Property market stabilising: time to invest?

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Sections of the Australian property market are beginning to stabilise after the market slowdown during the summer.

The latest figures from Australian Property Monitors (APM) suggest that the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane markets are showing "early signs of stabilisation and recovery" following price falls during the first three months of this year.

APM reports that the national median house price fell by 0.6% to $550,946, with national unit prices down 1.2% to $406,279 in the first quarter. Annual growth slowed to 0.2%.

"The softening of house price growth reflects the ongoing hangover from the strong prices growth generated between 2009 and 2010 driven particularly by record activity by first homebuyers,” said Dr Andrew Wilson, APM's senior economist.

"With high levels of stock on market and a continued decline in first homebuyer and investor activity, most markets have struggled to rebalance from the buyers’ market conditions evident since late 2010."

The figures reveal that Canberra was the only city to record a positive growth in house prices – albeit only 0.2% - while Melbourne showed no change. Hobart has recorded the most significant fall in house prices out of all the capital cities, dropping 2.3% to $334,822, while Adelaide saw the largest fall in unit prices, sliding 4.8% to $296,939.

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