Australian capital city house prices surged last month

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Led by strong gains in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, Australian capital city house prices accelerated sharply in April.

According to the CoreLogic RP Data monthly home value index, prices jumped by 1.7% during the month, leaving the annual increase at 7.3%.

So far this year prices have risen 3.3%, leaving the median capital city dwelling price at $575,000.

Bucking expectations for a slowdown this year after years of breakneck growth, prices in Sydney — Australia’s largest and most expensive housing market — jumped by 2.4%, outpacing gains of 2.2% in Brisbane and 2.0% in Adelaide over the same time period.

Those in Melbourne rose by 1.1%, seeing the city retain the title as the hottest housing market in the country with prices up 10.1% from 12 months earlier.

Elsewhere prices in Canberra and Perth rose by 1.2% and 0.5% respectively while those in Hobart and Darwin — perhaps as a result of a smaller housing markets compared to other capitals — fell by 2.0% and 1.7% respectively.

The table below, supplied by CoreLogic RP Data, breaks the performance down by capital city, looking at price changes for the month, the quarter and compared to a year earlier.

“The results show value growth moved at a faster pace compared with the final three months of 2015 when capital city dwelling values slid 1.4 per cent lower off the back of weaker market conditions in Sydney and Melbourne,” said Tim Lawless, CoreLogic RP Data research director.

“While we’ve seen capital gains moderate substantially after peaking last year in Sydney and Melbourne, dwelling values continue to trend higher, just not as fast. The annual rate of growth in Sydney peaked at 18.4 per cent in July last year and has since moderated back to slightly less than half the peak rate of growth, at 8.9 per cent over the most recent twelve month period.”

Although growth rates have moderated compared to those seen last year, the sharp acceleration in April won’t go unnoticed by the RBA board as it sits down to discuss monetary policy — including the prospect of rate cut — early Tuesday morning.

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