Has the Demand for Houses During the Pandemic Widened the Gap between Unit Prices?

The record real estate boom in 2021 saw prices increase nearly in all regions in Australia and while units were not excluded from the booming market, it’s the prices of houses that were mind blowing.

In a span of just 12 months, house median prices soared by $214,250, exceeding $1 million.

Unit prices also increased but not as much – by $44,317 in the 12 months to December 2021.

It has been quite challenging, especially in capital cities, where the price difference between units and houses has significantly widened since the pandemic started. The swift rush of buyers for homes with bigger spaces led to demand for houses picking up and prices climbing sharply while demand for units weakened.

This is quite obvious in Sydney, where the price gap between the median prices of units and houses has increased from $400,000 in December 2019 – pre-Covid – to $799,000 in December 2021.

Currently, the price of a house is double that of a unit. In some Sydney suburbs, like Strathfield, Collaroy, etc., the price difference between houses and units reaches millions of dollars.

Forster

There is a 2.3%, or $15,000, price gap between the median price of units and houses. This is because the suburb’s coastal location makes its property market diverse.

A homebuyer with a budget of $850,000 could get either a unit or a house. You can purchase both for the same price, but they both won’t be located by the water.

A significant portion of the apartment market in Forster is influenced by location. Because it is a high tourism area, it has many apartment blocks on the waterfront or near the water, which drives up the average unit prices higher. Thus, you can purchase a house for the same price as a unit but the house will not be in the same area as the unit.

Plenty of the areas in NSW where the price gap is smaller between units and houses are in the coast, including Ballina, Yamba, Terrigal and Tweed Heads South, which all had differences of less than 30%.

Like Forster, the median apartment prices in these locations are likely to be higher due to a greater concentration of units near to the beach.

We see this in Newcastle too where there is a high concentration of units near our beaches and harbour!