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Dear Fellow Property Investor,
Did you know that one-bedroom flats in the big cities have missed out on Australia’s property boom despite interest rates being at record lows?
National home prices last year surged by 22.1 per cent – the fastest annual growth for a calendar year since 1989.
House values in some capital cities went up by a third in just one year as two and three-bedroom units had double-digit annual price growth.
But one-bedroom apartments hardly increased in value at all, especially in cities with oversupply issues, Domain sales data showed.
In Australia’s biggest cities, values were either flat over the year or increased by single digits even though the Reserve Bank kept the cash rate at a record-low of 0.1 per cent.
Young couples with a child usually prefer something larger with a bedroom for the baby, which means the potential market for one-bedroom units is smaller.
Investors often buy smaller apartments to rent out but Sydney’s unit market is now going backwards for the first time since late 2020 despite a reopening of Australia’s border to international students and skilled migrants.
Economists are expecting the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates later this year, which would cause a slowdown in house price increases and a fall in 2023.
In Melbourne, the median price for a one-bedroom unit remained flat over the year, staying at $395,000 as the city was kept in lockdown for many months.
By comparison, mid-point house prices in the same city rose by 18.6 per cent to $1,101,612.
Apartments in general still had a lacklustre year with two-bedroom units in Melbourne going up by 4.5 per cent to $606,000.
Larger, three-bedroom units did better though with values rising by 12.1 per cent over the year to $846,250.
Inner-city areas of the Victorian capital had some of Australia’s highest rental vacancy rates during the earlier stages of the pandemic, after the border was closed to foreigners.
Sydney also saw smaller units vastly underperform the increase in house prices and larger apartments.
One-bedroom units went up by just 6.6 per cent annually, to $680,000.
This was well below the 33.1 per cent surge in the median house price to $1,601,467.
Larger apartments, however, had double-digit growth with two-bedroom unit prices rising by 10.9 per cent last year to $825,000.
The median price of a three-bedroom apartment in Sydney went up by 14.1 per cent to $1.325million.
But new CoreLogic data released this week showed Sydney’s house and unit prices together falling by 0.1 per cent in February – marking the first decline since September 2020, before the Reserve Bank cut the cash rate to a record-low of 0.1 per cent.
Median apartment values dropped by 0.3 per cent to $831,793, which was the sharpest decline since November 2020.
Australia’s median home price last year rose by more than 22 per cent, marking the fastest calendar year increase since 1989.
The annual increase has slowed to a still-strong 20.6 per cent, with $728,034 now the middle point for a property.
One-bedroom units in Brisbane went up by just 4.1 per cent over the year to $333,150, the Domain data showed.
This occurred as the median house price surged by 25.7 per cent to $792,065.
Two-bedroom apartments had double-digit price growth, going up by 10.2 per cent to $452,000.
But the median price for a three-bedroom unit fell by 2.1 per cent to $460,000.
Canberra, however, was a rare exception with the median price of a one-bedroom unit surging by 15.4 per cent to a still-affordable $410,000.
Two-bedroom units did even better with an annual price increase of 28.6 per cent to $575,000 as three-bedroom apartment prices rose 25.9 per cent to $752,000.
Last year, Canberra’s mid-point house price rose by 36.6 per cent to $1,178,364.
But in the other mainland capital cities, the value of one-bedroom apartments went up in the single digits last year.
Perth’s median price for a one-bedroom flat rose by just 6.3 per cent to $276,500.
But this was at least better than the 1.4 increase for two-bedroom units, taking the mid-point to $350,000.
In Adelaide, the median price of one-bedroom apartments increased by eight per cent to $289,000.
By comparison, two-bedroom unit prices rose by four per cent over the year to $348,500.
Nonetheless, three-bedroom units had strong growth, with prices climbing by 15.9 per cent to $524,000.