A record number of Australians spent $1 million or more to secure a home in the past year, CoreLogic’s annual Million Dollar Markets report reveals.
Over the year to March 2022, CoreLogic collected 596,733 sales nationally, up 19.8% from the 497,923 sales recorded the previous year. Of these 23.8% sold for $1 million or more.
Report author, CoreLogic Research Analyst Kaytlin Ezzy, said Australia’s bullish economic and property performance during latter part of 2021 had led to a record result for both the volume of transactions and the proportion of million-dollar sales.
In the year to May, an additional 487 markets (450 house and 37 unit markets) joined the million-dollar club. In total 1,367 or 30.4% of house and unit markets analysed in May recorded a median value of $1 million or more.
“High consumer sentiment, tight advertised supply, and low interest rates fuelled strong home value growth throughout 2021, resulting in a new record high annual growth rate of 22.4% over the 12 months to January,” Ms Ezzy said.
“Despite values having risen across all capital cities and rest of state areas annually, we have seen a divergence in growth conditions across markets over the year to date.
“Since January, dwelling values across Sydney and Melbourne have started to decline, while values have continued to rise across South Australia and Queensland. More recently, Canberra, which had previously recorded many months of consecutive growth, recorded its first falls in dwelling values in some years in May.”
The report shows Sydney suburbs made up 26.3% of the new million-dollar markets, which Ms Ezzy said is unsurprising given the city’s median dwelling value has sat above $1 million since May 2021.
“While the the largest concentration of new million-dollar markets in the city’s South West, Outer South West and Central Coast, Sydney’s million-dollar markets are fairly wide spread, with more than half of all Sydney sale over the 12 months to May transaction at or above $1 million,” she said.
Significant trophy sales in some of the country’s top prestige markets have been recorded in the year to date, including the $60 million transaction of a north-facing six-bedroom, six-bathroom waterfront home on Lindsay Avenue, Darling Point in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
In Melbourne a five-bedroom property in Orrong Road, Toorak sold for $38.5 million in February and the most expensive regional sale in 2022 has been a six-bedroom beachfront home on the Gold Coast’s millionaire’s row, Hedges Avenue at Mermaid Beach, which sold for $21.5 million in May.
Regional housing markets have shown a stronger growth trend through the pandemic to-date compared to capital cities, with values up 41.4% across regional Australia since March 2020 compared with a 21.8% rise across the combined capital city markets.
Byron Bay houses in the Richmond-Tweed region recorded the highest median value in regional NSW at $2,741,847, up approximately $400,000 from this time last year. Regional NSW has 150 house and four unit markets with a median value at or above $1 million, more than double the number recorded this time last year. The Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven,
Illawarra and Newcastle and Lake Macquarie regions had the highest concentration of million-dollar new comers.
In regional Victoria, 22 house markets made the million-dollar list, of which most were in Geelong, where Aireys Inlet houses had the highest median at $2,189,874.
Queensland is the only state to have a similar number of million-dollar markets in its capital city of Brisbane (122) compared to its rest of state area (107) Ms Ezzy said, largely due to the popularity of the Gold and Sunshine coasts. Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast had a median value of $2,680,187, overtaking the Sunshine Coast’s Sunshine Beach ($2,651,978) as regional Queensland’s most expensive house market.
Yallingup houses in the Bunbury region of Western Australia remains the west’s only regional market to make the million-dollar list with a current median value of $1,620,473. Tasmania and South Australia had no regional million-dollar markets.
Australia’s housing demand, transactions and national median values have eased gradually over recent months amid growing global uncertainly and affordability constraints.
CoreLogic’s Home Value Index recorded the first monthly fall in national values in May and Ms Ezzy said high non-discretionary inflation coupled with rising interest rates will likely see household budgets tighten in the coming months, further dampening housing demand over the medium term.
“As the market moves into the downward phase of the cycle it’s likely a number of the recent entrants to the million-dollar list will see their median values decline below the $1 million mark,” she said.
“Despite this, Australian household wealth hit record high levels at the end of the March quarter, driven by continued strength in the housing market largely driven by gains across the real estate sector.”
In Sydney, 448 house and 104 unit markets have a current median value of $1 million dollars or higher, an increase of 26.6% from the previous year. The new million-dollar markets are largely concentrated in the city’s South West (30) and Outer South West (15) as well as the Central Coast region (20). In the year to May, 51.9% of transactions in Sydney sold for $1 million or more. Bellevue Hill in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs is the most expensive house market, both across Sydney and nationally, with a current median value of $8,024,682.
Across Melbourne, 212 house and 11 unit markets had a median value at or above $1 million in May, the majority of which were located in Melbourne’s Inner (39), Inner South (42), Inner East (30) and Outer East (30). Brighton, in Melbourne’s Inner South, recorded the highest median value across Melbourne, at $3,778,312. Over the year to May, 34.6% of sales had a price of $1 million or more, up from 26.5% the year prior.
Queensland’s relative affordability and strong interstate migration underpinned a surge in values with the number of million-dollar markets more than doubling across Brisbane (up 139.2%) and regional QLD (up 127.7%) compared to this time last year. Teneriffe ($2,873,947) maintained its position as Brisbane’s most expensive house market.
As of May, Adelaide had 79 markets with a median house value of $1 million or higher; more than double the number of markets recorded this time last year. Over the year to May, 13.0% of sales recorded a sale price at or above $1 million. Unley Park in the Central Hills region maintained its position as Adelaide’s most expensive house market, with a current median value of $2,129,770, up approximately $420,000 from the year prior.
Across Perth, 56 house markets made the million-dollar list in May, up from 43 the year prior. Nine of Perth’s top 10 most expensive house markets were located in the city’s Inner region, where Dalkeith recorded the highest median value at $2,965,588.
Over the 12 months to March, 19.3% of sales across Hobart had a sales price at or above $1 million, up from 8.3% the year prior. As of May, 10 house markets were in the millionaires’ club, eight more than this time last year. Houses in Sandy Bay recorded the highest median value in May, at $1,402,803, followed by Acton Park at $1,316,329. No markets across regional Tasmania recorded a median value of $1 million.
Across the ACT, 52 house markets made the million-dollar list in May, more than double the 28 from the year prior. While no unit markets made the list, 62.7% of ACT’s house markets did. The portion of million-dollar sales rose over the year to May, from 16.0% in 2021 to 28.9% in 2022.