Weakest house price growth in three years

Prashant Mehra
(Australian Associated Press)


Housing prices across Australia’s capital cities have risen 3.5 per cent for the year to September 30, the weakest growth in more than three years even as the value of all the nation’s dwellings rose to $6.2 trillion.

Melbourne was the best performer, with an annual home price increase of 6.9 per cent, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows.

This was followed by Hobart, which recorded an average price increase of 6.8 per cent for the year to September 30.

Canberra posted price increases of 5.5 per cent.

Sydney was a distant fourth, recording an annual increase of 3.2 per cent, the same as Adelaide.

The harbour city, however, recorded the largest property price growth among all capital cities in the September quarter, with house prices up 2.9 per cent and attached dwellings 2.1 per cent.

However, weakness in other capital cities – annual home prices fell 7.2 per cent in Darwin, and four per cent in Perth, overshadowed the gains in the larger cities.

The ABS figures reveal the total value of Australia’s 9.8 million residential dwellings now stands at $6.2 trillion, having increased by $112.1 billion in the quarter.

The mean, or midpoint, house price in Australia is now $631,000.

Housing auction clearance rates around the country have edged up again in recent months, boosted by record low interest rates. However, first home buyer numbers continue to dwindle, with investors the main drivers of activity in the housing market.

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