Easing property prices in all the capital cities could mean the boom times are over for markets like Sydney and Darwin
Median house price growth in all capital cities declined and Perth
, Hobart, Canberra and Darwin all recorded flat or falling house prices over the March quarter, according to the latest APM Housing Market Report.
The report, which was released today, showed that the national median house and unit price both increased (by 2% and 1.3% respectively).
In both categories, the growth recorded was the weakest quarterly growth rate in a year.
APM senior economist Andrew Wilson said that, while Sydney remained the clear price growth leader over the quarter and the year to March, the city’s house price boom had faded fast.
Sydney house and unit prices both recorded their lowest rates of growth since March last year, he said.
For example, the median house price increased by a solid 3.1%, but this rate was well down when compared to the December quarter increase of 5.1%.
“Affordability barriers, particularly in the Sydney market, are emerging with the impact of underperforming local economies also acting as an impediment to activity.”
Melbourne’s price growth rate was also down over the March quarter when compared to the December result. The median house price increased by 2.8%, while unit prices increased by just 0.2%.
However, Wilson said that houses prices in Melbourne are 11.7% higher than they were a year ago. The median house price now exceeds $600,000 for the first time.
Meanwhile, the results posted by other capital cities showed modest growth at best, Wilson continued.
Brisbane and Adelaide
recorded some price growth, while prices in Perth, Hobart, Canberra and Darwin all stayed flat or fell.
“This clearly reflects the disparity of the multi-speed recovery profile of the current growth cycle.”
On a brighter note, Wilson said house price growth was set to continue through 2014 - although at significantly reduced rates compared to 2013.
“The effect of record-low interest rates on housing markets is now dissipating. The December quarter 2013 is likely to have been the high-water mark in the cycle for growth rates.”
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