Property forecasts revealed. What we can expect in 2022 and 2023
We can all agree that 2021 was a strange year. Australia experienced a sequence of lockdowns whilst housing prices continued to sell for record prices, with some experts calling it a “once in a generation boom”.
As we open the cover of our crisp new calendars and reveal the whole year ahead, many of us can’t help but wonder what 2022 has in store for the property market.
Over the past month, Brisbane dwelling prices have increased by 2.9% (outperforming all capital cities in Australia) and has reported an annual growth of 27.4% according to Corelogic, 4 January 2022.
Rental demand will continue to rise throughout 2022 with very low vacancy rates and international borders reopening. Interestingly, over the last 6 years Darwin rental prices have increased the most with a 15% increase, Hobart by 12.9% and Brisbane recording an 11.8% increase in house rents.
Unit rental prices, on the other hand, have increased in Brisbane by 6.9% since 2016. Darwin, again outperforming all other cities with a 15.3% increase and Hobart seeing an 11.6% increase.
Whilst this is great news for investors, this rise in rental prices is bound to create affordability issues for many tenants.
So, what’s in store for Australia for 2022 and 2023?
If we’ve learned anything from the last few years, it’s how difficult it is to forecast property trends. But here are some indications as to what we can expect:
Prices will continue to grow, slowly
As we head into a period of strong economic growth where jobs are being created and business and consumer confidence is high, it’s very likely that property values will continue to rise in 2022. With that said, the growth may not be the same as what we have been experiencing over the last two years and here’s why:
Affordability crippling buyers
The average home buyer won’t have more money in their pocket to pay more for their homes as the increase in property values - being 20-30% higher - occurred at a time when wage growth was moderate at best and minimal in real terms for most Australians.
Demand is slowing
We can all agree that there will always be people wanting to move house, and many have delayed their plans of doing so with the current market conditions and risks associated with Covid. But we can also agree that there are a limited amount of buyers and sellers in the market, and with the number of transactions we saw this year, even fewer will be looking to buy in 2022.
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)
The APRA is responsible for supervising institutions such as banks, insurances and superannuation funds in order to promote financial stability in Australia. They have reportedly shown intent on slowing our markets through using macro prudential controls.
Our market will be split into a two-tier property market
Simply put, not all locations will perform the same. Inner and middle-ring suburbs, specifically gentrifying locations, is set to outperform lower priced properties in the outer suburbs.
Why? Whilst outer suburban locations have performed strongly so far, affordability is now becoming a greater issue with locals having had minimum wage growth when property prices boomed.
Residents in the outer suburban locations do not have more money to afford the higher prices that the properties in their area are achieving. Furthermore, Covid has reportedly affected low-income earners to a greater extent than middle to high-income earners who are much more likely to recover their income to pre-pandemic levels, while many have not been hit at all.
Liveability, more important than ever before
There has been a strong demand for quality properties with an emphasis on liveability. Many buyers are willing to pay more for properties with “pandemic appeal” and regard a “liveable” location, more space and liveability as the highest-ranking factors.
Buyers have also been more willing than ever to pay more for their location where they can work, live and play within a 20-minute drive, bike ride or walk from home.
These buyers will look for amenities such as shopping, business services, education, community facilities, recreational and sporting resources, and some jobs all within a 20 minutes’ reach.
Other important factors to consider
With Brisbane hosting the 2030 Olympics, we can positively say that the infrastructure will have a positive impact on our local economy. We have also seen a lot of Australians move up to Queensland with the widespread adoption of remote work, and now with the borders that have opened up we can expect this trend to continue.
What the banks are predicting
ANZ, in their latest update, stated in their house price forecast for 2022 that the market is predicted to slow down with 6% overall growth, but with Brisbane being the outstanding market winner.
The 4 big banks are also suggesting that rising house prices will deter home buyers, and the APRA’s decision to ensure that new borrowers can service a mortgage, should interest rates increase 3% above the loan product rate, is set to put a brake on lending.
Whilst the market isn’t predicted to experience a significant fall in 2022 or 2023, it may do so if the APRA intervenes and tightens the availability for credit.
In conclusion, housing prices will slow as the current market growth is unsustainable in the long term. But the improving economy and reopening of our borders could help lessen the impact of the market slowing.
But on a positive note, the slower growth rates could mean a slowdown in debt accrual for Australian households, mitigating the need for further interventions by APRA. If the APRA were to intervene, it seems that the regulators are aiming to gently apply the brakes to the housing market, rather than slam them on.
So, if you are considering selling, we would highly recommend that you talk to one of our property specialists today to discuss your property goals and how the current market affects you.