This month’s market update

Real estate prices continued their upward march with CoreLogic’s national house price index rising 0.4% across the nation for the first month of the new year. The market also put on another record with the difference in the price between a house and a unit blowing out to 45.2%.

CoreLogic Head of Research Tim Lawless says, “Since the commencement of the upswing, capital city house values have surged 11.0% higher while unit values are up 6.9%,” Lawless said. “It seems that most Australians are willing to pay a higher premium than ever for a detached home.”

Lawless says that despite worsening housing affordability, listings were up in the three months to the end of January in comparison to the same quarter 12 months earlier.




Where are interest rates headed?  

The national sport of predicting the direction of interest rates has kicked off with the Reserve set to have their first meeting of the year on the first Tuesday of February and they are widely expected to hold. With cooler than expected inflation figures released by the ABS at 4.1% for the December quarter – still outside the target band of 2-3% – home owners can expect to breathe a sigh of relief.

But expectations of a cut in 2024 are mixed, with the big banks all expecting the rate cycle to turn downwards at some point this year.  Some economists are not so sure, but with inflation starting to drift down, mortgage holders might be able to sleep better.

As always, all eyes are on the inflation figures.






The benefits of high rise living 

NSW Premier Chris Minns’ plans to build nearly 200,000 new homes along the Sydney rail corridor to ease pressure on rents and increase the housing stock has had a mixed reception. While some housing groups welcome the move, transforming established inner city areas has been met with stiff opposition by some councils concerned about its impact on changing the character of the area.

It is certainly a journey familiar to Wollongong. Anyone with a working set of eyes will have seen the transformation taking place in the CBD over the last decade with high density units seemingly starting to be built every second week. And while the suburbs of the Illawarra are a great place to raise the family, the central theme of development in the city is the move up. High rise living in Wollongong can come with the convenience of shops and services right on your doorstep, access to sports, entertainment and beautiful beaches – all without the maintenance that comes with keeping the quarter acre block.





Sunset Cinema 

 As the curtain begins to be drawn on summer, the annual sunset cinema at the Botanic Gardens is a great opportunity to throw down the picnic rug, buy a bottle of sparkling something and some munchies, and grab a burger from the His Boy Elroy truck.

Running until the 23rd March, movie-goers have the opportunity to see Wonka, Mean Girls and Anyone But You – and a host of other movies – as the sun goes down over Mt. Keira. At Bartlett and Co. we think it’s a great tradition in the Illawarra.







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