Australia Covid news live update: NSW records 23,131 cases as hospitalisations top 1,300; new Victoria cases surge to 14,020 as Qld reports 5,699

There’s been a bit of media around house prices over the past year, so it seems only right to make some note of how they fared in 2021 overall.

CoreLogic is one private consultancy that’s quick out of the blocks. According to them, average “housing values” rose 22.1% last year, which is either a sign of low-interest rates doing their thing or one of market insanity, given the wider economic disruptions that are obvious if you visit any shopping centre, for instance.

But we want to know details such as the fact that December “values” only rose 1% compared with 1.3% in November, or that those in the regions were still increasing at a 2.2% clip in the final month of 2021 – perhaps as city folk sought to flee future lockdowns in urban areas.

For the year, the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven regions of NSW posted a 37.7% rise in prices for the year, the fastest in the nation, according to CoreLogic. Queensland’s Sunshine Coast wasn’t far behind with a 33.7% rise.

Across the capitals, Melbourne reported its first retreat – all of 0.1% in December – since October 2020, while Brisbane reported a 2.9% “surge”, CoreLogic said. For the year, the Victorian capital’s rise was 15.1% and Brisbane’s 27.4%.

Sydney housing prices were bobbing along at 0.3% higher in December and 25.3% for the year. Hobart’s 28.1% rise was the most among the capitals for 2021.

“The slowing trend in Sydney and Melbourne can be explained by a bigger deposit hurdle caused by higher housing prices alongside low income growth, as well as a recent surge in advertised inventory levels and weak demographic trends,” CoreLogic said.

“Slower conditions across the Perth housing market [with its mere 13.1% annual rise] may be more attributable to the disruption to interstate migration caused by extended closed state borders which has had a negative impact on housing demand.”

“In Brisbane and Adelaide, housing affordability is less challenging, advertised stock levels remain remarkably low and demographic trends continue to support housing demand,” CoreLogic said.

I suppose the question is when will Covid logic catch up with the market. Probably before the first rise of official interest rates, which the RBA at least doesn’t think will happen until 2023, at the earliest.

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