Flipping good deal: property profits hit a 14-year high

Aaron Bunch |

The number of Australian homeowners making a profit from the sale of their dwellings climbed to the highest rate in more than a decade.

More than 94 per cent of about 85,000 sales in the first quarter of the year recorded a nominal gain, according to CoreLogic’s Q1 2024 Pain and Gain report.

The total nominal resale profit was $28.6 billion and the median nominal per property gain was $265,000 to March, with national home values rising 1.7 per cent for the quarter.

Adelaide and Brisbane shared top honours for being the most profitable capital cities with 98.4 per cent of resales achieving a nominal profit.

CoreLogic’s head of research Eliza Owen says the national profitability rate of 94.3 per cent is the highest experienced by sellers since July 2010 when it was 94.5 per cent.

“This increase in the profitability rate across the Australian housing market helps to shore up financial stability for many property owners at a time when higher mortgage costs are starting to take their toll on household budgets,” she said on Wednesday.

A file photo of houses in Brisbane
Brisbane and Adelaide beat other capital cities to record the highest rates of profitable resales. (Russell Freeman/AAP PHOTOS)

Darwin was the least profitable market of the capital cities, ahead of Melbourne, with 28.7 and 9.2 per cent of sales making a nominal loss respectively.

The median nominal loss was $40,000, and the total nominal resale losses were $278 million.

The March quarter figures also indicate that short-term selling of properties owned for two years or less – an indicator of how households are responding to rising interest rates – has fallen.

“As housing values have risen, the rate of loss-making sales within short-held properties has also declined,” Ms Owen said.

“Interestingly though, properties held for two to four years have made up a relatively high portion of resales in the March quarter at 15.3 per cent, which may be influenced in part by the expiry of three-year fixed terms.”

Houses continued to deliver higher rates of profit-making sales compared to units, with 97.1 per cent of house resales making a nominal gain compared to 89 per cent of units.

The median nominal gain for houses in the March quarter was $320,000, compared to a median nominal gain for units of $172,500.

“Underlying land value, scarcity, and a desire for more space through the pandemic has helped drive buyer demand and in turn led to a more substantial rise in house values relative to unit values,” Ms Owen said.