Australian home prices were steady again last week

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  • Australian house prices held steady again last week in average weighted terms.
  • Prices rose by 0.1% in Melbourne, offsetting a similar decline in Sydney.
  • Total property listings have increased by 7.3% over the past year, led by a 27.4% increase in Sydney.

Australian capital city house prices held steady for a second consecutive week in early March, adding to the view expressed by some analysts that the worst of Australia’s house price declines are now over.

According to CoreLogic, prices fell by 0.1% in Sydney and Perth last week, offset by a 0.1% increase in Melbourne. Prices in Brisbane and Adelaide were flat.

Combined, prices were flat across the nation in average weighted terms.

Source: CoreLogic

In research released last week, analysts at ANZ Bank expressed confidence that the pace of price declines is now slowing.

“In seasonally adjusted terms, house prices were flat in nationwide terms, as they have been since November,” it said.

“This stabilisation, together with improvement in auction clearance rates, supports our view that the bulk of the slowdown in house price growth is behind us.”

With prices in nominal terms stabilising over the past two weeks, CoreLogic said prices nationally fell by 0.3% over the past month in average weighted terms, unchanged from one week earlier.

Over that period, prices fell in all mainland state capitals except for Adelaide, ranging from a fall of 0.5% in Sydney to declines of 0.1% in all other centres.

Prices were steady in Adelaide over the same period.

Reflecting that housing market conditions were far stronger at this point last year, annual price growth across the capitals slowed to 1.7% in average weighted terms, below the 2% level reported a week ago.

This slowdown is captured in the chart below from CoreLogic.

Source: CoreLogic

By individual capital, prices slipped by 2.7% in Perth and by 0.8% in Sydney from a year earlier.

In contrast, prices grew by 6.5%, 2.2% and 1.6% respectively in Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.

Partially contributing to the recent weakness in prices, CoreLogic said the number of properties advertised for sale stood at 112,661 last week, up 7.3% on the levels seen one year ago.

New listings — defined by CoreLogic as a property that has not been advertised for sale over the past 6 months — rose by 0.3% over the year to 30,569.

In Sydney, where prices are going backwards in nominal terms, total listings stood at 26,656, up 27.4% on 12 months earlier. Listings in Melbourne have also increased from a year earlier, lifting by 6.1% to 30,675.

In contrast, total listings in Hobart — home to the fastest annual growth in prices over the past year of any capital — fell by 36% to 1,083 over the year.

Source: CoreLogic

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