Australian home prices are still falling but there's no sign of a major plummet

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  • Australian home prices continue to fall, although the pace of decline appears to be moderating.
  • Prices continue to fall in Sydney and Melbourne, masking modest increases in some smaller state capitals.
  • Total property listings have risen in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra over the past year. They’ve declined in all other capital cities over the same period.

Australian home prices continue to fall, although the pace of decline appears to be moderating.

According to CoreLogic, the median price across Australia’s five mainland state capitals — Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth — fell by 0.1% last week, leaving the average weighted decline over the past month at 0.2%.

Year-to-date, the median price in these cities has fallen by 1.5%, the same decline reported over the past year.

CoreLogic

However, as seen in the table below from CoreLogic, those national price trends mask some divergent performances across individual capitals.

CoreLogic

Price are still falling in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s largest housing markets, mirroring recent declines in auction clearance rates.

40% of Australian homes are located in these two cities, accounting for around 60% of Australia’s total housing wealth.

Along with ongoing price falls in Perth, this largely explains why Australia’s median dwelling price has fallen over the past month, year-to-date and over the past 12 months.

However, prices aren’t falling in all locations.

According to CoreLogic, the median price in Brisbane and Adelaide rose by 0.1% last week, extending the gains over the past month to 0.5% and 0.4% respectively.

Year-to-date, prices in both Brisbane and Adelaide have risen by 0.3%, perhaps reflecting more attractive valuations and, in the case of Brisbane, solid interstate migration from other parts of the country.

Like a majority of other Australian capital cities, a decline in the number of properties currently up for sale may also be helping to underpin values.

As seen in the table below from CoreLogic, total listings in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra have risen over the past year, substantially so when it comes to Sydney.

CoreLogic

This, along with ongoing affordability constraints, tighter lending standards and lower levels of local and foreign investor activity, goes someway to explaining the underperformance of these once high-flying markets in comparison to other parts of the country in recent months.

In May, CoreLogic’s more comprehensive home value index — incorporating price movements in all capital cities and regional areas — fell by 0.1% in average weighted terms.

The decline in the capital cities was slightly larger at 0.2%, largely reflecting declines of 0.2% and 0.5% in Sydney and Melbourne.

Halfway through June, the latest data suggests a similar result may be seen when the next report is released in early July.

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