Home prices in Australia continue to climb, pace slows a touch in April – ET RealEstate

SYDNEY: Australian home prices posted another solid increase in April though the pace of ascent slowed a little as affordability became a bigger problem as houses moved beyond the reach of many buyers.

Data from property consultant CoreLogic out on Monday showed national home prices climbed 1.8% in April, after a 2.8% jump in March that had been the largest gain in 32 years. Prices were up 7.8% on last year, and 6.8% in just the three months to April.

Sydney prices raced up 2.4% in April, while Melbourne added 1.3%, Brisbane 1.7% and Perth 0.8%.

The red-hot market has provided a much-needed windfall to consumer wealth and confidence. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates the value of homes rose A$258 billion in the December quarter to hit A$7.7 trillion, and that was before the latest surge.

Still, CoreLogic’s research director, Tim Lawless, said the pace of gains could slow as inventory levels rise and affordability becomes a bigger constraint. “With housing prices rising faster than incomes, it’s likely price sensitive sectors of the market, such as first home buyers and lower income households, are finding it harder to save for a deposit and transactional costs,” Lawless said.

The trend toward houses continued with prices in the capital cities up 8.6% in the first four months of the year, twice the gain for apartments.

Demand for property outside the cities saw regional prices jump a record 1.9% in April, giving an annual rise of 13%.

Buyers have been encouraged by the outlook for borrowing costs, with the Reserve Bank of Australia repeatedly saying rates were likely to remain at a historic low of 0.1% until at least 2024.



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Australia home prices end rocky 2020 on recovery track – ET RealEstate

SYDNEY: Australian home prices climbed for a third straight month in December as 2020 ended on a strong note across major cities and regional markets, with analysts expecting more gains this year as buyers outnumber sellers.

The turnaround from the COVID-19-led crunch has provided a much-needed windfall to consumer wealth and confidence, with the country’s housing stock already valued at A$7.2 trillion ($5.55 trillion) by September.

Data from property consultant CoreLogic out on Monday showed national home prices rose 1.0% in December, from November when they added 0.8%. Values were up 3.0% on the previous December.

Prices across the major capitals rose 0.9% in December from November, while the regional market surged 1.6% as city dwellers smarting from coronavirus lockdowns sought more living space and houses with gardens.

Sydney managed a gain of 0.7%, while Melbourne increased 1.0%. Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide all rose 1.1% in the month. Values for the combined capitals were 2.0% higher for the year, while regional prices jumped 6.9%

“As remote working opportunities became more prevalent and demand for lifestyle properties and lower density housing became more popular, regional areas saw housing market conditions surge,” said CoreLogic’s head of research, Tim Lawless.

The gains have been concentrated in houses, with the apartment sector hit by a glut of new supply and a fall off in demand amid restrictions on international tourism and migration.

While home sales recovered strongly in the last few months, listings remained below average.

“Low advertised stock levels reflect a rapid rate of absorption; put simply there are more active buyers than new listings being added to the market,” said Lawless.

“With home buyers outnumbering sellers, most areas around the country represent a seller’s market.”



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India office markets’ fit-out costs most economical in Asia Pacific: Report – ET RealEstate

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MUMBAI: India’s top seven commercial real estate markets including Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune have emerged as the most economical office interior fit-out markets in the Asia Pacific region, showed a Cushman & Wakefield study.

Key cities in Japan and Australia continued to dominate the top 10 list of most expensive office fit-out locations in Asia Pacific with average fit-out cost of $150 per sq ft. Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Sydney lead the rankings, with Melbourne climbing four spots to fifth this year, the study revealed.

“From an office design perspective, the workplace will evolve from a regular office to a place for networking and with a social feel. We expect that while social distancing and a flexible work policy will reduce the number of seats in an office, there would also be a bigger focus on agile seating formats,” said Shashi Bushan, Managing Director, Project & Development Services, Occupiers – India, Cushman & Wakefield.

Mumbai remains the most expensive office market in the country with an average fit-out cost of $133 per sq ft. The average office interior fit-out cost in New Delhi stood at $126 per sq ft and $33 in Chennai.

Post-Covid-19, the focus on health and safety is expected to continue to intensify, bringing forward greater adoption of touchless technology, improved heating, ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and smarter cleaning practices.

“We expect the companies to place more emphasis on employee wellbeing, hygiene, safety and security given that the pandemic has underscored the requirement to do so. Based on our interaction with our clients, we are observing that companies are inclined to de-densify their offices with this objective in mind.While the fit-out cost is already low in India, it will further decrease with de-densification of offices, and modernisation and industrialization that is underway in Indian office interior construction industry,” said Tushar Mittal, Managing Director of SKV, an interior design firm specializing in commercial offices.

While work from home is gaining ground, lots of employers see a need to scale up the usable area for each employee. Several companies are expected to modify their offices to suit new norms and guidelines.

Prolonged, enforced working from home has highlighted that productivity can be maintained, but at the cost of personal connection to colleagues and company culture. This raises questions around the optimal size and composition of the corporate footprint, while highlighting the need for ongoing investment into IT and audio-visual technology for collaborative team working. All these factors are important considerations as companies remain laser-focused on costs.



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