The latest RP Data-Rismark established house prices report showed that property values are down 1.4% across the capital cities.
Over the past 12 months capital city house prices have fallen 5.8% but apartments have fared better with unit prices down a more modest 1.5%.
Regional prices also dropped over the year to be down 0.2% in May, off 1.4% over the last year.
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Looking more carefully at the figures shows that much of the weakness is confined to the detached housing market rather than apartments.
RP Data research director Tim Lawless points out that unit values have been much more resilient to value falls compared to houses.
“It is clear that the market is becoming increasingly price point driven. Unit values across the combined capitals increased in May and they are up by 1.3% over the first five months of the year.
“Based on median prices, unit prices are generally around 15% to 20% lower than house prices. Investment yields also tend to be higher and units are often located more strategically compared with their detached counterparts,” says Lawless.
In Victoria house prices were down 2.7% in May and are now down 8.4% over the year to May.
Sydney house prices fell 1.2% over the last month, down 3.6% over the year.
Brisbane-Gold Coast prices were down 0.4% over the month and have fallen 6.5% in the last 12 months
Perth values fell 1.7% last month and 3.9% iver the last year.
House values also fell in Hobart (-1.2%;-8.9%); Canberra (-1.5%/-0.9%) and Darwin (-2.4%/-1.2.
Adelaide prices rose 1.2% in May, but remain 2.4% lower than year earlier.
This report gives the RBA more ammunition to ease monetary policy next week and lower interest rates.
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