House prices in Sydney have gained 9.1% over the past year according to CoreLogic RP Data. Meanwhile, SQM Research says Sydney house prices could increase by as much as 18% next year.

In SQM Research’s Housing Boom & Bust Report 2017, analyst Louis Christopher forecasted a gain of between 13% and 18% for Sydney, should the Reserve Bank of Australia slash the official cash rate by 0.25% by mid-2017.

Even if RBA doesn’t reduce interest rates, Christopher is predicting gains of between 11% and 16%. On the other hand, if RBA does raise rates by 0.25%, then Sydney prices could see increases of between 8% and 13%.

Melbourne faces a similar scenario, with a rate cut generating growth of between 12% and 17%. No changes would mean 10% to 15% gains in property prices and growth of between 8% and 13%. 

Darwin and Perth are expected to continue to decline by as much as 9% if RBA raises the cash rate. Other capital cities are expected to see single-digit growth no matter what the central bank does. 

This has consequences for mortgage insurers like Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia. The insurer is experiencing lower business thanks to the banks writing less high loan-to-valuation-ratio loans, particularly in the beleaguered resource states of Western Australia and Queensland.

Christopher also forecasted an oversupply of new houses in 2017 and 2018, particularly in Brisbane. The city has numerous apartment buildings currently under construction in and around the central business district. This could see property prices tank and flow through to detached houses.