NAB has revised its house price forecast after the market's ‘surprising resilience’, despite the possibility of more rate hikes and further weakening of economic conditions.

The major bank’s new outlook suggests home values will end the year up 4.7%, not down 4% as previously expected.

The forecast is based on the bank’s expectation that the RBA will hike rates two more times to take the cash rate to 4.60% by September. 

If interest rates normalise next year, NAB said this would support dwelling price growth - a 5% increase has been pencilled in.

Sydney house prices are poised to rise 6.9% this year (the highest of all capitals), reversing its earlier prediction of a 2.2% decline.

Perth is expected to follow closely behind with a 6% lift followed by Brisbane and Adelaide with 5.4% and 3% respectively. 

2022 2023 Forecast 2024 Forecast
Sydney -12.1% 6.9% 4.9%
Melbourne -8.1% 2% 7.4%
Brisbane -1.1% 5.4% 2.9%
Adelaide 10.1% 3% 3.7%
Perth 3.6% 6% 6.2%
Hobart -6.9% -6.4% 0%
Capital city average -6.9% 4.7% 5%

Source: NAB Hedonic Dwelling Price Forecasts

NAB Group Chief Economist Alan Oster said a strong rise in housing demand appears to have been a key support with population growth rebounding very strongly since international borders reopened in early 2022.

“The resilience in house prices has been somewhat surprising given the sheer impact of rising interest rates on borrowing power and affordability,” Mr Oster said.

“We have revised up our expectation for dwelling prices based on the recent resilience and outlook for strong housing demand in the near term, while supply growth continues to be challenged by higher rates and supply side pressures.”

Earlier this year, Westpac also revised its forecasts, suggesting dwelling values would stabilise in 2023 (initially forecast a -7% decline) followed by a lift of 5% in 2024.

Since bottoming out in February, dwelling prices have risen across most capitals with Sydney leading the way according to CoreLogic data.

Prices across the combined capitals are now up 16% from pre-COVID levels and have tracked above 1% month-on-month over the past two months.

Should we even be listening to major bank predictions?

NAB initially forecast 11% declines in 2023, which was revised to 4%, then further revised to 2.2% before revising again.

Given the major banks have gotten their property predictions wrong on numerous occasions, this begs the question whether Aussies should rely on their data in the first place.

Propertyology’s Head of Research Simon Pressley said he has stopped caring what every bank and economist said about property markets many years ago. 

“They mean well, but there’s not a damn thing that one can take from an economics degree which provides a genuine understanding of the complexities of property markets,” Mr Pressley told Savings.com.au.

“They still think ‘supply-and-demand’ is a simple equation of subtracting the volume of properties from population. I promise you, that’s not remotely close to the ‘formula’. 

“No one will get it right all the time. There are far too many moving pieces and unpredictable actions of people in high places for that to be possible.

“But there absolutely is a science to understanding the machinations of property markets.”


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