House prices post first drop in a year

by Adam Smith03 Jun 2014
Home values have faltered for the first time in a year, new data has indicated.

The May RP Data-Rismark home value index shows a decline of 1.9% in capital city dwelling values for the month. The decline represented the first monthly drop in dwelling values since March 2013.

Most capital cities saw a drop in value, led by Melbourne with a 3.6% fall. Canberra was the exception, edging up 0.1%.

RP Data research director Tim Lawless said the decline could be due in part to a "seasonal phenomenon", but could also indicate a shift toward cooler housing market conditions.

"Historically, housing market conditions have softened in April and May as the market rebalances from what is typically a seasonally strong first quarter and also as a results of cooler climatic conditions during the autumn and winter months. Outside of the seasonality, we have been seeing signs that the housing market is at or approaching the peak of the growth cycle," Lawless said.

For the year, however, home prices remain well up on last year. Capital city values are up 10.7% on a year-on-year basis, with Sydney values up 16.6%.