The market is more than the capital cities – Geoff White

The market is more than the capital cities – Geoff White

The real estate market, the property market, is more than just the capital cities.  Core Logic’s Geoff White who is my co-host on Auction Update every week takes us on a tour of the regions, state by state.


Kevin:   Well, of course we realise don’t we, that the real estate market, the property market is more than just the capital cities and that’s why with particular interest, I saw the latest report from Core Logic that looked at the regions, state by state. An interesting report and we’ll dig into it a little bit in this discussion I’m having with Geoff White who’s the head of real estate at Core Logic. Geoff, thanks again for your time.

Geoff:   Hi, Kevin.

Kevin:   Well, let’s have a look at this report. We might have a look at state by state I think, because there are a couple of surprises in there. We’ll get to a few of those in a moment. New South Wales. What do we see there in terms of sales activity?

Geoff:   Yeah, the sales activity Kevin, pretty much right across the country, but very much in New South Wales. The activity or number of sales conducted for the 12 months up to the end of September, is down across all of those regions ranging from 13 percent to 14.7 percent. So a big reduction in the activity of sales across the board in those regions in New South Wales there, Kevin.

Kevin:   Yeah, it’s also surprising to see that the advertised rental rates, well I suppose not surprising, they increased over the year. Is that an indication more people moving into rental properties?

Geoff:   Yeah, I think rents have been looking quite attractive to people and I think when you’re seeing demand, the sales numbers going backwards, naturally they’re going somewhere, and rents have probably been turning over nicely. So we’re seeing in the likes of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, a 5.3 percent increase in asking rents for units. 5.3 percent which is quite a reasonable high. In fact, that’s the highest unit increase for the whole of the country was in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, and houses 4.7 percent in Richmond Tweed, so both houses and units top the list in New South Wales.

Kevin:   Yeah. Well, in fact you talk about the Tweed region there. Interesting too to see the largest increase for units in the Richmond Tweed region. Medium unit value increased 9.3 percent.

Geoff:   Yeah. 9.3 percent is a big percentage and alongside that was houses at 8.7. So Richmond Tweed when you really look at it, whilst the activity’s been down, it’s up right across the board in terms of house values, units and rents. So that’s a very strong region at the moment. And New South Wales generally has performed very well in these regional areas over the last 12 months.

Kevin:   Yeah. Good news when you get out of Sydney. Let’s have a look at Queensland. Townsville. Gee, they’re really feeling it tough up there. They have been for quite a while, Geoff.

Geoff:   Yeah, they have. That’s exactly right. So whilst we’ve seen sales activity come down, we’ve seen actually house values come back by 1.3 percent and units 3.9 percent, so it’s feeling the pinch. The only shining light in Townsvile out of these figures is rents for units have gone up 3.7 percent. So that’s it. And look I guess it’s one of those regions that has felt it, like some others, and just hasn’t seen the good days yet.

Kevin:   Yeah. A lot of people will be breathing a sigh of relief to see the Sunshine Coast picking up again too after so many years of just lagging behind the rest of the state because of an oversupply, but Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast both performing quite well.

Geoff:   Yeah, they are. They really are, and that whole South East Queensland area is doing very well and Gold Coast actually had the highest decline in terms of sales activity at 15 percent, so that was down a lot. But on the flip side, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, both up on house values and unit values. You know, the Sunshine Coast house values gone up 7.7 percent and units 5.3. Great result over that 12 months.

Kevin:   Yeah. Probably a bit of catch up there too. I think it’s been a bit lacklustre in recent years, but it’s good to see it picking up again now. There’s been a lot of development of that area as well, Geoff.

Geoff:   Yeah, that’s right. And I mean, and it’s a great place to live too.

Kevin:   It’s not bad.

Geoff:   It’s not a bad part of the world to be honest.

Kevin:   Do you get there occasionally, Geoff, do you?

Geoff:   Oh, I try to. Not enough unfortunately.

Kevin:   Not enough, no. Well, let’s go to Victoria. Sales activity down a little bit in Victoria, and you and I talk about what’s happening with the auction market in Victoria. I don’t quite know where that market’s headed right now.

Geoff:   Yeah, that’s right. The region, the two regions in Geelong, sorry in Victoria, Geelong and Latrobe Gippsland, have both had positive. In fact, Geelong had the biggest increase in house values right around the country in terms of regions at 16.6 percent. So that’s enormous. We’ve been talking about Geelong for quite a while and these numbers tend to reflect it. Units up 11.9 percent. Activity, sales activity down 9 percent, so it’s been a very, very strong market at Geelong. And our friends down at Latrobe Gippsland a steady performance. Basically up right across the board in terms of house values and unit values, both in between the six and seven percent. So a good result for them too.

Kevin:   Yeah. It is indeed and you and I of course, do a lot of work in that area because we do a show in there as well and it’s such a good thing to see an increase in both units and houses for the area, and quite a sizeable increase as well. So, you know, good on them.

Kevin:   Now, Western Australia finally to round out this tour around the country. Bunbury, the region there saw house values fall by 4.6 percent.

Geoff:   Yeah. Houses down 4.6. Units down 4.9. Rentals not going in the positive direction at all. Bunbury’s just been one of those, and it’s been tough there for a long time. Over the last five years, we’ve seen a decline in activity of 11 percent. In the last 12 months, three percent. So, just off the back of all of the Western Australian property market, yeah, it’s soon got to turn the corner I would have thought, because there’s some really good opportunities there for buyers particularly. So yeah.

Kevin:   I wouldn’t be at all surprised next time we do talk about the regions, particularly in Western Australia, we’ll see an improvement there, because I am hearing reports about green shoots coming out of Western Australia. Now whether that’s extending to the regions, I’m not quite sure, but certainly in Perth there is good signs.

Geoff:   Yeah. Likewise, hearing that as well. So yeah, I think you will find it a change in Perth, sorry Perth and Bunbury and the Western Australian market. So I agree with you there, Kevin.

Kevin:   Yeah. Good report and you can always catch Geoff and I with our auction report, the auction update every Monday as we look at the auction results over the weekend. Geoff, look forward to talking again soon, mate. Thanks for your time.

Geoff:   Yeah, thanks Kevin. Have a good one. Bye bye.

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