Home prices in Australia’s eight capital cities increased by 0.5% in the second quarter of this year compared with the first three months of 2012, the latest figures show.
It is the first time since the December quarter of 2010 that prices have risen, according to the latest index published today (Wednesday 01 August) by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The ABS index shows that prices rose the most in Darwin where they increased by 5.1%. In Sydney they increased by 1.4%, in Perth they increased by 0.6% and in Adelaide they increased by 0.5%.
Brisbane saw prices increase marginally by 0.1% but elsewhere prices fell. The steepest drop in prices was in Canberra where they fell by 1.3%, followed by Melbourne and Hobart where prices fell 0.4% in both cities.
It also shows that whilst house prices are up in the June quarter 2012, through the year house prices have fallen in all the capital cities except for Darwin and Perth.
'The figures may be an indication that we are returning to an environment of housing price growth in some of Australia’s major housing markets. Given that housing affordability is at its highest level in more than two years the result is not a surprise as good earnings growth and interest rate cuts may mean the end of the modest correction we have been seeing in house prices,' said Andrew Harwvey, senior economist for the Housing Industry Association (HIA).
'The data will be yet another blow to the housing market doomsayers that, against all available evidence, continue to portend a collapse in Australia’s housing market. The fundamentals of Australia’s housing market remain very strong. Rents continue to grow at a rate well above headline inflation, rental vacancy rates are tight, and Australia’s unemployment rate remains the envy of the developed world, he added.
The ABS also published its full set of house price figures for 2011. These show that apartments, units and semi detached town houses had a smaller drop in price in 2011 than established houses.
In the year to December 2011, the new Experimental Other Dwellings Price Index fell in all capital cities with an average fall of 3.0%. In comparison, the price of established houses for the eight capitals fell by 4.4% over the same period.
In Canberra, apartment, unit and townhouse prices fell 0.6%, the lowest annual fall out of all the capital cities. In comparison, established houses fell in price by 1.8%.
Brisbane and Adelaide showed falls of 1.2% and 1.7% for apartments, units and townhouses, compared to falls of 5.4% and 4.5% for houses. This trend also continued in Sydney where prices fell 2.1% for apartments, units and town houses and 3.2% for houses and in Melbourne prices were down 4.6% for apartments, units and town houses and down 5.6% for houses.
In Darwin house prices fared much better in 2011, recording a robust increase of 12.3% and Perth also saw a modest increase of 1.1%.
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