House prices

Why are house prices rising when wage growth is low and unemployment is still high?

PHOTO: House prices rose in every capital city, except Melbourne. Photo: Supplied

Swelling disposable incomes for some workers are helping push up property prices despite low overall wages growth and a high unemployment rate, experts say.

Falling interest rates are leaving potential borrowers better off than they would have been a year ago, while tax cuts in the recent federal budget are boosting take-home pay even for workers who missed out on a pay rise.

Those lucky enough to keep their jobs in the COVID-19 recession may have also saved on dining out during lockdown or on planned overseas holidays, boosting the size of their deposit.

House prices rose in every capital city, except Melbourne, where they were flat, over the September quarter, on Domain figures, adding 0.9 per cent nationally over the quarter. Apartment prices were mixed across cities but edged up 0.1 per cent nationally.

In October, home values – including apartments – rose in every city except for Melbourne where falls narrowed, according to CoreLogic.

Owner-occupier borrowers have been driving the price rises, with investors largely sidelined as inner-city apartment rents drop and international immigration stalls

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