Australian house prices are coming back down to earth, statistics reveal

by Julia Corderoy02 Sep 2015
The rate house price growth is beginning to slow across Australia’s capital city housing markets, new statistics reveal.

According to the CoreLogic RP Data Home Value Index, house prices across the eight capital cities were just 0.3% higher over August, after rising by 2.8% in July. 

The highest month-on-month movement was in Sydney, where dwelling values were 1.1% higher. However, this was three times less than the 3.3% monthly rise Sydney experienced over July. 

House prices also moved higher across Adelaide (0.7%) and Darwin (0.3%), but were flat over August in Melbourne and Brisbane. The remaining three capital cities recorded a month-on-month fall in house prices.

With the lower month-on-month growth rate, the annual rate of appreciation has also slipped back a notch to 10.2% per annum, from 11.1% last month.

According to CoreLogic RP Data head of research, Tim Lawless, the slower rate of capital gain for August is likely to be a welcome relief for the RBA, who has expressed some concern about the heat emanating from the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets.

However, while the August results indicate a slowdown in the rate of appreciation in house prices, the quarterly figures highlight that trend growth still remains high. Combined capital city dwelling values are 5.3% higher over the three months to August.

“While the rate of capital gains slowed last month, today’s results are only one month worth of data. Therefore, we should be cautious about interpreting this as a slowdown in the overall trend of value growth. In fact, the quarterly and annual trend of capital gain remains high in Sydney and Melbourne.”

House prices across Melbourne were 8% higher over the rolling quarter, and Sydney values were up 7.4%. Over the 12 months to August, Melbourne prices were up 10.6% and Sydney prices increased by 17.6%.

However, these two cities have seen dwelling values trend substantially higher than other capitals. The third highest growth rate over the three month period was Brisbane, which showed a more modest increase in values of 2.2% and an annual increase of 3.9%.

“The Spring season will provide a timely litmus test for the housing market given it’s a time when listing numbers normally increase materially. It will be important to monitor whether buyer demand keeps pace with the additional number of homes being advertised for sale,” Lawless said.