It’s all about the great Aussie home here at Stockhead on Friday.

And the really terrific news for lovers of expensive housing is that across this wide brown rip-off of a nation, the acceleration in home prices over last month just clocked a six-month high.

According to CoreLogic, national housing values posted a broad-based rise  of 0.6% as per February’s Home Value Index.

The 20 basis point acceleration from the 0.4% increase seen in January was the strongest monthly gain since October last year.


Aussie home price changes over the last month


Literally: houses and flats and such all got more expensive in each of the nation’s capital cities and in every single rest-of-state region everywhere that CoreLogic does it’s work.

Everyone recorded a lift in values over the month.

Everyone except in a tiny corner of Tasmania, where one small village of indomitable Gauls and Tasmanians hold out against the almighty, all-conquering Romans and rising house prices… .

And by that of course, I mean in Hobart.

In Hobart they’re giving houses away. Or at least, the market fell -0.3% last month.


Houses vs Cost of Living Crisis = Houses Win

“Housing values have been more than resilient in the face of high interest rates and cost of living pressures,” CoreLogic’s research director, Tim Lawless, said.

“The ongoing rise in housing values reflects a persistent imbalance between supply and demand which varies in magnitude across our cities and regions.”


Melbourne. So subtle. Perth, less so.

Perth continues to stand out with a substantially higher rate of growth compared to any other region, up 1.8% over the month.

Adelaide (+1.1%), Brisbane (+0.9%) and the regional areas of SA (+1.1%), WA and Queensland (both +1.0%) also show a consistently high rate of capital growth month-to-month.

“These regions are generally benefiting from a combination of comparatively lower housing prices and positive demographic factors that continue to support housing demand,” Mr Lawless said.

Although property values in Sydney and Melbourne have leveled out, the monthly trend has accelerated, with Melbourne emerging from a three-month slump of negative monthly movements to record a wee, subtle 0.1% rise in February.

Similarly, Sydney dwelling values have moved back into positive territory over the past two months after recording a subtle decline in November and December.


Aussie home price changes over the last quarter

“Potentially we are seeing some early signs of a boost to housing confidence as inflation eases and expectations for a rate cut, or cuts, later this year firm up,” Tim says.


Auction clearances are back, that means so are the buyers

The re-acceleration in value growth has been accompanied by a bounce back in auction clearance rates, which averaged in the high 60% range through February. Consumer sentiment also recorded a solid rise in February, suggesting a lift in confidence, although honestly – measures of sentiment seem pretty suspect to this very casual observer.

There are 2,650 homes scheduled for auction across the combined capital cities this week, down -7.1% on last week which was the busiest auction week of the year to date (2,853). This time last year, 2,054 auctions were held.

Lawless says auction results and sentiment have both shown a historically strong relationship with housing trends.

“The rise in clearance rates from the mid 50% range late last year to the high 60% range in February points to a better fit between buyer and seller pricing expectations. A rise in sentiment suggests households will have a better ability to make decisions around large financial commitments, like a property purchase.”

There are 951 auctions scheduled in Sydney this week, down -3.4% on last week (984), although 21.6% higher than this week last year (782).

In Melbourne, there’ll be 1,300 homes set for auction this week, down -10.8% on the last (1,457), while up 40.2% on this week last year (927).


Of 2,650 homes scheduled for auction… two (2) are in Tassie

Across the smaller capitals, Brisbane is once again set to host the most auctions (148), down from 168 last week, followed closely by Adelaide (136), down from 145 last week.

In Canberra, 105 auctions are set to take place this week, up from 90 last week. Eight auctions are scheduled in Perth this week, compared to seven last week.

There are two homes scheduled for auction in Tasmania, in line with the previous week, which was equally crap.

Next week there’s public holiday long weekends across four of the eight states and territories and Tim says that means we’ll see a significant drop in overall auction volumes.

Early numbers indicate just over 1,700 homes will be taken to auction across the combined capitals next week.

Although the pace of gains has shown some uplift, most regions are still recording value growth well below the highs of last year when the national index rose 1.3% in May.


Can’t touch this: Rate hikes mean nothing to rising prices… or do they?

“Last years’ rate hikes clearly dented capital gains, but higher interest rates haven’t been enough to extinguish growth entirely,” Mr Lawless said.

“The shortfall of housing supply relative to housing demand is continuing to place upwards pressure on home values across most regions.

“However, it’s hard to see a significant rebound in values shaping up given downside factors. Affordability constraints, rising unemployment, a slowdown in the rate of household savings and a cautious lending environment, are all factors likely to keep a lid on value growth over the near term.”