Slower growth in major cities eases bubble fears

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The strong growth in Australian property values so far in 2014 has eased in April, with dwelling values increasing by only 0.3% over the month, according to the latest RP Data-Rismark results.

This is compared to the very strong 2.3% month-on-month rise in March, and 3.5% increase over the first quarter of the year.

Falls were recorded in Melbourne (-0.5%) and Canberra (-1.1%), while mild growth in other cities was just 0.2% in Hobart and Perth.

The best performing capital city for April was Adelaide at 2.1% and no other area exceeded 1.1%, which was recorded in Brisbane and Darwin.

RP Data’s Tim Lawless said this is good news for those concerned about the affordability of housing prices, especially in areas like Sydney and Melbourne.

“The reduction in the rate of capital gains across the combined capital cities housing market brings growth back into a more sustainable range and will be a welcome relief for first home buyers,” said Lawless.

“A lower rate of capital gains in Sydney and Melbourne where dwelling values surged 22.5 per cent and 16.4 per cent respectively over the current growth cycle, may now signal that these markets are moving through their growth cycle peak.
“However, we will need to see a few more months of data before we can establish whether a slowing trend is now evident in these cities. We have recently seen auction clearance rates move lower in both of these markets.”
Despite the Sydney market recording another increase in April, it was the lowest rate of monthly growth since its run of 11 consecutive month-end increases commencing June 2013, said Rismark CEO Ben Skilbeck.
“The last time Sydney strung together 11 consecutive month-end increases was in November 2007 when the market added 14.7 per cent and before that in November 2002 when it delivered 19.6 per cent growth. The record for Sydney consecutive growth months was 12 recorded in Nov 1996,” he said.

Highlights over the three months to April 2014
  • Best performing capital city: Darwin +5.1 per cent
  • Weakest performing capital city: Canberra, 0.2 per cent
  • Highest rental yields: Darwin houses with gross rental yield of 5.8 per cent and Darwin Units at 6.1 per cent
  • Lowest rental yields: Melbourne houses with gross rental yield of 3.3 per cent and Melbourne units at 4.2 per cent
  • Most expensive city: Sydney with a median dwelling price of $680,000
  • Most affordable city: Hobart  with a median dwelling price of $340,000

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