August 2019 HTW Property Clock: Canberra

The Herron Todd White Property Clock is loving Canberra, with Canberra houses at the top the market. With a very strong property market at present, this is not too hard to believe. HTW does believe the apartment market is in decline however, which is not substantiated with demand on the ground in our view. Demand remains strong both with locals and interstate investors, although a floor od new projects into the market may be causing HTW (property valuers) some concern.

Houses

As you can see on the property clock below, Canberra is currently sitting at the peak of the market. This means that house prices are at their highest in the current cycle, which is great for sellers — but perhaps not as great for buyers! Luckily, the Canberra housing market is rather unique, given that even in the most expensive parts of the city, properties can be found for less than $1,000,000. In the ‘outer’ suburbs of Canberra (we say that almost tongue in check given that an outer suburb is at most a 20 or 30 minute drive away from the CBD), houses are being bought for $550,000 — $650,000 on average. This makes Canberra one of the more affordable cities to buy in Australia.

HTW National Property Clock Houses
HTW National Property Clock Houses: Canberra is at the peak of the market

Apartments

HTW place the apartment market in Canberra as sitting in the ‘declining market’ section. This does not mean that the market is performing badly: in fact, it just reflects the fact that quite a number of apartment projects are currently for sale, perhaps slightly more than there are buyers in HTW’s view. This surge in development is linked to Canberra growing as a city, so it’s not quite the bad news you may have been expecting. Prices for apartments are fairly in-line with normal Canberra trends, with inner-city apartments averaging between $400,000 to $500,000. Both investors and owner-occupiers are actively buying, which tells us that whilst Canberra might be moving down in the property cycle, it is by no means performing badly nor should be a cause for concern for buyers.

The quality of new apartment projects in Canberra is also genuinely transformational. New projects such as ISKIA are setting new standards in quality for Canberra and are bringing a quality of design, construction and finish that sits comfortably with the best projects in Sydney and Melbourne. The increase in overall quality is reflected in the increase in average costs of new apartments as well which may be reflected in HTW’s analysis here as well.

HTW National Property Clock Units
HTW National Property Clock Units: Here, you can see Canberra apartment market is declining, which

So what’s the take-away? Essentially, it may be slightly more expensive than usual to buy a house in Canberra, but in the ‘outer’ suburbs’, you have a great chance of finding a property that suits you and is fairly priced. As for apartments, now and the coming months look like an ideal time to buy, due to prices being slightly lower than average for the area.

Written: 22 August 2019, Updated: 22 January 2020

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