Property Values Boom so Where’s Still Affordable?

Wednesday, 30/04/2014

BOQ’s Autumn Buyer’s Guide released today showed property values across Australian capital cities had rocketed 10.6% over the past 12 months, with the national average boosted by a strong 15.6% uplift in Sydney values and an 11.6% uplift in Melbourne. 

But Sydney and Melbourne are outliers with capital gains under 5% in all the other capital cities. 

Capital city Annual change in dwelling values, capital cities
Sydney 15.6%
Melbourne 11.6%
Australian capitals 10.6%
Brisbane 4.8%
Perth 4.7%
Adelaide 4.6%
Darwin 3.8%
Canberra 1.7%
Hobart 0.9%

Supported by RP Data, the BOQ Autumn Buyer’s Guide provides housing market statistics for 4,278 suburbs nationally. 

If suburbs with a median house price under $300,000 are used as a benchmark for relatively ‘affordable’ suburbs and suburbs with a median house price above $1 million as a benchmark for relatively ‘expensive’ suburbs, the report shows in capital cities expensive suburbs outnumber affordable suburbs two-to-one. 

Only 6% of suburbs in capital cities have a median house value under $300,000, while 12% have a median house value over $1 million. 

Units continue to provide more affordable housing options in our capital cities where 19% of suburbs have a median unit value under $300,000. 

The percentages of suburbs with median property values under $300,000 show a stark contrast between the capital cities with a range of ‘affordable’ options – Hobart, Brisbane and Adelaide; the capital cities with slim pickings – Melbourne, Sydney and Perth; and those with nonexistent affordable housing options – Darwin and Canberra. 

Percentage of capital city suburbs with median property value under $300,000 

City Autumn 2014 houses Autumn 2013 houses 12 month change proportion of 'affordable' suburbs (houses) Autumn 2014 units Autumn 2013 units 12 month change proportion of 'affordable' suburbs (units)
Hobart 38.7% 39% -0.3%  77.8%  80.8%  -3%
 Brisbane 14% 16.6% -2.6% 22.5% 27.8% -5.3%
 Adelaide 13.1% 16.6% -3.5% 52.4% 44.5%  +7.9%
 Melbourne 2.3% 4.3% -2% 12.2% 15.3%  -3.1%
 Sydney 1.4% 5% -3.6% 9.8% 15.9% -6.1%
Perth 0.4% 3.2% -2.8% 6.4% 12.6% -6.2%
Darwin  0% 2.4% -2.4% 0% 0% 0%
Canberra 0% 0% 0% 2.8% 3% -0.2%
National 6% 8.9% -2.9% 19% 21.2% -2.2%

Sydney and Adelaide experienced the biggest reduction in suburbs with median house prices under $300,000, although Adelaide was the only capital city to see an increase in suburbs with median unit prices under $300,000. 

Perth, Sydney and Brisbane all had sizeable reductions in suburbs with median unit prices under $300,000. 

The most affordable capital city suburb in Australia is Gagebrook in Hobart with a median house value of $139,053 and the most expensive capital city suburb is Point Piper in Sydney with a median house value of $5,832,326. 

Most affordable and most expensive suburbs nationally  

Rank Suburb State House or unit Median value
1 Gagebrook TAS House $139,053
2 Elizabeth Vale  SA  Unit $143,452
3 Elizabeth Downs  SA Unit $145,743
4 Elizabeth South SA Unit $146,856
5  Elizabeth East  SA  Unit $147,986
6 Davoren Park  SA Unit $148,257
7 Smithfield Plains  SA Unit $155,050
8 Elizabeth North  SA Unit $159,438
9 Clarendon Vale  TAS House $159,966
10 Vineyard NSW Unit $162,802



1 Point Piper NSW House $5,832,326
2 Darling Point  NSW  House $4,832,912
3 Peppermint Grove  WA House $3,590,441
4 Vaucluse  NSW House $3,380,430
5 Bellevue Hill  NSW House $3,091,799
6 Lavender Bay  NSW House $2,895,541
7 Toorak VIC House $2,729,863
8 Double Bay  NSW  House  $2,683,171
9 Dalkeith WA  House $2,638,220
10 Dover Heights  NSW House $2,634,089

Despite increases in median property values over the last 12 months, the stock is clearing. Even though there has been a 28.8% increase in the number of new listings over the last 12 months the total listings has still reduced by 8.3% which shows more stock is being sold then added to the market. 

BOQ Group Executive for Retail Banking Matt Baxby said it was important for prospective homebuyers to be familiar with housing market conditions and understand what suburbs were likely to fit within their budget. 

“Whether you’re buying your first home, upgrading your existing home or investing in property, purchasing a property is one of the biggest decisions we make in our lives,” Mr Baxby said. 

“What we’ve seen particularly over the last 12 months is a multi-speed housing market with pockets of over and under performance. 

“With price movements varying substantially across the country it’s more important than ever for prospective homebuyers to be equipped with the most up-to-date research available. 

“The BOQ Autumn Buyer’s Guide is a free, easy-to-use, valuable starting point for anyone researching the housing market,” he said. 

Prospective homebuyers can also get more detailed property specific information through the BOQ Property App which is free and available via iTunes and Google Play. 

The app which launched in November 2013 in partnership with RP Data emails users a free detailed report which includes estimated property value, sales history and suburb profile. 

BOQ’s Autumn Buyer’s Guide is free to download.