Canberra property sizzles to new record high

Ian Bushnell 1 December 2020 4
House auction

Auction clearance rates are high and records are being broke in every suburb. Photo: Independent Gungahlin.

Cheap money and government incentives are propelling Canberra’s property market further into record territory, with house values up more than 2 per cent in November.

The latest data from CoreLogic shows all dwellings up 1.9 per cent, with houses up 2.2 per cent and units 0.6 per cent.

The median dwelling value is more than $672,000, now more than Melbourne and second only to Sydney, houses more than $753,000 and units more than $465,000.

The principal of Independent Woden and Weston Creek Mark Wolens said the market was incredibly strong and records were being broken in every suburb on a weekly basis, with high auction clearance rates.

”Everything is selling,” he said, mostly to live-in owners.

His Woden office alone sold more than 60 homes in November, and the results were generally strong across Canberra and housing types, although Weston Creek was a stand-out and in-demand detached houses were attracting the big money.

House values had grown 7.8 per cent this year to date, while apartments were up 3.8 per cent.

Mr Wolens said stock was low but that was because there were so many buyers in the market.

According to SQM Research, stock listed was down nearly 20 per cent on last year, and 3.2 per cent on October. In November, 4034 properties were listed, down from almost 5,000 at the same time in 2019.

Mr Wolens said it was the best time in Canberra’s history to change and upgrade with money so cheap.

”Low interest rates are putting a lot of confidence into people,” he said.

CoreLogic Home Values Index tables

CoreLogic Home Values Index tables. Image: CoreLogic.

Many older homeowners were cashing in to downsize but with greater expectations of quality.

”A lot are transferring that money, and they want to keep it in the market,” he said.

Some developers such as Amalgamated Property Group were delivering really strong, quality townhouse and apartment developments that were catching the eye of buyers, he said.

Mr Wolens said that even before the HomeBuilder grant was announced the demand was there, with a townhouse development in Greenway selling out before completion, unheard of in recent years.

It appears that there was a lot of pent-up demand in the market due to COVID-19 because the strength of that ”transferee market” had been surprising, he said.

Despite the record prices, there were still affordable options in the market particularly in the apartment sector where a one-bedroom, quality unit could be had for $300,000 or a two-bedroom for $400,000 to $500,000.

Mr Wolens said the pick of the bunch would have to be Woden where there were really good, quality precincts by quality developers.

Low interest rates meant some repayments were up to $100 less than the rent people were paying, and while Canberra was expensive, the market had to be seen in the context of the Territory’s high incomes.

Mr Wolens said Canberra always bounced back after a crisis, and it remained a very solid market that kept marching on.

While there may be a lull over Christmas, the first quarter next year was expected to stay strong, as was the case in 2020 before COVID-19 hit.


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4 Responses to Canberra property sizzles to new record high
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Loviatar Loviatar 6:41 pm 07 Dec 20

Meanwhile those of us looking to get into the market are unable to do so due to high prices and being unable to come up with a 20% deposit while paying $400+ per week in rent.

    Ol L Ol L 8:25 pm 15 Dec 20

    Used to be a landlord in Canberra but the huge government fees had to be passed onto the tenant. The ACT government is totally responsible for the huge rents.
    Over 60% of the rent went to them.

Richie_Mama Richie_Mama 9:07 am 02 Dec 20

Its amazing that you think this is a good thing. House prices are way too high as it stands. It is putting so many people in crippling debt for the rest of their lives and the media and government are peddling the same old garbage year after year. Australia has the most overpriced houses in the world and its just getting worse every year with stagnant wage growth. Its a bloody crime.

    gositsa gositsa 12:43 am 07 Dec 20

    Couldn’t agree more. A lifetime of misery just to provide some shelter for yourself or family. Who is benefitting the most from all this – I’d like to see a detailed breakdown of the costs to see where the most rorting is.

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