House price growth slowing

by Maya Breen03 Mar 2015
CoreLogic RP Data research shows dwelling values in Australia’s combined capital cities up 0.3% in February.

The February Home Value Index from CoreLogic RP Data reveals dwelling values continued to rise last month with Melbourne the best performing capital up 4.5% in the last quarter to end of February.

The weakest performing was Darwin at -1.0% although their places reversed among rental yields with Darwin highest, having gross rental yields of 5.9% and Melbourne lowest at 3.2%.

The most expensive city was Sydney with a median dwelling price of $680,000 and Hobart the other end of the spectrum being a more affordable median number of $336,500.
CoreLogic RP Data head of research Tim Lawless said the latest month-on-month results show a moderation in the rate of dwelling value growth compared with the December and January movements.
“The slower rate of capital gain in February may come as a surprise to some who were expecting lower mortgage rates to instantly propel the pace of home value growth higher,” Lawless said.
“We are already seeing the effect of lower mortgage rates, with auction clearance rates surging to the highest levels we have seen since 2009 and valuation activity across CoreLogic RP Data valuation platforms reaching new record highs based on daily averages over the second half of February.
“Despite the flurry of activity, it will likely take some time to see this flow through to a higher rate of capital gain.”
Lawless said weaker jobs growth, higher unemployment, declining affordability, low rental yields and political uncertainty could all contribute to a dent in consumer confidence.
“At the same time we are seeing federal regulators acting to ensure responsible lending standards are being adhered to.
“With lenders on alert to keep within the APRA benchmarks, obtaining housing finance may become more challenging for some higher risk sectors of the market which could act as another counter balance to lower mortgage rates,” Lawless said. 

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