SQM Research Weekly Newsletter
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SQM Research Residential Newsletter 
Tuesday 17 March 2020
Property Explorer
Research Reports
Distressed Properties Report
Funds Research
Boom and Bust 2020 Report

Black Dragon's
Words for the Week

“From the bitterness of disease, man learns the sweetness of health."

Catalan Proverb

Real Estate Realities 

What house prices did in the global financial crisis and why it's different now

Homebuyers hoping recent falls in the Australian sharemarket will translate into a drop in property prices could be disappointed, if history is any guide, given house prices rose after the global financial crisis in 2008.

But economists also warn the economic situation now is different from the 2008 crisis, and today’s ultra-low interest rates are likely to be a bigger driver of the property market than share-price movements.

The global spread of coronavirus has raised fears for the health of the Australian economy as the tourism and education sectors take a hit, with investors selling off local shares. Monday’s fall was the worst since the GFC and the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 sharemarket index is 17.4 per cent lower than its February peak, despite a Tuesday afternoon rally that saw a 3.1 per cent daily lift.

The path of interest rates offers a clue to previous housing market activity in times of economic uncertainty.

Before the global financial crisis, interest rates were rising in a bid to control strong inflation and as mortgages got more expensive, housing prices were falling.

The national median house price began to slow down in the March 2008 quarter, when it rose only 0.8 per cent compared with a price increase of 3.7 per cent in the previous quarter.

Vacancy Rates Decline in February

by Louis Christopher, CEO

New data released by SQM Research today has revealed the national residential rental vacancy rate declined in February 2020 to 2.0% from 2.1% recorded in January, with the total number of vacancies Australia-wide now at 68,079 vacant residential properties.

Most states recorded minor declines in vacancy rates with the exception of Hobart which recorded a 0.3% increase.  Adelaide remained stable at 1.0% vacancy rate.

Sydney has surpassed Darwin recording the highest vacancy rate in the country at 2.9%, having dropped 0.3% basis points. Darwin sits at 2.7% with a 0.5% drop on last month.  Canberra’s vacancy rate has declined to 1.0% and Melbourne is now 1.9%.

The year on year comparison revealed a similar decline when the national rental vacancy rate in February 2019 was 2.2% compared to 2.0% recorded for February 2020.  Only Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart recorded higher vacancy rates compared to this time last year.

February marks the start to the new year in the property industry and gives us a clearer picture of the rental market.  The decline in vacancy rates is a reflection of a seasonal increase in rental demand plus ongoing decline in dwelling completions and the ongoing increase in population.  We are likely to record further declines in rental vacancy rates as 2020 progresses unless the country enters into a prolonged economic depression.

Asking Rents

Over the month, Capital City asking rents decreased 1.2% for houses and 0.2% for units for the week ending 12 March 2020 to record asking rents of $562 per week for houses and $441 per week for units.  In comparison over the 12 months, asking rents increased 0.4% for houses and remained steady for units.

Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra all recorded decreases in asking rents for both houses and units over the month.  Perth was the only city to record rent increases for both houses and units, 0.1% for houses and 2.5% for units.
Over the month, Darwin and Hobart managed small increases for house rents of 1.2% and 0.5% respectively but unit rents has fallen by 2.4% for Darwin and 1.4% for Hobart.

Brisbane recorded decreases in house asking rents of 0.4% but unit asking rents remained stable.

Upcoming Auctions Listings

The SQM Research website is now providing listings of upcoming residential property auctions in all states.

Note: The auctions listed are preliminary and current at the time of publication.  This list may well change during the week based on new listings or some properties may have sold prior, or are withdrawn or have been rescheduled.  Please check the listing ad to ensure auction times have not changed.



3D Shearing Street, Oaklands Park SA 5046

Built in 2010, this 2-storey, 3 bedroom Torrens Title home in the Adelaide suburb of Oaklands Park is for sale at $439,000 after initially being offered at $475,000.

The home is in a convenient location, approx. 14 km south from Adelaide CBD and is close to Oaklands train station and bus options, various local schools and recreational facilities are nearby, it is an easy 5 minute walk to Westfield Marion shopping centre and close to beaches.

The home sits on an approx. 150 sqm block with 3 bedrooms upstairs together with the main bathroom. Downstairs is the lounge area; a combined dining/kitchen with gas cooking and dishwasher; all with floating timber floors and reverse cycle ducted air-conditioning.  Downstairs there is also an additional toilet, separate laundry area and an automatic, lock-up garage that has direct access into the home.  Outside there is an established, private garden and rainwater storage tank.

Asking prices for houses in postcode 5046 have been increasing over the last few years where there has been a 3.1% increase over 3 years, a 5.2% increase over 12 months and a recent 0.5% increase over the month.  Units in the area however have declined 24.2% over the 12 months and 1.1% over the month.  The median asking price for houses in this postcode ranges from $450,000 to $545,000.  The home would suit first home buyers, families and couples. 

The Oaklands Park area has shown some exciting growth with the recent infrastructure development project, ‘Oaklands Smart Precinct’, which is an opportunity to use technology, community and business leadership to transform this area and neighbouring areas.

Investors note that the home is currently rented to December 2020 at $400 per week, plus water usage.  Asking rents for houses in the area has declined 2.6% over the last month after a 4.4% increase over 12 months.   The vacancy rate is a very tight 0.4%, declining from 1.0% in February 2019.  The gross rental yield for houses is 4.1% and 5.1% for units.

For a more indepth look at the property market for 2020, subscribe to Christopher’s Boom and Bust Report 2020.

SQM website also features free property data that is now more interactive, easier to navigate and user-friendly, so keep monitoring this market’s growth at SQM Research’s free property data. Also consider the SQM Property Explorer product for more in-depth data and property price estimator.

Louis Christopher's 2020 Housing Boom & Bust Report has now been released and is available for $59.95!

The Housing Boom and Bust report is accurate, impartial and detailed. Best of all it is priced so that EVERYONE from real estate agents, financial planners to regular mums and dads can access it at just $59.95. 

Key features of the 2020 Boom & Bust report include:

  • Louis Christopher's personal take on the markets 
  • Capital city forecasts 
  • Main drivers of demand and supply at present and going forward 
  • All leading indicators such as stock on market, vacancy rates etc
  • All the possible scenarios that could play out next year 
  • Nearly every city and regional postcode covered re: property stats plus ratings outlook

If you are a real estate professional or a serious residential property investor, you will not want to miss this report!

If you are interested in where the market is heading on a national level, then this is the report for you from one of the most
accurate housing market forecaster in the country. 

Click here to purchase now!


Did you know that SQM Research doesn’t only provide residential property data, we also provide research on all asset classes.  We have data and analytics on over 10,000 funds in Australia.  To find out more and to subscribe to our Fund Data tool click here.

If you would like to subscribe to our Ratings Newsletter, click here.  The newsletter provides regular updates on all funds including ratings changes and media releases, and valuable Insights into the point of view of our analysts on a variety of ratings research related topics.  And it’s completely free!


SQM Research Weekly Asking Prices Index
Week ending: 17 Mar 2020  Asking Price    Chg on
prev week
  Rolling month
% chg
  12 month
% chg
Sydney  All Houses  1,375.5 3.5  1.0%  11.5% 
All Units 704.9 1.4  -0.6%  1.0% 
Melbourne  All Houses 1,023.5 -3.0  1.6%  8.8% 
All Units 556.8 -0.6  0.3%  1.1% 
Brisbane  All Houses 656.9 1.9  1.5%  6.6% 
All Units 371.4 -0.9  -0.4%  -1.1% 
Perth  All Houses 655.0 3.1  0.7%  -1.2% 
All Units 375.9 1.0  0.5%  -2.2% 
Adelaide  All Houses 523.6 0.8  0.1%  1.5% 
All Units 304.4 1.0  0.6%  1.2% 
Canberra  All Houses 818.6 2.9  0.1%  0.5% 
All Units 442.2 -2.1  -0.2%  5.4% 
Darwin  All Houses 568.5 1.9  0.4%  -2.7% 
All Units 320.1 -0.1  0.8%  -20.0% 
Hobart  All Houses 575.8 6.1  3.0%  14.2% 
All Units 363.8 -7.7  0.9%  10.1% 
National  All Houses 599.3 4.8  1.4%  6.2% 
All Units 389.7 3.4  0.6%  4.0% 
Cap City Average  All Houses 987.5 -2.9  1.1%  8.4% 
All Units 572.9 1.7  -0.1%  1.2% 

Next update: 24 Mar 2020

SQM Research Weekly Rents Index
Week ending: 12 Mar 2020    Rent         Chg on
 prev week
  Rolling month
% chg
  12 month
% chg
Sydney  All Houses   702.0 -1.0  -0.8%  -0.7% 
All Units 500.4 -0.4  -0.3%  -1.3% 
Melbourne  All Houses 550.8 -2.8  -0.5%  1.1% 
All Units 422.6 -0.6  -0.2%  0.6% 
Brisbane  All Houses 469.4 -1.4  -0.4%  2.7% 
All Units 378.7 0.3  0.0%  2.1% 
Perth  All Houses 447.8 0.2  0.1%  1.7% 
All Units 344.6 3.4  2.5%  3.4% 
Adelaide  All Houses 406.9 1.1  -0.1%  3.1% 
All Units 308.7 1.3  -0.4%  2.1% 
Canberra  All Houses 629.5 -1.5  -0.8%  -2.4% 
All Units 463.8 -0.8  -0.1%  1.9% 
Darwin  All Houses 460.2 3.8  1.2%  -6.2% 
All Units 362.2 -2.2  -2.4%  -4.2% 
Hobart  All Houses 453.8 3.2  0.5%  3.7% 
All Units 408.9 3.1  -1.4%  12.2% 
National  All Houses 450.0 1.0  -0.2%  0.7% 
All Units 365.0 -5.0  -1.6%  1.4% 
Cap City Average   All Houses 562.0 -1.0  -1.2%  0.4% 
All Units 441.0 1.0  -0.2%  0.0%

Next update: 20 Mar 2020

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