing finance as construction activity continues to boost property supply, provide employment and take the pressure of house prices.
South Australia was one of the states to benefit the most from the confidence level drop in NSW and VIC. Adelaide’s house price growth is projected to be solid in the year ahead as a result of Sydney’s falling property prices. The South Australian suburbs tipped to enjoy above average growth in the next year are Adelaide, Bowden and Flinders Park.
Hobart and Launceston are forecast to enjoy above average growth in the next year as prices of property in Sydney are forecast to drop. However, the economic boom and the highest population growth in more than six years has led to a state-wide housing crisis. In fact, Hobart now has the lowest capital city rental vacancy rate at just 0.3 per cent. The Real Estate Institute of Tasmania estimates that 5,000 houses are needed across the greater Hobart region to help housing supply issues.
According to CoreLogic, regional WA has seen the largest decrease in dwelling value in the past ten years, falling by -29.5 per cent. This was followed by Perth which fell by -6.9 per cent and regional QLD which fell by -5.1 per cent. The declines reportedly began following the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 and have continued thanks to the state’s mining bust. As more people relocate to the eastern side of the country for employment, the property market continues to suffer.
In Darwin, dwelling values have been down 21 per cent since 2014. Annual job growth is still negative which suggests a turnaround is not going to happen soon. In good news, the second half of 2017 saw rental yields climb to some of the highest rates in the country which may begin to attract investors.
 Gladstone, N. (Feb, 2018), Five Sydney postcodes get $720m in property tax breaks and grants, http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/five-sydney-postcodes-get-720m-in-property-tax-breaks-and-grants-20180211-p4yzxw.html
 Ritchie, A. (Feb, 2018) Ten years of value growth; how Australia’s property market has transformed https://www.ratecity.com.au/home-loans/mortgage-news/ten-years-value-growth-australias-property-market-transformed
 Lawless, T. (2018) 2018 Outlook: No lifeline for the property market, http://www.switzer.com.au/the-experts/tim-lawless/2018-outlook20180130/