The new year has kicked off with a significant rise in house prices. For the latest 3 months to January, the median sale price of houses sold across Devonport rose to $1,820,000 from $1,600,000 last month.
This rise heralds some degree of a recovery in prices that had been weak though the greater part of 2018. As a typical quirk of statistics though, this month-on-month rise actually represents a 14% fall when compared to the same time last year. This is due to a significant spike in prices at this time last year. Next month’s report will be key to see if this January result is also a one-off spike or represents a strengthening of prices. The above chart shows the tracking of median sales price for houses based on 3 months aggregated sales. By comparison the chart below which tracks 12 months aggregate sales results provides a longer term trend perspective on sales price of houses sold in Devonport over the past 5 years. This better shows the degree with which the local property market saw price adjustment through 2018 and then the small inflection from the latest data to January.
OVERALL MARKET SUMMARY
The general state of the market remains well balanced with strong levels of new listings providing good choice for eager buyers of which there are plenty in the market as seen from strong open home numbers. A total of 62 new properties were listed in the past 3 months, that compares with 57 at the same time last year. However, when you do the comparison with this time last year, the available stock of properties for sale was just 38 whereas at the end of January this year it was considerably higher at 57. Through the first few weeks of February this has grown even more to reach 75 properties by the mid month.
With this strong inventory it is not surprising that buyers have a degree of leverage, given the options that the market provides. Sellers clearly need to manage the sale process smartly with their agent to maximise the emotional attachment that can arise in the early marketing period, well before those buyers get too distracted by the latest ‘shiny’ new listing.
Looking at the trend analysis of sales and prices it is clear as detailed in the chart below that when viewed as the year-on-year change the volume of sales lags behind last year as does prices, although both are showing signs of recovery.
Sales volume of houses through the past 3 months was down 11% at 35 sales set against 49 new listings, this has pushed out inventory levels to 48 as compared to 45 at the end of December which is not a huge change and demonstrates that activity levels are still good in the market. Whilst sales volumes year-on-year are down, so too is the median selling price down 14% as compared to this time last year, although as stated earlier there was an unexpected peak in median sales price at this time last year which could be somewhat misleading.
A somewhat brighter spot on the property market is the resurgence of the market for units. Whilst a small segment of the market; this segment has languished for over a year with declining sales and prices, however the latest 3 months shows early signs of a resurgence with volume up and median prices up as compared to this time last year.
A small but significant recovery in median sales price of investment and owner-occupied units needs to be seen in perspective as the chart below shows as it tracks the median sale price over the past 5 years. At the latest level fo $772,500 unit sale median prices are still well down on the last peak of the market over two and a half years ago in mid 2016.