National median house price drops but Canberra bucks the trend
31 March 2016 Rachel Packham
The national median house price has dropped for the first time in three years, but Canberra has bucked the trend.
In the national capital, house prices rose 3.7 per cent in the December 2015 quarter.
The latest Real Estate Institute of Australia Market Facts publication, published on Thursday, noted that after 13 quarters of consecutive growth, the weighted average median house price for eight capital cities slipped in the 2015 last quarter.
Institute president Neville Sanders said the median price fell 0.4 per cent to $695,788 for houses and 0.7 per cent to $543,468 for other dwellings.
However, it said Canberra’s median house price increased from $572,000 to $593,000 in the quarter.
“Strong growth in Hobart, Canberra and Brisbane, followed by marginal increases in Darwin and Perth, were unable to offset falling median house prices in Sydney and Melbourne, while Adelaide recorded no change over the quarter,” Mr Sanders said.
Canberra was second to Hobart in house price growth in the December quarter. The Tasmanian city recorded a 9.8 per cent jump, while Sydney’s 2.5 per cent fall was the largest in Australia.
The Domain December House Price Report, published this year, noted it was Canberra’s strongest quarter for median house price growth in six years.
Canberra’s apartment and townhouse market was the strongest of all the capital cities. “Other dwellings” were up 2.5 per cent in the final quarter of 2015.
Sydney recorded the largest drop at 2.1 per cent.
Real Estate Institute of the ACT president Frank Pompeani said the Canberra property market was typically stable.
“We’ve been in a subdued market for almost four years. We don’t have the extreme peaks and troughs and spikes and drops that they do in Sydney and Melbourne, where they have seen strong price growth in recent years,” he said.
Mr Pompeani said the latest housing affordability report, also published by REIA, was good news for the Canberra market.
He expected the trend to continue in the next 12 months.
“With the affordability of housing, the stability of employment and low vacancy rates for investment properties, we’ll continue seeing this trend throughout 2016, with good house prices moving in an upward direction,” he said.
“Coupled with not a gross oversupply of homes on the market, we’ve seen a strong number of buyers coming through open homes.”
Mr Sanders said annual growth across the country remained strong but was lower than the last couple of years.
“Compared to the December quarter of 2014, the weighted average median house price increased by 7.4 per cent, while the figure for other dwellings went up by 5.7 per cent,” he said.
Date: 10 March 2016