Australian home prices flatten in April

Two cities post first falls as higher inflation brings forward rate hikes

Australian home prices flatten in April


By Mina Martin

Australian home price growth stalled in April, rising just 0.13% nationally month-on-month – the slowest rate of growth since prices fell in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the PropTrack Home Price Index. The slowdown comes as higher-than-expected inflation has put pressure on the Reserve Bank to raise OCR. 

“Home price growth has slowed considerably in 2022 and stalled across the capitals in April,” said Paul Ryan, economist at PropTrack and report author. “The national price increase in April was the smallest since May 2020 at the onset of the pandemic. While price growth has slowed dramatically in 2022, it is comparing to the exceptional period of growth experienced in 2021. April housing activity was disrupted by the federal election announcement and public holidays.”

Home prices in Sydney saw a slight drop in April, down 0.1%, marking the first fall since early in the pandemic. Hobart saw prices decline for the first time since early 2018, down 0.44%.

Regional areas continue to outperform the capitals in the post-pandemic market, with regional areas seeing a 23% increase in the past year compared with only 14% in the capitals, the report found.

“While regional areas continue to benefit from relative affordability, regional price growth has also

slowed sharply in 2022,” Ryan said. “This slowing follows widespread expectations of higher interest rates in 2022. This will erode the affordability that record-low rates brought following the onset of the pandemic.”

Perth and Darwin were the strongest-performing capitals in April, at 0.45% and 0.53% growth, respectively, despite weak conditions throughout 2022 so far. Other strong performers in April were regional Tasmania (0.57%), regional NSW (0.55%), regional QLD (0.51%) Adelaide (0.34%), and Brisbane (0.22%). Melbourne (0.05%) and ACT (0.04%) saw flat growth.                                                                     

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