Melbourne was the top-performing capital city in terms of monthly and quarterly house-price growth in October, according to the latest CoreLogic Home Value Index results.

Dwelling values in Melbourne were 2.3% higher than they were a month ago — houses in the Victorian capital currently have a median value of $650,197. On a quarterly basis, Melbourne prices were 5.5% higher.

Melbourne housing values have recovered 6% since moving through a trough in May 2019. On an annual basis, however, values in the city remain 1% lower.

Sydney closely followed Melbourne in both monthly and quarterly gains. House prices in Sydney grew by 1.7% over the month and 5% over the quarter. Sydney clocked its highest monthly gain since November 2009.

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The two cities continued to witness the strongest growth conditions thanks to lower mortgage rates and improved credit availability.

"The stronger rebound in Melbourne and Sydney can be attributed to a blend of factors — tighter labour market conditions and stronger population growth relative to the other capitals, coupled with the stimulatory effect of the lowest mortgage rates since the 1950s, and improved access to credit," CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said.

The two cities managed to pull up the overall growth in national prices, which hit 1.2% over the month. In fact, the CoreLogic Home Value index delivered a fourth straight month of rising values and the largest month-on-month gain since May 2015.

On the other hand, the downwards trend continued in Perth and in Darwin. However, both cities are now showing muted price declines.

"The rolling three-month trend in Perth housing values recorded the smallest decline in fourteen months and Darwin dwelling values posted a rare monthly rise in October. Both cities have seen dwelling values consistently trending lower since mid-2014," Lawless said.

The declines in the two cities were also apparent in their parent states, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Due to the falling prices, these two states recorded the highest proportion of first-home buyer activity, with buyers not being weighed down by negative equity.

The table below shows the changes in dwelling values and median house prices in capital cities: