Regional property markets outperforming capital cities in Australia

Residential property prices edged lower across most capital cities in Australia in February with broad based falls weighing down values nationally for the fifth consecutive month.

The latest index data from real estate firm CoreLogic shows that while the 0.1% price decline in national values was more moderate than the 0.3% declines recorded over each of the previous two months, it marked the first time national values had fallen for so many months in a row since March 2016.

The index also shows that there continues to be a divergence between capital city and regional markets, with the combined capital city index falling by 0.3% over the month, compared to a 0.4% increase in combined regional values.

The biggest month on month fall was in Darwin at 0.9% to $426,421 and prices are now 7.4% below a year ago. The market is also declining in Sydney with prices down 0.6% month on month, down 2.4% quarter on quarter and 0.5% below a year ago with a median value of $880,743.

Only one capital city saw prices rise month on month. In Hobart values were up 0.7% compared to January and are up 3.2% on a quarterly basis and 13.1% compared to February 2017 at a median vale of $416,840. Prices were unchanged on a monthly basis in Adelaide, up 0.1% quarter on quarter and 2.2% year on year to $433,354.

Both Melbourne and Brisbane, where prices have been rising are now seeing monthly and quarterly declines but are still up year on year. In Melbourne prices were down 0.1% month on month and 0.4% on a quarterly basis but up 6.9% on an annual basis to $723,334. In Brisbane prices were down 0.1% month on month and quarter on quarter but up 1.8% year on year to $491,850.

There has been a similar pattern in Canberra where prices are down 0.3% month on month and 0.2% quarter on quarter but still up 3.2% year on year to $588,616. Perth, like Darwin, is on a downward trend with prices declining 0.2% month on month, 0.7% quarter on quarter and 2.7% year on year to $464,474.

‘The overall softening in the market becomes more evident when looking at the change in values over the past three months,’ said CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless.

He pointed out that while most individual capital cities recorded declines in values over the past three months, in the regional areas of the country the results were very different. Indeed, regional prices increased by 0.9% over the three months and values were higher in the regional areas of all states except for Western Australia.