2023 was a year filled with more than its fair share of challenges, but Australians are tough and the property market was resilient in the face of multiple interest rate hikes and hesitant investor sentiment.
Residential home prices across Australia grew by 7% over the year to November 2023, with dwelling prices in the combined capital cities peaking in May, slowing again towards the end of 2023 and settling at 8.2% growth over the year. In contrast residential property values in regional areas showed slower growth, at a rate of 3.4% over the past year.
As expected, interest rates continued to rise and many fixed-term mortgage rate loans came to an end, putting some Australians under mortgage stress. Despite these pressures, residential house prices continued to grow, due to the continued imbalance between housing availability and strong demand.
This housing imbalance has also impacted the rental market with national rental increases averaging 8.1% over the past year. Despite these increases in rental values, rental yields have shown much smaller growth rates due to interest rate hikes impacting mortgage repayments.
First time loan approvals have increased by 11.8% over the past year, but investor lending was still strong, comprising of more than a third of total approved loans across Australia in 2023.
Rising interest rates have done little to slow down the residential property market outlook in most parts of Australia, with monthly sales volumes trending higher than the five-year average despite rising house prices and tighter lending. This upward trend in residential property prices is forecast to continue well into 2024 due to the housing shortage.
Investment in alternative property classes will continue to grow in the year ahead. The return of international students is expected to stimulate the demand for student housing and Build-to-rent investment opportunities. Recovery in tourism will also boost consumer demand and growth in the hotel and short-term accommodation market. In line with this predicted growth, we at BMT have seen 15% growth in tax depreciation schedule orders for hotels and motels, affirming the expansion of this sector.
Commercial property investors will remain focused on attracting top tenants who are prepared to pay for prime location and amenities, reinforcing the ‘flight to quality’ trend. BMT Tax Depreciation Schedule orders in the industrial sector have grown by 8% while the embattled office sector has shown a 6% decline in the request for tax depreciation schedules in line with market trends.
Overall, it was a challenging but positive year for BMT. We completed more than 40,000 depreciation schedules in 2023, earning our clients hundreds of millions in tax deductions. In 2024 we will have completed close to 1 million depreciation schedules across Australia; an accomplishment that solidifies our position as the number one choice in tax depreciation.
In 2023 the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors released a white paper validating our approach to property depreciation, insisting that a site inspection by an expert quantity surveyor remains the most reliable way to maximise the depreciation deductions on an investment property. They have also encouraged our industry to move away from referral fees, a practice that BMT has always avoided.
We look forward to another great year of partnering with you at BMT.
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