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A small model house nestled in brown deciduous leaves signifying autumn

Autumn is one of the big property seasons of the year, so if you’re looking at buying a home or investment property, the coming three months might be the perfect time to do it.

Doing your research and going in well prepared is one of the best things you can do to make sure your property search is successful. For example, at the moment it’s well worth knowing that there’s talk of an RBA rate increase for later this year, which means interest rates for home loan borrowers might rise as well.

This affects how much you pay to make a property yours and potentially how much you can afford to borrow in the first place. Higher interest rates also mean property buyers need to think carefully about the market they’re buying in - is the market growing or declining? Will the property be worth the repayments you’re making on it a year from now?

Looking at what the property market is like in your city and where it’s going can help you make smart choices about when and where you buy. So here are my predictions for Australia’s major property markets this autumn.

Sydney

After a period where prices were sky high and demand was off the charts, the Sydney market has begun to slow, although it’s remained relatively strong. I think sellers have now adjusted their expectations for the slowing market, which means reserves have been lowered and more sales are going through, with clearance rates likely to remain around the 65%-70% mark throughout autumn.

This autumn season, I’m expecting to see demand in Sydney driven by buyers who are upgrading from the homes they sold last spring.

Melbourne

Melbourne is still a growing market, especially when compared to Sydney. It’s also still being driven by first home buyers, who are attracted by a more affordable price point than what’s on offer in Sydney. I’d be counting on the Melbourne market staying pretty stable, with clearance rates hovering around 70%, without experiencing a drop the way other markets have.

Canberra

I think Canberra is set to be a top performer this autumn, and I see clearance rates reaching 65%-70% during the season, even if the market is relatively quiet at the moment. Canberra’s real drawcard is that there’s always rental demand in the city, with low vacancy rates and good rental yields on offer, making it an attractive prospect for residential investors.

Hobart

I’ve also got Hobart pinned as a top performer, for much the same reasons as Canberra. Hobart isn’t a big auction market, so low clearance rates aren’t a good way to judge performance. Instead, you can look at the fact that Hobart is experiencing some of the lowest vacancy rates ever, and demand from interstate investors is strong thanks to good rental returns. This means the market likely has room to grow another 10% this year.

Brisbane

Brisbane has low clearance rates, but just like Hobart, it’s not an auction focussed market, so that’s an unreliable measurement of performance. The job market has rebounded after the end of the mining boom and is now one of the best in the country, which is tempting for first home buyers looking to get set up and escape the high prices of other cities. I’d expect prices to rebound and improve, particularly for houses, which always tend to do well in Brisbane, while inner city units will continue to struggle.

Adelaide

If there’s one word to describe the Adelaide property market this Autumn - or at any time - it’s: consistent. Adelaide generally sees 3-4% growth year on year, and will likely see the same again this year. I’d expect to see a lot of interest from first home buyers this autumn, as the city is still more affordable than other big hubs, but thanks to the slow and steady growth, Adelaide is also a good, reliable pick for first-time investors.

Perth

My view of the Perth market in autumn is that there’ll be some serious ups and downs until we hit the bottom of the cycle, which I’d say we’re getting close to. Once the market hits bottom, we’ll likely see a turn towards growth in Perth - probably towards the end of the year, at which point there will probably be some good auction results. Until we reach that point however, Perth is in for a bumpy ride.

Picture of Steve Jovcevski who is Mozo’s property expert.

Author bio: 

Steve Jovcevski is Mozo’s property expert. With an extensive knowledge of home loan products and property trends, Steve is full of practical tips to help first homebuyers, refinancers or investors build and get the most out of their property portfolio.


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