By Herron Todd White
Since 22 April, South Australia has recorded only two new COVID-19 cases, both of which were imported. With tight border security and strict social distancing measures implemented early, the state has essentially eradicated the virus locally. Social distancing restrictions have continued to ease and from 29 June, venue capacities will be increased to one person per two square meters without a limit on capacity. This has been positive news for the labour market after the unemployment rate climbed to 7.9 per cent in May.
On the back of strong market activity in the latter part of 2019, the market has remained resilient under exceeding pressures, generating a 0.4 per cent increase in dwelling values in May. Auction data for the week ending 21 June indicated a clearance rate of 65 per cent from 41 auctions; at the same time last year, the clearance rate was 53 per cent from 106 auctions. The data suggests that stock levels are low as vendors remain reluctant to dip their toes back into the market whilst buyer activity remains strong. Agent feedback supports this trend with many reporting limited stock but buoyant sales activity over the past four weeks.
The most recent CoreLogic data suggests that the tide however could be turning. In the second week of June, the Hedonic Price Index suggested property values in South Australia have entered the initial stages of a decline cycle. This data will continue to be reviewed in the short to medium term to gain a greater understanding of where the market is heading.
In a market with a median house price of $480,000, a lazy $700,000 goes a long way. This price point is considered to be representative of the middle and inner rings where suburban median house prices range between $600,000 and $800,000. Owner-occupiers and cashed up investors are most active at this price point with low interest rates making a $700,000 purchase more accessible to the broad market.
Gross yields of four per cent are typical at this price level, which is considerably below the seven to nine per cent achievable in the outer ring. What this market lacks in rental return is made up for in capital gains as the inner and middle rings have historically been the best performing for capital gains.
Turn of the century character dwellings are considered the best performing property type at this price point. Properties of this nature are forever exceeding expectations when it comes to achievable price levels, are popular with the rental market and provide the greatest prospects for capital growth over the long term.
Well serviced suburbs within the inner portion of the middle ring, five to seven kilometres from the CBD, are considered to provide the best prospects for growth at this price point in the long term. Prospect to the north, Felixstow to the north-east, Cumberland Park to the south and Lockleys to the west have the attributes fitting the required mould.
Prospect is located five kilometres north of the Adelaide CBD and is characterised by early 1900’s dwellings on a mixture of allotment sizes ranging from low to high density. The suburb runs north-south and has a number of sub markets. Price levels can vary street by street with the most noticeable differential being the portion of the suburb located north of Regency Road. The suburb is serviced by the Prospect Road retail and food and beverage precinct and is located in close proximity to the northern Adelaide Parklands. Prospect has seen strong growth over the past four years and currently has a median house price of $710,000. Characterising this price point is the sale of 36 Da Costa Avenue which achieved a sale price of $685,000 after an eight week marketing campaign. This property provides a well presented and updated brick bungalow disposed as three bedrooms and one bathroom on a 500 square metre allotment.
Felixstow is located 6.5 kilometres north-east of the Adelaide CBD and is characterised by 1950’s to 1970’s brick dwellings on medium to low density allotments. The suburb is currently going through a period of urban renewal kicked off by the sale of 83 housing trust homes in late 2018. This suburb is located in proximity to the Marden Shopping Centre and Klemzig O-Bahn Busway interchange. Of most appeal to this suburb is the recently refurbished Felixstow Reserve and proximity to Linear Park. Felixstow has a current median house price of $600,000. Selling for $695,000 and $701,000 respectively are: 5 Kapoola Avenue, a development site comprising a single level brick dwelling on 850 square metres; and 38a Laver Street, a circa 2016 four-bedroom, two-bathroom dwelling on 440 square metres, representative of the property types available at this price level.
Cumberland Park is located six kilometres south of the CBD and is characterised by early to midcentury dwellings on medium to large allotments. This suburb is located in proximity to a number of major transport routes providing direct access to the CBD, Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and metropolitan beaches. The suburb has become popular with young families and has a current median house price of $713,000. The sale of 6 Narinna Avenue for $730,000 is representative of this price level. The property comprises a partially renovated circa 1960’s cream brick dwelling disposed as three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The property has well landscaped yards and a land area of 734 square metres.
Established in the mid 1950’s, Lockleys is located seven kilometres west of the CBD and comprises a mixture of mid to late 19th century homes and newer infill development. Henley Beach Road intersects the suburb, providing direct access to both the CBD and metropolitan beaches. Located adjacent to Kooyonga Golf Club and sharing its northern boundary with Linear Park, the suburb has historically been popular with older professionals. Price levels can vary between the northern and southern portion of the suburb, which has a current median house price of $650,000. Both 10 Kingswood Crescent and 31A Lorraine Avenue, which achieved sale prices of $710,000 and $715,000 respectively, are representative of the infill development occurring. Both properties comprise single level detached dwellings disposed as three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a double garage on 400 square metre allotments.
With low stock levels, demand at this price point should remain resilient in the short to medium term. This should provide confidence for both vendors and purchasers looking to throw their hats into the ring whilst navigating through COVID-19 turbulence.
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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.