Coast housing prices slow

In good news for prospective home owners on the Central Coast, the surge in house prices over the past 12 months is showing signs of slowing.

Domain’s latest Quarterly House Price Report shows house price growth across the combined capital cities in Australia was 10 times slower during January-March than the previous quarter.

Price growth in regional Australia is not slowing as quickly – but is definitely on the way down.

Australia-wide, the median house price growth rate dropped to 0.6 per cent, compared with 6.3 per cent in the December 2021 quarter, and units dipped by 1 per cent, compared with 2.2 per cent in the previous quarter.

On the Central Coast, the median house price rise dropped to 3.2 per cent from 6 per cent the previous quarter.

Things weren’t quite so bright on the unit front, with unit prices in the region rising 4.2 per cent, compared to 2.5 per cent the previous quarter.

Domain Chief of Research and Economics, Dr Nicola Powell, said prices peaked in June last year.

“The Central Coast property market has been booming. We have seen 11 consecutive quarters of house price increases, which is a very long period of continual growth,” Powell said.

“But the region reached its peak rate growth in 2021 and what we are seeing now is a slow-down of momentum in that growth. This is in line with what we are seeing overall nationwide.”

Powell said the price growth rate on the Coast, which peaked in June 2021 at 8.3 per cent for houses and 10.4 per cent for units, was largely influenced by an influx of residents to the area.

“Lifestyle, the fact the Coast is a first home buyer haven and affordability have pulled people there,” she said.

“Also, in the past couple of years we have seen new ways of working. Many people are working remotely or doing a mix of working from home and in offices and that has opened up opportunities for people to consider moving further afield from the suburbs of Sydney.”

Nationwide, Powell said the latest national quarterly statistics could ease some of the pressure, particularly for first home buyers, with annual growth at a 12-month low.

“While each city’s figures vary, we’re seeing Australia settle into a ‘new normal’, including increased interstate movements, ease of restrictions and return of international workers, which is prompting shifts in the property market,” she said.

Powell said Sydney’s rate of growth was flatlining after an extreme property boom and this was also reflected on the Central Coast.

“Flattened house prices and declining unit prices has made Sydney’s price growth rate one of the most significant slowdowns of all the capital cities,” she said.

“A year ago, house prices were rising at 46 times the current pace, and at the same time unit prices were also increasing.

“This indicates that Sydney’s steepest upswing on record has ended, creating better purchasing conditions by providing buyers time to contemplate rather than compromise, and ultimately allowing rational decisions to be made.

“When paired with increasing supply, these current dynamics will help ease competition between buyers.”

Terry Collins