Latest figures show small falls in property prices

It was no surprise when the latest figures showed that Australia’s housing market remained sluggish in the first three months of this year.

Australian Property Monitors’ March quarter house price index shows median prices falling 0.6 per cent nationally.

Canberra was the only capital city where median house values rose in the quarter (+ 0.2%.) Melbourne median house prices were steady and Sydney prices fell by 0.4% per cent.

According to APM  prices fell in all other states Adelaide – 0.6%;Perth -1.1%;  Darwin -1.6%, Brisbane -2%, and Hobart – 2.3%.

APM senior economist Andrew Wilson said softening house prices were a “hangover” from strong price growth in 2009 and 2010, driven by record activity from first home buyers.

“Although price growth has been subdued in both houses and units through the first part of 2011, early signs are emerging of stabilisation and recovery in most capital cities,” Dr Wilson said

The median price for units also fell in the March quarter by 1.2 per cent nationally to $406,279, but was up over the year by 0.4 per cent. House prices were up year-on-year basis by 0.2 per cent, APM said.

RP Data-Rismark similarly reported weak and slightly falling property prices for the first quarter and their latests statistics will be available in a few days.

RP Data-Rismark researcher Tim Lawless was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald as saying; “Capital city home values were absolutely flat in February following a seasonally adjusted 1.5 per cent drop in January.  Evidence to date shows that the Australian housing market is making a very controlled exit from the strong growth conditions of 2009/10″.

Last month Reserve Bank of Australia chief Glenn Stevens said he was not “terribly troubled” about the level of house prices in Australia as house price to income ratios were “not exceptional by global standards.”

Yes, we’ve definitely moved into the next stage of the property cycle, but there are no desperate sellers and prices are not about to crash.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald 


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