Regional house prices fall as interest rates rise

Regional housing markets are down year-on-year due to high interest rates and shifting migration patterns.

CoreLogic’s latest regional market update, released on Tuesday, examined Australia’s largest non-capital city regions, finding housing values declined in 18 of the 25 areas.

The biggest drops were in the NSW regions of Richmond-Tweed (20.4 per cent) and Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven (15 per cent).

Victoria’s Ballarat and Geelong also saw double-digit declines, with house prices falling 11.2 per cent and 10.4 per cent respectively in the year to July.

“Year-on-year growth was hard to find across regional Australia in the past 12 months,” CoreLogic’s research head Eliza Owen said.

“The markets that saw an increase were largely more affordable and were more rural.”

Central Queensland houses saw the largest house value rise, increasing 2.7 per cent, while the neighbouring Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday region also saw a 1.2 per cent increase.

Interest rate rises and post-COVID migration programs were contributing to the difference in prices across the regions, Ms Owen said.

“Targeted migration programs tend to focus on parts of regional Australia as a pathway to permanent residence,” she said.

“Some of the more rural, regional parts of the country may have seen sustained housing demand as international travel restrictions have lifted through 2022.”

Overall regional house values are 5.6 per cent lower than the same time last year, while sales volumes are also down 21.3 per cent.

Higher-value markets have likely seen a poorer performance in the past year, Ms Owens said.

“But the good news for sellers is that these markets appear to have passed through the depths of the downswing,” she said.

“Popular high-end markets could start to stabilise as mortgage rates move closer to a peak and capital city markets become more expensive.”


Tara Cosoleto
(Australian Associated Press)


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