Rate comparison website Finder.com.au has asked 36 market pundits to predict changes in house and unit prices across Australia’s capital cities.
The analysts have predicted property price falls of up to almost 8 per cent by the end of 2019, with unit values in Sydney and Melbourne expected to drop by 7.7 per cent and 7.6 per cent, respectively.
Unit prices were also expected to fall sharply in Brisbane (4.3 per cent), Perth (4.6 per cent) and Adelaide (2.1 per cent).
Further, analysts also expect house prices in Melbourne to experience the sharpest decline by year’s end (6.5 per cent), followed by Sydney (6.1 per cent), Perth (3 per cent), Brisbane (2.2 per cent) and Adelaide (0.8 per cent).
Hobart is the only capital city with positive price growth expectations, with analysts predicting house and unit price increases of 1.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively.
Reflecting on the results, Graham Cooke, insights manager at Finder, said: “If the predictions hold true, Melbourne and Sydney property still have another 6 to 8 per cent to drop this year. This means $60,000 more knocked off the average property price in Sydney.
“While this makes it harder for existing home owners to build up equity, it could make Sydney an attractive market for first-time buyers with a deposit saved.”
Mr Cooke encouraged prospective home buyers to “hold off” until prices fall further.
“Right now, there’s no need to jump on the first property you like. Use this time to save for your upfront costs,” he said.
“Look for value before you plunk down your deposit. Buying at the right time could potentially save you tens of thousands.”
AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver expects national home values to report a top-to-bottom fall of 15 per cent, adding that a fall in excess of 20 per cent “remains unlikely” in the absence of “much higher interest rates or unemployment”.
However, Mr Oliver said such a decline is a “significant risk” given the difficulty in predicting the impact of credit tightening and the response to weaker capital gains growth expectations from investors if rental yields fall between 1 and 2 per cent.
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