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7 Signs That the Australian Housing Market May Be Peaking- Part 3

There are mounting signs that Australia’s housing market may be moving through the peak of the cycle.

Tim Lawless    |    International


Weekly rents are hardly moving and gross rental yields have pushed to record lows

Across the combined capital cities, weekly rents have increased by only half a percent over the past twelve months. At a time when capital city dwelling values have increased by 11.0%, the sluggish pace of rental movements has pushed rental yields to the lowest level on record.

Gross rental yields are the lowest in Melbourne and Sydney at just 3.0% and 3.3% respectively (lower for detached houses and slightly higher for apartments) and also sit at record low levels. Accounting for holding costs such as vacancy, property management fees, maintenance etc, the net rental yield in these cities likely to be around the low to mid two percent mark. The low yield scenario is likely to act as another disincentive for investors at a time when the growth cycle has been running for almost three and half years.

Costs of debt are rising out of cycle with the cash rate

In July this year Australia’s largest banks placed a premium on investment related mortgage rates of between 27 and 29 basis points. More recently, Westpac has announced additional premiums on mortgage rates for both owner occupier and investment loans outside of any movement in the cash rate.

Supply levels are set to increase further

Dwelling approvals appear to have peaked earlier this year after an unprecedented boom in the number of dwellings approved for construction. As the pipeline of approvals migrates to project commencements and ultimately completions, we can expect the supply of new housing, particularly apartments, to provide a further easing in price upwards price pressures.

The majority of new supply set to hit the market will be in Melbourne and Sydney where population growth has remained the strongest, however Brisbane and Perth have also seen a substantial influx of new housing approvals. In last week’s Financial Stability Review the Reserve Bank warned of the risk of a potential housing over-supply in inner city areas of Melbourne and Brisbane due to the large boom in new apartment construction.

Click these links to read Part 1 or Part 2 of this blog.

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