House prices stable in July

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Home values stabilised in the month of July, recording a moderate seasonally-adjusted increase of 0.4% according to the RP Data-Rismark Hedonic Home Value Index.
The July figures follow a 1% seasonally-adjusted drop in the month of June, which was the first negative movement in capital city home values in 17 months.
The best performing capital city in July was Darwin, with home values up 1.1% in the three month period to the end of July. Sydney and Adelaide were the only other capital cities to record increases in house values, at 0.3% and 0.2% respectively.
Meanwhile, Brisbane and Perth were the weakest performing capital cities, both recording a 2.5% decline in home values over the three months to the end of July. Hobart performed only slightly better, recording a decline of 2.4%, while Melbourne prices dropped 1.1% and Canberra saw a 0.5% decrease.
RP Data’s research director, Tim Lawless, claimed the July results were evidence that Australia’s housing market has experienced a “controlled soft landing” following huge growth in 2009.
“In the period between end 2008 and March 2010, Australian home values rose by 16.3%. Yet monthly growth rates have declined consistently since the start of the year,” Lawless said.
RP Data and Rismark expect the market to track sideways over the second half of the year and Lawless said there is “the possibility of modest gains if mortgage rates remain in check and economic conditions continue to improve.”

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