The property landscape continues to shift
across Australia, with recent price drops in Sydney bringing a significant
change to the top of the table. While the NSW capital has been the most
expensive city in Australia for a long time, Sydney has lost its top ranking to
the seaside paradise of Byron Bay. Property market firm Propertyology recently
identified the top 40 most expensive cities in Australia, with some locations
doing much better than others against a backdrop of sliding national prices.
According to data from Propertyology, Byron
Bay is the most expensive city in Australia with a median price of $987,500.
House price growth in Byron has expanded a lot over recent years, with
sea-changers and an older demographic bringing 36.2 percent growth to the area
over the last three years. Sydney dropped to second place on the list with a
median house price of $950,000 and limited growth of just 10.5 percent over the
last three years. Kiama was the third most expensive city at $910,000, followed
by Surf Coast at $835,000, and Wingecarribee at $814,500.
Melbourne was the sixth most expensive city
in Australia at $772,500, followed by Wollongong at $755,000, Noosa at
$735,000, Ballina at $680,000, and Canberra at $657,250. Shoalhaven was the
only city to record stronger growth that Byron Bay over three years at 37.8
percent, with this beautiful part of the world 19th on the list with a price of
$565,000. According to Propertyology, an increasing number of retirees are
relocating away from capital cities, with eight of the top ten cities seeing an
increase in the median household age over the last five years.
While Byron Bay and other select markets
are managing to buck the trend, the wider Australian market has plunged by $133
billion according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Capital city home prices dropped an average of 2.4 percent in the December
quarter alone, with Sydney and Melbourne down 3.7 percent and 2.4 percent
respectively. Property prices in Sydney fell 7.8 percent over 2018 and 16
percent since the last peak in June 2017. While this type of correction has
been seen many times before, the current downturn has occurred at about twice
the average rate.
to Simon Pressley from Propertyology, the Byron bubble refuses to conform to
national market trends: "Sydney's had two booms in 30 years, and they
typically last between two and four years... So if we're having this discussion
about any location other than Byron, I'd say [because] it's gone strong for
five years, it must be really close to the end... But the median house price
average annual increase over 20 years in Byron has been 10.1 per cent - so it's
sort of defied all logic." There are many reasons for Byron's property
success, with housing demand driven mostly by affluent middle-aged couples
looking to escape the urban lifestyle.
Image source: Ekaterina Kamenetsky/Shutterstock