Australia's property market bounces back despite interest rate hikes

Karen Dellow
Karen Dellow

The property market has made a strong recovery in 2023, with sales up on last year and capital city prices at an all-time high.

Despite 13 rate rises over the past 18 months, reducing many buyers' borrowing capacity, sales volumes are up by 15.5% on the same time last year.

Auction rates have also exceeded last year's, with an 18% increase seen over the past four weeks compared to 2022.

In Sydney and Melbourne, the auction capitals of Australia, scheduled auctions are up by 27%.

Hobart is the only city with fewer auctions than last year, with the city taking longer to recover than others. However, Hobart has fewer auctions than the other cities, so this has not affected sales volumes.

Sydney has led the recovery of capital cities, with price growth skyrocketing by 8.4% and auctions and sales growth higher than in other cities.

Melbourne has also seen an increase in prices, sales, and auctions; however, it has still not surpassed the previous price peak experienced at the start of 2022. Prices are up by 1.39% year-on-year but are still 3.71% short of reaching the previous peak.

Scheduled auctions in most capital cities are up on last year. Source: Getty Images.

Capital city markets have led 2023’s price upturn, while regional areas have seen slower growth.

Despite scheduled auctions being down compared to last year, sales in the regional areas are up everywhere except Regional Tasmania.

Higher scheduled auctions indicate that agents think a higher price can be obtained by going to auction because demand is so high. The lower scheduled auctions in regional areas may show that agents don't think the market is strong enough yet.

That being said, prices in the regional areas are up on last year, except for Victoria and the Northern Territory, which are still 2% lower than in 2022. This is a sign that the regions are recovering, just not at the speed of the cities.

The spring selling season was hot this year, and the fast recovery shows how resilient the Australian property market is despite the higher interest rate environment.

The PropTrack Property Market Outlook expects further price growth in the coming year, albeit at lower levels, with strong demand for housing and limited stock set to continue to drive up sales and prices.

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