Believe it or not, there are actually other cities in the country apart from Sydney and Melbourne and a few of them have been experiencing fair-dinkum housing crashes for years. I bought in the middle of what was probably the second biggest one (Darwin) and thought I'd share what I learned. My wife and I moved to Darwin in 2010 and it was boom time. The mining boom was in full swing and property prices seemed to be on a never ending rise upwards (sound familiar?). Then Inpex happened. Japanese giant Inpex announced they were going to build their 36 billion dollar gas processing plant in Darwin. It was the biggest project in the southern hemisphere at the time. It required 8000 workers all of whom were going to be well paid in a town of 150 000 people.... BOOM. Property shot up again, making Darwin more expensive than Sydney by a fair margin. Rents went skyward and as a young FHB...any hope that I ever had of buying property sailed out the window (ring any bells Sydney?). I was young, fed up and angry, not unlike a lot of the posters on here. Whilst this was all happening the developers came and built high rise after high rise after high rise in the CBD and estate after estate in the burbs. (ding a ling?). When the local media questioned the necessity for all this accommodation they were told that future population growth would soak it all up. Then all of a sudden, just as the last tile was being poorly laid. The mining boom ended and the economy tanked. It was about 2013 and we all began to wonder what exactly was propping everything up? Why weren't there any lights on in the high rise? Shops started to close, the vacancy rate went up and I started charting Darwin's listings so I could see what was really going on. You'd think that prices would plummet, but no, they didn't. For the next 2 years prices remained stubbornly high. Developers were even still trying to flog high rises with "free cars and a washing machine", but the horse had bolted and the buyers were no where to be found. The listings started to pile up too, everyone wanted out at top dollar but nothing was happening. By 2015 the vacancy rate was 9 percent in the CBD. I repeat, NINE percent. It was only now the prices started to tumble. And boy did they tumble hard. properties that were 700k were now going for 600k then 550k then 500k. Units that were previously 450k were now 300k. The real carnage though was in the CBD (surprise!). 600k units there dropped to 350k....ouch. Admist all the doom and gloom, there was a group of us who thought it was Christmas. All of a sudden it was cheaper to buy than rent. Us young professionals who 5 years ago had thought we'd be renters forever were now able to get a property. And not just a poo-box, but something really quite nice. Around 2016/2017 we all went shopping. We only bought PPORs and we bought them all at a discount to the already discounted price (to insulate ourselves from further falls). We were all on 80 - 100k pa and buying for 3-400k. These are nice, sensible numbers. 2 years on some of us are down a little (10-15k?) but most of us have held steady...either way we're all miles ahead of where we'd be if we were still tenants. My friends that bought during the boom have also held on. None of them have sold. They would all be down well over 100k but the properties still rent out and life still goes on. It will too in Sydney and Melbourne. Basically what I'm trying to say is that: - A crash brings equal amounts of pain and opportunity. Prepare for the opportunity. - There is a lag between the market moving and sellers getting the memo. Usually the lag is a few years. - If you've gone in too deep with debt, selling earlier is better, before the lag kicks in. - Do your own charting and research on the ground. Forget the mainstream media. - Different areas and property types are affected differently. Learn which are the good ones and target those. - Avoid high rise apartments. Don't even think about it. - Buy something you actually want to live in. You'll have a lovely place to ride out the storm and be in a better position once the clouds clear. - Keep debt low and buy something you can comfortably afford. - Wait until the sellers are hurting and buy at a discount. This will insulate you from further falls (to a certain extent).