Melbourne just overtook Sydney as Australia's weakest housing market

Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
  • Home prices fell in every Australian mainland capital city last week, according to data released by CoreLogic.
  • Melbourne’s median price has now fallen 4.4% this year, faster than the 4.1% drop recorded in Sydney.
  • Capital city listings are 8.9% higher than a year ago despite a 4.5% decline in new listings over the same period.

Home prices fell in every Australian mainland capital city last week, according to data released by CoreLogic.

In average weighted terms, prices fell by 0.1% from late September, reflecting declines of 0.3% in Perth, 0.2% in Melbourne and 0.1% apiece in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Small but widespread, in essence.

CoreLogic

Combined with prior weakness, prices in these cities fell 0.6% over the past four weeks, a result driven by declines of 0.96%, 0.8% and 0.5% in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney respectively.

Prices in Adelaide fell by a smaller 0.2% over this period, while those in Brisbane increased marginally by 0.1%.

Year-to-date, Melbourne has now overtaken Sydney as the weakest state capital city market with prices down 4.4% since the end of 2017, larger than the 4.1% decline seen in Sydney.

Combined with a 3.2% fall in Perth values, that left the median price in the state capitals down 3.5% this year despite gains of 0.4% apiece in Brisbane and Adelaide.

From 12 months earlier, the median value in these cities has fallen 4.1%, again reflecting continued declines in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth overwhelming modest gains in the other markets.

CoreLogic

Contributing to price weakness in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth over this period, CoreLogic said total property listings in each of these cites has increased over the past year, lifting by 20%, 16.6% and 0.2% respectively.

Nationally, total listings in all Australian capitals rose by 8.9% compared to a year earlier in weighted terms.

That increase came despite the number of new property listings — defined as properties that have not been put up for sale over the past six months — falling by 4.5% in weighted terms over the same period.

The lift in total listings despite a reduction in homes being put up for sale reflects weaker demand, leading to an increase in the time the average property is sitting on the market.

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