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Housing Market Forecast: Your Guide to Buying Property in 2019

clock icon December 10, 2018
tag iconBrisbane Property Investing in Property Sydney Property Tips Buying Property

Updated – 10th December 2019:


It’s the end of the year, which means the information here might be a little out of date. If you’d like to know where the market is heading in the new year…

Please see our latest property market forecast and guide for 2020 right here:

Australian home buyers have an abundance of opportunity heading into 2019.

We have all seen the slow decline of housing values across the country, mostly due to an oversupplied market, tighter lending conditions, and a general market correction.

While recent headlines hint that we are heading into some kind of ‘doom and gloom’ scenario, there is one group that benefits from current conditions – first home buyers.

First home buyer lending increased nationally by 28.4% in the past year, with New South Wales and Victoria leading the charge. This is hardly surprising, given our least affordable states are now beginning to soften in pricing.

Sydney housing forecast

Photo of Sydney housing market

Dwelling values in Sydney had a significant drop in the past year, declining by 8.1%. This downward trend seems likely to continue into 2019.

This is a welcome change for Sydney buyers that have been gradually priced out of the market for several years.

Given this, first home buyer lending in NSW is already up 74% over the past year, according to QBE’s housing outlook. First home buyers are flooding back into the market, with the Sydney median house price slowly getting within their reach.

We suggest making use of stamp duty concessions to assist with the cost of the purchase price:

  • Homes or apartments valued between $650,000 and $800,000 are the sweet spot –  the perfect choice as they become more available.
  • Consider the outer suburbs and areas surrounding your desired location

Brisbane housing forecast

Photo of Brisbane housing market at sunset

Meanwhile, housing values in Brisbane have remained relatively flat and have avoided the pinch many capital cities are feeling.

Reasons behind this include population growth, complemented by the increase in migration from other states. This is no surprise, given Brisbane offers the most affordable housing on the east coast.

People are realising the opportunities going forward, with median house prices forecasted to grow by 11.3% over the near few years. However, be wary of the oversupplied unit market.

For any prospective buyers, first time or investor, keep the sunshine state in mind.

Check out QBE’s housing outlook if you are interested in the rest of the market.

The broader picture looks good

Since this time last year, national dwelling values are down 4.2%, with most of the downward pressure coming from the obvious culprits, Sydney and Melbourne.

Despite a long-term positive outlook for most major capital cities, this pressure will continue to push down the national average at least into 2019.

Banks have become more cautious in their willingness to lend, and mixed in with softening housing values, the market will be under pressure. Fortunately, things might not be as bad as some doomsayers may suggest.

The Reserve Bank announced last week that they will leave the official cash rate on hold at 1.5% just in time for Christmas.

The RBA’s commentary suggested there was no need to make changes, highlighting a strong labour market and stable inflation as some of the indicators that will support our weaker housing and credit conditions.

Australia's forecast housing growth 2018-2021
Australian median price growth. Source: QBE Australian Housing Outlook 2018-2021

Will housing prices crash or recover?

Even with positive economic indicators across the board, there are those that say we are only at the beginning of a housing crash.

Some forecasts predict a disaster scenario, others point out the market stabilising itself in a couple years. All have merits and pose for some interesting discussions to be thrown around at Christmas, but in reality, no one can perfectly predict what will happen.

Australian’s housing boom lasted several years, so it’s fair to say a correction had to come sooner rather than later. As with all markets, they work in cycles with both peaks and troughs experienced. The market will make the necessary correction then begin to rebuild as it has previously.

Thinking long term

A major investment like a home or property is something you’ll want to hold onto for 10, 20, or even 30 years. Therefore, you should always consider the long-term outlook of the market. Think of key drivers like population growth – housing demand will need to keep up with our growing population.

Deciding on when to enter the market can be a difficult decision, but trying to time the market will lead you nowhere. Are you ready to make this commitment on a financial level?

How do you prepare yourself if your New Year’s resolution is to a buy a property in 2019?

Begin your property hunt

To sum up, for those that have been locked out of the property market for several years, conditions are shifting in the buyers’ favour.

Remember, do your research, set realistic objectives, and become an expert in the area you want to live. Those who are organised have a greater chance of success.

Buying your first home and don’t know where to start? Come along to Sydney’s longest running first home buyers course. Now available in Brisbane. Book your seat today!

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