Housing 101: What goes up, must come down

Australia’s two biggest cities have snapped back to reality, with prices now falling rather than relentlessly rising.

Sydney ended November with a median house price of $950,000, after values fell 1.5 per cent over the month and 1.4 per cent over the quarter, according to CoreLogic RP Data.

The city’s median unit price is $675,000, after values fell 0.7 per cent over the month but rose 0.6 per cent over the quarter.

The heat has also come out of the Melbourne market, with the median house price now at $675,000, following declines of 3.6 per cent over the month and 0.4 per cent over the quarter.

Melbourne’s median unit price is $504,000, with monthly values down 2 per cent and quarterly values down 0.9 per cent.

CoreLogic RP Data research director Tim Lawless said rising interest rates and stricter lending practices had probably contributed to the slowdown in housing market conditions.

“Tighter mortgage servicing criteria across the board and affordability constraints in the Sydney and Melbourne markets are also having an impact on market demand,” he said.

Investor activity has also declined – the investor share of new mortgages fell from 54.1 per cent in May to 45.4 per cent in September.

Meanwhile, Brisbane has now emerged as Australia’s strongest market. The city’s median house price grew 1.9 per cent over the quarter to $495,000, while its median unit price grew 0.6 per cent over the quarter to $400,000.

Adelaide’s median house price increased 1.1 per cent to $435,000, while the median unit price decreased 0.2 per cent to $342,000.

Canberra’s median house price climbed 3.3 per cent to $355,000, although the median unit price dropped 3 per cent to $423,000.

Hobart experienced a 3.3 per cent decline in house prices, to $355,000, alongside a 1.7 per cent gain for unit prices, to $292,000.

Perth house prices continued to fall, declining another 2.1 per cent to $515,000; however, unit prices held steady at $415,000.

Darwin went backwards in both sectors, with the median house price down 1 per cent to $575,000 and the median unit price down 4.8 per cent to $511,000.

[Related: Industry about to undergo major change as markets slow]

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