Property prices go backwards in four cities

The Sydney market has continued to defy gravity but Melbourne price growth has rapidly slowed and Perth is moving at below-inflation pace.

Domain Group’s quarterly price report found that Sydney ended 2014 with a median house price of $874,000, which marked an annual increase of 14.1 per cent. Median unit prices jumped 10.4 per cent to $598,000.

Melbourne house prices rose 3.4 per cent to $610,000, while unit prices rose 2.9 per cent to $431,000.

There were mixed results for Brisbane, with house prices increasing 6.1 per cent to $490,000 and unit prices decreasing 3.3 per cent to $357,000.

Perth prices moved at below the inflation rate of 1.7 per cent, with houses up 0.2 per cent to $613,000 and units up 0.1 per cent to $406,000.

Adelaide houses climbed 4.1 per cent to $467,000, while units climbed 6.0 per cent to $298,000.

Canberra performed poorly, with house prices rising 0.5 per cent to $586,000 and unit prices falling 0.9 per cent to $413,000.

Hobart also reported mixed results – house prices rose 3.0 per cent to $336,000 but unit prices declined 7.9 per cent to $237,000.

The picture was uniformly bleak for Darwin, as houses fell 6.8 per cent to $634,000 and units fell 2.3 per cent to $434,000.

Domain Group senior economist Andrew Wilson said 2015 would be a modest but generally steady year for capital city housing market performances.

Dr Wilson said there would be marginal difference between the performances of the capital cities – with the notable exception of Sydney.

“Median house price growth will push up again towards double figures over 2015 and is expected to break through the $900,000 barrier sooner rather than later,” he said.

Of the other cities, Brisbane, Darwin and Hobart are forecast to be the best performers, with Melbourne and Adelaide in the mid-range, and Canberra and Perth a level below.

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