THE divide between rich and poor is getting bigger in Queensland’s housing market.
Research reveals the most expensive homes in the state have risen in value over the past year, while properties at the lower end of the market have fallen.
Analysis from property researcher CoreLogic shows home values across the most affordable sector of the state’s market dropped 0.8 per cent in 2018, while values in the top quarter of the market increased 0.1 per cent.
In Brisbane the gap is even wider, with values falling half a per cent across the most affordable properties and rising a third of a per cent among the most expensive.
It supports anecdotal evidence from real estate agents on the ground who are reporting higher sale prices for prestige properties.
Over the final quarter of 2018, Brisbane home values fell 0.1 per cent, while across regional Queensland, they declined 0.2 per cent.
But in the 12 months to December last year, home values in the Queensland capital rose by 0.2 per cent.
CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said weaker housing market conditions nationally were being influenced by a downturn across the capital cities, especially in Sydney and Melbourne.
Capital city home values are 6.7 per cent lower than their peak.
Mr Kusher said regional housing markets were holding up better than the capital cities.
It comes as the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal building approvals in Queensland have dropped to their lowest level since mid-2014.
Master Builders Queensland deputy chief executive Paul Bidwell said the 39,995 approvals recorded at the end of 2018 was in stark contrast to the peak of 52,000 approvals in August 2016.
“Despite a strong start to last year, approvals for detached houses have taken a turn for the worse, declining in the second half of 2018 and ending six per cent down on the previous 12 months,” Mr Bidwell said.
“The figures also reveal that the slide in unit approvals has slowed, and are down four per cent when compared to the previous 12 months.”