The number of dwellings that are worth less than the price they were bought for has increased over the December 2011 quarter, new data has revealed.
According to new RP Data figures, 6.4 per cent of Australian dwellings were estimated to be in negative equity, up from 4.9 per cent at the end of the previous September quarter.
Australian homes that are worth more than double the price their owners paid for them have also fallen to 42 per cent, down from 43 per cent in September.
Over the five years to December 2011, capital city home values have increased by about 25 per cent, however over the past quarter values have appreciated at a much slower rate causing the number of homes in negative equity to rise.
Around 40 per cent of homes in the capitals that are in negative equity have been owned for less than two years. This reflects the downturn in the housing markets since late 2010 when home values fell by 5.5 per cent.