Australian home prices have ended their run of gains, with a leading private sector index flat in August. RP Data’s Hedonic Home Value Index was unchanged in August for the eight capital cities, and rose just 0.1 per cent in regional and rural areas.
Capital city home prices were up 1.6 per cent over winter, but down 2.4 per cent over the past year. The biggest prices gains over the past month were in Adelaide (1.4 per cent) and Canberra (1.2 per cent), while Sydney and Melbourne posted modest 0.1 per cent increases.
Perth and Hobart had the two largest falls of 1.2 per cent, with Darwin down 0.5 per cent and Brisbane off 0.2 per cent.
RP Data’s director of research Tim Lawless said Sydney has been the most consistent performer amongst the capitals.
“Sydney dwelling values have increased over five of the past eight months providing a cumulative capital gain of 1.9 per cent over the year to date,” Mr Lawless said. “Canberra (+1.4 per cent), Hobart (+3.9 per cent) and Darwin (+8.4 per cent) have also yielded owners capital gains over the first eight months of 2012. In contrast, other capitals, like Adelaide (-1.3 per cent), Brisbane (-1.4 per cent), Perth (-2.5 per cent) and Melbourne (-2.6 per cent), have recorded tougher conditions this year.”
Mr Lawless said the price gains are an encouraging result for the traditionally quiet winter season, but the true test will be how the market copes with all the new listings that come onto the market in Spring.
“We know that there is likely to be an increase in new supply over Spring, which may introduce some headwinds for a recovering market,” Mr Lawless added. “How the market plays out over the Spring season will be an important litmus test for its resilience.”
The most expensive property market in Australia remains Sydney, with a median dwelling price of $530,000. The cheapest capital city market is Hobart, with a median price of $275,000.
RELATED: Australian Home Prices