National house prices dragging heels

The current national house price shows the lowest quarterly growth rate since last year and rests solely on the strength of the Sydney market, which is beginning to show signs of moderating.

According to the Domain Group’s House Price Report, a fall in the median house price over the September quarter hit properties around Brisbane, Adelaide and Hobart. Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin were the only capital cities to record a price increase during the same quarter.

Domain Group senior economist Dr Andrew Wilson said the Brisbane house price stalled over the September quarter, which is the first negative quarterly result for more than two years. The median price fell by 1.3 per cent.

“The Sydney market will continue to lead the pack, but the clock is now ticking for that market since further signs of moderation are emerging… Although house prices in Sydney are not accelerating at the exceptional levels recorded last year, the growth rate has been consistent over 2014,” Mr Wilson said.

“Adelaide and Hobart also reversed recent trends in house price growth, recording their first falls in a year, and subdued prices growth in Perth was no real surprise since that market has consistently reported waning buyer activity over the past year.”

The report found over the September quarter both Perth and Canberra suffered a 1.5 per cent and 1.7 per cent dip in the median house price respectively. Darwin prices rose 2.9 per cent.

Mr Wilson said without a sustained revival in economic activity national housing markets will continue to soften and end the debate about macro-prudential tools or changes in property taxation policy designed to offset local and foreign investor activity.

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