CBA and RPData release March quarter Home Buyers Index

THE latest Commonwealth Bank/RP Data Home Buyers Index (HBI) brings good news for prospective home buyers, with national property market conditions moving from a balanced market in December 2013 to a buyer's market in March 2014.

For buyers, regional areas continue to show the most favourable conditions. No capital cities made the top 10 buyer's markets.

The top five best buyer's markets in Australia include:

  • Wide Bay-Burnett, Qld;
  • Mersey-Lyell, Tas;
  • Far West, NSW;
  • West Moreton, Qld;
  • Central, WA.

The top five best seller's markets in Australia include:

  • Central Highlands, Vic;
  • Sydney, NSW;
  • Melbourne, Vic;
  • Canberra, ACT;
  • Loddon, Vic.

Prospective home buyers should consider the dramatically different conditions between metropolitan and regional areas, says Clive van Horen, General Manager Home Loans, Commonwealth Bank.

"The latest HBI shows while the metropolitan areas of Queensland and Tasmania provide good opportunities to negotiate on the sale price of a property, home buyers in the south eastern states should be cautious with their budgets and ensure they don't pay more than the true-market value when purchasing a property," he says.

"Overall, it's important all home buyers continue to comprehensively research the market to understand the conditions in their area and state. It's also essential to seek outside guidance through consulting with their home loan provider and sourcing true-market valuations for properties before negotiations take place."

The latest HBI report noted mixed market conditions across the states and territories.

State/Territory: Market Conditions:

  • New South Wales
    • Balanced market - conditions stayed virtually unchanged in March 2014 as New South Wales remains a balanced market, while the Sydney market continues to strongly favour sellers.
  • Victoria
    • Balanced market - conditions in Melbourne have shifted slightly in favour of sellers in March 2014, however, conditions across the rest of the state are more balanced between buyers and sellers.
  • Queensland
    • Buyer's market - buyers still firmly have the upper hand in Queensland with Brisbane offering solid opportunities with the coastal region of Wide Bay Burnett, becoming the top buyer's market in the country in March 2014.
  • South Australia
    • Balanced market - state and capital city market conditions continue to be balanced in March 2014, with Adelaide showing a fairly equal level of power between both buyers and sellers.
  • Western Australia
    • Balanced market - while conditions in Western Australia shifted from a buyer's market in December 2013 to a balanced market in March 2014, the Perth housing market continues to remain balanced.
  • Tasmania
    • Extreme buyer's market - conditions remain unchanged in March 2014, with the state continuing to be more favourable to buyers than any other state or territory.
  • Northern Territory
    • Buyer's market - although market conditions were balanced in December 2013, in March 2014 the property market moved in favour of buyers.
  • Australian Capital Territory
    • Seller's market - with the state capital Canberra remaining one of the top five seller's markets in the country, conditions shifted from a balanced market in December 2013 to favour sellers in March 2014.

Between December 2013 and March 2014, market conditions have remained consistent across the capital cities with the exception of Canberra, which has moved from a balanced market to a seller's market. The Central Highlands in Victoria also moved from the fourth best seller's market previously to the top seller's market in March 2014.

The HBI shows the best opportunities for buyers are in regional areas of Tasmania and Queensland, while sellers continue to enjoy the upper hand in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, says Tim Lawless, National Research Director, RP Data.

"Although market conditions remain mixed across the states and territories, and their respective capital cities, there are some clear opportunities for home buyers, especially those looking for investment properties," he says.

"By and large the best opportunities for home buyers are in regional areas, with particularly favourable conditions in areas outside of the metropolitan hubs of Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and West Australia."

To access the report summary visit

For more information, tips and guidance on purchasing or selling a property, please visit the CommBank blog at

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