HIA welcomes house price recovery figures

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By Robert Carry

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has said the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which showed that the index of established house prices increased for a second consecutive quarter in September 2009, "fly in the face of doom-sayer predictions".

The HIA's chief economist, Dr Harley Dale said renewed growth in house prices over 2009 negated predictions that home values would tumble in Australia.

"Increasing signs of life in the real estate market this year has helped boost consumer confidence and spending and has been a component of Australia's economic out-performance," he said.

Dale added that at new home construction needed to pick up to in order to avoid unnecessary upward pressure on home prices. "A recovery in new residential construction is underway, but there is a very real risk that costly delays in planning approvals and land shortages will combine to blunt the magnitude of that recovery," said Dale.

According to HIA figures, the weighted average capital city established house price index increased by 4.2% in the September 2009 quarter to be 6.2% when compared to the same period last year.

The established house price index increased by 4.3% in Sydney, 4.7% in Melbourne, 4.4% in Brisbane, 1.7% in Adelaide, 4.5% in Perth, 1.8% in Hobart, 3.4% in Darwin, and 4.3% in Canberra.

The weighted average index for project homes across Australia's eight capital cities increased by 1.3% in the September 2009 quarter to be up by 2.5% compared to the same period last year.

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