Good news: Aussie house price losses stabilise, albeit at a 16% annual rate...

Christopher Joye

Coolabah Capital

The good news is that there is evidence that the great Aussie housing crash is stabilising in the vanguard cities of Sydney and Melbourne. As the first chart below shows, the quarterly pace of house price declines in Sydney have stabilised at a 22% annualised rate based on CoreLogic's indices (observe how the red line has started moving sideways). Dwelling values in Sydney have already slumped by about 9% on a peak-to-trough basis. 

In Melbourne the news is even better with the quarterly pace of house price losses steadying at a circa 14% annual clip (again, see how the black line is now moving horizontally). This has helped the price declines registered by the wider 5 capital city index (grey line) stabilise at a 16% annual rate. Both the Melbourne and national capital city markets have suffered peak-to-trough losses of just shy of 6% since this correction began. 

The bad news is that only a portion of the RBA's 225 basis points of rate hikes have been passed on to borrowers, and there are likely more hikes to come. In a recent speech, the RBA noted that "a 200 basis point increase in interest rates – which increases mortgage payments and so the cost of owning – would lower real housing prices by around 15 per cent over a two-year period". The RBA further highlighted that if this 200 basis point increase was considered permanent (ie, not temporary), "then [the RBA's housing model] suggests that housing prices would end up being around 30 per cent lower than if interest rates had not changed". 

We continue to expect a peak-to-trough decline in Aussie house prices of 15-25%, which has been our central case since October 2021. This would be the largest correction on record. Understanding the nature of these risks---and forecasting them accurately---is crucial given housing represents about half of all household wealth.


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Christopher Joye
Portfolio Manager & Chief Investment Officer
Coolabah Capital

Chris co-founded Coolabah in 2011, which today runs $7 billion with a team of 33 executives focussed on generating credit alpha from mispricings across fixed-income markets. In 2019, Chris was selected as one of FE fundinfo’s Top 10 “Alpha...

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