Australians’ love affair with coastal living over the past two years will soften into the second half of 2022 as people return to workplaces.
Corelogic’s Best of the Best Report shows the high volume of sales and uplift in property values in some of Australia’s premium beachside destinations.
While the report indicates Queensland and northern New South Wales are likely to remain strong performers into 2022, research indicates the trend to remote working is likely to decline long-term, which could impact coastal property markets.
Australia’s residential real estate value has grown $2.2 billion in 12 months to reach $9.4 billion at the end of 2021 off the back of stimulus packages and a white-hot property market.
Corelogic head of research Eliza Owen said house values increased 22.2 per cent in the 12 months to November, the highest increase since 1989, while more than 614,000 transactions were made across 2021, the highest level in 18 years.
Highest total value of regional house sales—national
“The popularity of regional Australia is reflected in many aspects of the Best of the Best report for 2021,” Owen said.
“The quiet coastal suburb of Yamba, in the Coffs Harbour-Grafton region of NSW, achieved the highest annual growth in units of suburbs across Australia, at 56.6 per cent.
“Regional suburbs were represented in many of the top value growth tables, including Ocean Grove units in Geelong (up 41.7 per cent in the year), Fraser Island units in Wide Bay (up 48.2 per cent), and Campbell Town houses in Tasmania (up 50.5 per cent).”
Highest total value of regional apartment sales—national
^Source: Corelogic's Best of the Best Report
Coastal regions dominated the top number of transactions for apartments in 2021 with Surfers Paradise recording $1.2 billion in sales, more than double the second-ranked region of nearby Southport, which recorded more than $550 million in transactions.
Queensland’s regions dominated the volume of sales transactions, reflecting the strong interstate immigration during the pandemic. Four of five of the highest total value of sales in the apartment market were on the Gold and Sunshine coasts, while three of five regional house sale volumes were in the sunshine state.
Regionally houses on the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Northern NSW coast recorded the highest median values across the country with Byron Bay taking out the top spot. The median value of a house at Byron Bay was $2,597,443, followed by Sunshine Beach and Casuarina.
Owen said it was likely Australia’s property market had seen the peak of value increases as worsening affordability constraints, a surge in vendor activity and a recent tightening of housing finance conditions begin to take effect.
Owen said sales and listings activity had likely also peaked.
“The constraints of slightly tighter credit conditions, the erosion of housing affordability and a higher level of listings being added to the market are expected to see softer growth rates across property values in 2022,” she said.
“These forces are an accumulation of headwinds for property market performance. Softer growth rates are likely to coincide with fewer purchases, where sales and listings activity eventually move with momentum in price.”
According to the quarterly statement of the Council of Financial Regulators housing prices were "still rising briskly in most markets", but the pace of uplift had slowed.
“Council members reiterated their support for APRA's decision in October to increase the interest rate serviceability buffer for home lending,” the council said in a statement.
“Given the risks that had been building, this measure will help to support the resilience of both new borrowers and lenders.
“It remains too early to assess the effects of the measure; members will continue to monitor developments closely.”