October is shaping up as another soft month for house prices in Australia

Ice cave in Antarctica. Image: Michael S. Becker

Australian house price growth continues to slow, continuing the trend seen in August and September.

According to data from CoreLogic, prices in Australia’s five mainland state capitals were unchanged last week, seeing the increase over the past month slow to just 0.1%.

With one week to go it looks like October will be another soft month for price growth.

Source: CoreLogic

Over the week, prices in Sydney fell by 0.1%, offsetting a 0.1% increase in Melbourne. That result reflects recent auction clearance rates which has seen Melbourne consistently outperform Sydney over the past few months.

Elsewhere, prices were unchanged in Brisbane and Adelaide but fell by 0.1% in Perth.

Over the past month, prices rose by 0.6% in Melbourne, 0.3% in Brisbane and 0.1% in Perth, helping to offset a 0.4% decline in Sydney. Prices in Adelaide were flat over the same period.

It’s a Sydney-led national slowdown, in other words.

Primarily as a result of the small reversal in Sydney prices, along with the slowdown seen in Melbourne, prices nationally have grown by 7.4% over the past year in average weighted terms, well below the double-digit levels seen only a few months ago.

That largely a combination of affordability constraints in Australia’s largest and most expensive capital along with attempts from Australia‚Äôs banking regulator, APRA, to curb investor activity in the housing market.

In the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s October monetary policy meeting, the bank observed that “housing market conditions had continued to ease in Sydney and Melbourne, but had been broadly unchanged in other cities”.

“This pattern was evident in revised housing price data released by CoreLogic in September, as well as in auction clearance rates,” it said.

Based on the evidence seen so far, that trend has continued into October.

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