Property price growth easing across Australia, latest index shows

Residential property prices in Australia fell by 3.5% year on year in October with Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Darwin all seeing values fall significantly, the latest index data shows.

The highest annual fall was 7.4% in Sydney, followed by 4.7% in Melbourne, 3.3% in Perth and 2.9% in Darwin, according to the CoreLogic index report.

These cities also saw prices fall on a quarterly basis by 2%, 2.1%. 2% and 0.7% respectively to a median value of $833,876 in Sydney, $665,044 in Melbourne, $451,148 in Perth and $433,818 in Darwin.

In contrast, Hobart continues to lead the growth with prices up by 9.7% year on year and 1.2% quarter on quarter to $445,555 while prices rose by 4.3% on an annual basis in Canberra and by 1.5% quarter on quarter to $589,415.

The data also shows that prices increased year on year by 1.8% in Adelaide and by 0.2% month on month to $431,554 while in Brisbane the market is flat, up just 0.4% year on year and unchanged quarter on quarter at $491,925.

On a rolling quarterly basis, values are now trending lower across both the combined capital city regions with a decline of 1.6% as well as the combined regional areas of Australia, down 0.7%.

‘With such broad-based weakness in housing market conditions, it’s clear that tighter credit availability is acting as a drag on housing demand and impacting adversely on the performance of housing values across most areas of the country,’ said CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless .

He pointed out that while the downturn in Sydney and Melbourne is over the last 12 months, in Perth and Darwin it has been ongoing since the middle of 2014 and although prices are rising on an annual basis across the remaining cities, the pace of growth has eased.

The regional housing markets of Australia have also returned a diverse performance, with regional Tasmania standing out as the only broad region nationally with prices recording double digit growth of 11.4%. Both Hobart and regional Tasmania continue to record strong housing market conditions, driven by robust housing demand coupled with a shortage of supply.

Regional Victoria is also showing strong growth conditions as demand continues to ripple outwards from Melbourne towards the more affordable cities peripheral to the city’s metropolitan area.

Regional Western Australia continued to show challenging conditions with the annual pace of decline revealing some renewed momentum with values falling by 6.5% over the past 12 months.