Australian home prices look like they're stabilising -- except in Sydney

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  • Home prices across Australia have stabilised over the past three weeks, suggesting that the worst of recent price declines may now be over.
  • Prices have fallen four of Australia’s five mainland state capitals so far this year, led by Sydney, down 1.7%.
  • Stock for sale levels are now slightly higher than a year ago, led by a more than 20% increase in Sydney.

Australian capital city home prices held steady for a third consecutive week in early March, bolstering the view by some analysts that the worst of the recent price declines are now behind.

According to CoreLogic, prices were unchanged across Australia’s five mainland state capitals last week in average weighted terms with small increases in Brisbane and Perth, along with a steady reading from Melbourne, offsetting weakness in Sydney and Adelaide.

This table from CoreLogic shows how each individual capital fared over the week.

Source: CoreLogic

Prices rose by 0.2% in Brisbane, leaving the change over the past four weeks at 0.1%. Perth prices also rose marginally, lifting 0.1% to leave prices over the month down 0.1%.

Melbourne prices — both over the week and past month — were unchanged while those in Adelaide fell by 0.1%, the same drop reported over the past four weeks.

Sydney, continuing its recent form, remained the weakest of the mainland state capitals with prices falling 0.2% for the week, extending the drop over the past month to 0.5%.

Combined, prices across these capitals edged lower by 0.2% over the month.

In 2018, prices have now fallen in all of these centres except for Brisbane where prices have remained unchanged.

Compared to a year earlier, prices have fallen by 2.7% in Perth and 1.3% in Sydney, offset by a 6.5% increase in Melbourne and smaller gains in Adelaide and Brisbane.

From a year earlier, that left prices up 1.5% nationally in weighted terms.

Reflecting recent price trends across the country, the amount of housing listed for sale rose 3.9% over the year to 113,215, led by a large 22.5% increase in Sydney to 26,809.

Total stock up for sale also recorded marginal increases in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra over the same period.

In contrast, stock for sale in Hobart — currently home to the fastest annual increase in prices of any Australian capital city — fell 34.6% over the year to 1,112 dwellings.

Stock levels in Australia’s mining capitals — Perth and Darwin — also fell over the year, hinting that firmer market conditions in the mining sector may be helping to reduce supply up for sale.

Source: CoreLogic

New listings — defined by CoreLogic as properties which has not been advertised for sale over the past six months — were down 3.2% from a year earlier with all capitals except for Sydney and Perth recording a decline of 5% or more.

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