Thursday, April 21, 2011

Apartment Prices Level with Houses

Terry Ryder published an opinion piece in The Australian today. Some extracts:

"THE planets are falling into alignment for property investors at present. We not only have a buyers' market in many key locations, but the scenario for rents and yields looks positive.

Two reports from credible research sources record a revival in rental growth in most of our major cities and predict solid rises throughout the year. "Renters should prepare for significant growth in rental prices throughout 2011, driven by accelerating economic activity, housing shortages and a depressed first-home buyer market," said APM's senior economist Andrew Wilson. Units in particular have seen a major shift in demand, with low vacancy rates for inner-city residences in most capital cities intensifying competition.

It has long been a basic tenet that houses show better capital growth than apartments, but changing lifestyle choices and affordability issues mean more households are opting to live in attached dwellings.

Last year, units showed slightly better capital growth than houses in terms of average growth across the nation, according to RP Data figures. ...

The 4 per cent average growth for dwelling rents recorded by Matusik Property Insights in the past year is very moderate - about half the historic annual rise in rents - and inconsistent with notions of a chronic dwelling shortage (as claimed by the developer lobby).

Matusik says vacancy rates drive rental growth and a general increase in vacancy rates in 2009 and much of last year caused rental growth to stall. Rental growth is now starting to return, he says, with a recent drop in vacancies.

"A falling vacancy rate is likely to put further pressure on weekly rents," Matusik says. "Rises of between 5 and 8 per cent during calendar 2011 are not out of the question.

"This in turn should lead to an increase in property values."

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