What Everybody Ought To Know About Property Values


House market outpaced by units


The results of the RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index for June showed that the unit market has outperformed houses over the last 12 months and during the last five years.

Historically, houses have enjoyed a much more rapid appreciation in value than the growth recorded by units. There are a number of reasons for this more rapid level of property value growth. Some of these reasons are a:


· greater demand for houses

· diminishing availability of development land

· higher quality of stock and design available for houses rather than units

· the greater Australian dream to own a house rather than a unit

Despite these factors, over the last five years units have recorded average annual property value growth of 7.4% compared to 7.1% for houses. However, the results suggest that the superior performance of units compared to houses is quite a new phenomenon as over the last 10 years the average annual value growth of houses (9.9%) has well and truly outperformed units (8.0%).

The improvement in the capital growth performance of units in recent times is most likely due to affordability issues. Based on current capital city median prices, unit prices are recorded at $420,000 compared to houses at $495,000. Accordingly, units offer a much more affordable alternative housing option than houses.

Today, many new unit developments are located where a large proportion of the market aspires to live but cannot afford to buy a detached home. In most cases, apartments offer a viable and more affordable option to buy into these areas. Bellevue Hill in Sydney is a good example of this. Bellevue Hill is one of the country’s most expensive housing markets with a median house price of $3.85 million, unit prices in the suburb are recorded at $620,000, -84% more affordable than a house.

The inner city and well established residential areas enjoy high demand for units because in most instances they are: well catered to by local amenity including shops and restaurants, well located close to working nodes and are serviced by existing public transport amenity which is often not available in outer suburbs of the capital cities.

It’s undoubted that units have significant appeal for price sensitive purchasers due to the fact they can own in a popular location at a far lesser price compared with a detached home. For investors, units are appealing because in most instances the rental yields are much higher than they are for houses. Across Australian capital cities, the average gross rental return for a unit is now recorded at 4.8% and for houses yields are recorded at 4.0%. The superior rental return achieved by units can be attributed to the fact that units are typically located in areas that have high demand: close to major transport networks, employment nodes or retail centres.

More detailed property information including recent home prices, property values and to generate your own property report you can visit the www.myrp.com.au web site.

Free Property Reports

Before you buy into a suburb, it’s a good idea to get information on the basic demographics of the area – age of households, number of occupants, schools, income, occupations, etc.  As well as the median property price trends for houses and units in that suburb. You don’t want to buy in a declining suburb!

There are various Australian Real Estate Portals and Companies that give this type of information away for free, some more easily found than others.

Here is a quick run down of some of the more interesting & useful resouces:

MYRP.com.au - Free Suburb Profile Reports

Just put in your post code and your email address, and you get emailed the information in a simple report format. Handy for you to send on to others for review and also to print out and save for future reference.  RP Data collects information from government and real estate agencies and has the most up to date data on property sales history, prices, demographics, etc.


Demographic data is not as strong in these reports but it does nicely present average sale prices for houses and units.

This requires a bit more work to access the data and it’s not in a nice downloadable report format. That said though, the data is very useful and interesting.  Go to this page: http://www.rs.realestate.com.au/cgi-bin/rsearch?a=sp and select the state you are interested in. Scroll down the long list of suburbs, and then you will see up to 12 months worth of data detailing the average house prices, and unit prices, for that suburb.  Once again, the data is supplied by RP Data though, so it won’t be that different to what you will find in the emailed report directly from the source.  What is interesting though, is that at the very bottom of the page, you can see actual properties in that suburb that have sold recently, and most often, the information includes sale price. Click on the links to view the individual properties, to see what standard they were relative to the price they sold for, check out street locations, etc.  Handy.


Is an upcoming site that predominantly focuses on QLD house price data, but is still worthwhile to view.  Data for consumers is generally free and they have an interesting array of reports available. Definitely worth a look and they are planning to expand to address more of Australia very soon. In fact, they probably already have by the time you read this.  Again, predominately sourced from government agencies and real estate agents direct, so the data is fairly accurate. That said, they do not have the volume of agents that realestate.com.au and RPData.com have access to.