- The national house price increased by +2.0% over the March quarter to $614,348 but the growth rate was well down on the +3.8% recorded over the previous quarter and the lowest result for a year.
- The national median house price increased by +11.3% over the year.
- Sydney and Melbourne remain the clear leaders of all the capitals for prices growth over the quarter and the year to March.
- All capital cities recorded a decline in the rate of median house price growth over the March quarter with Perth, Hobart, Canberra and Darwin recording flat or falling house prices.
Capital City Findings
- House prices rose by +3.1% over the March quarter – a solid result but nonetheless the weakest growth result for the city since March 2013
- Sydney’s median house price growth rate decreased markedly over the March quarter down from the boom-time results of the December quarter when prices increased by +5.1%
- Unit prices rose by +2.6% over the quarter, following an increase of +3.7% over December
- Sydney’s median house price is a record at $782,973 with the median unit price also a record at $547,053
- Annual house prices have increased by +16.9% with units up by +12.7%
- Melbourne house prices rose solidly by +2.8% over the quarter with unit prices recording no growth
- Melbourne house prices have risen by +11.7% over the year ending March with units increasing by +5.4%
- The median house price for Melbourne is $604,110 while the median unit price is $419,702
- Median house prices continue to recover with a modest increase of +0.9 % over the quarter - the seventh consecutive quarter of house price growth
- Annual house prices increased by +6.0% and are now just -1.3% below the previous peak recorded in June 2010
- Brisbane unit prices increased marginally by +0.1% over the quarter to be up by just +0.5% over the year
- House prices were flat over the March quarter with unit prices falling by -1.4%
- Annual median houses prices for Perth are up solidly by +8.4% with unit prices up by +5.4%
- The Canberra market reported a fall of -2.6% in the median house price over the March quarter, following a rise of +1.2% over the December quarter
- Median unit prices increased by +0.2% over the March quarter
- The Adelaide market continues to recover modestly with an increase of +1.3% in the median house price recorded over the March quarter
- Adelaide house prices rose by +4.1% over the year ending March with unit prices increasing by +1.0% over the same period
- The Adelaide median house price remains the lowest of all the mainland capitals at $450,444
- Hobart’s median house price fell by -2.5% over the March quarter
- Hobart’s median house price increased by +3.2% over the year ending March 2014
- Darwin’s median house price fell by -1.6% over the March quarter with unit prices up by +2.1%
- Darwin’s annual median house price increased by +3.3% with unit prices up by +2.7%
Commenting on the APM House Price Report:
Dr Andrew Wilson, Senior Economist
Australian Property Monitors
The Sydney house price boom has faded fast as all capital city housing markets recorded waning house price growth over the March quarter.
The national median house price increased by +2.0% over the quarter which is the lowest rate of quarterly growth recorded in the past year and nearly half of that recorded in December.
The national median unit price increased by +1.3% over the three months to March, again the weakest quarterly result for a year.
Sydney house and unit prices recorded their lowest rates of growth since March last year. Sydney’s median house price increased by +3.1% over the March quarter and although this is a solid result, it is nonetheless well down from the December quarter rate of +5.1%. The Sydney unit market also faded over March with prices increasing by +2.6% - again short of the +3.7% recorded during the three months to December 2013.
Despite the declining trend in prices growth, Sydney was the best performer of the state capitals over the March quarter. The median house price has now increased by +16.9% over the past year - well ahead of any other capital.
The rate of prices growth in the Melbourne market was also down over the March quarter compared to the December result. The median house price increased by +2.8% over the quarter while unit prices increased by just +0.2%. Houses prices in Melbourne are +11.7% higher than a year ago with the median house price now exceeding $600,000 for the first time.
Although the rate of growth was a modest +0.9%, Brisbane house prices increased for the seventh consecutive quarter. Despite recording consistent price growth over the past two years, Brisbane’s median house price remains just below its previous price peak of June 2010. Over the year ending March, Brisbane house prices increased by +6.0% while unit prices increased by just +0.5%.
Adelaide’s modest housing market revival continues with the median house price increasing by +1.3% over the quarter, contributing to an increase of +4.1% for the year. Adelaide unit prices, however, fell by -1.2% over the quarter.
At $611,410, Perth’s median house price remained flat over the March quarter but nonetheless increased by +8.4% over the year. Despite Perth unit prices falling by -1.4% over the quarter, median unit prices were up by +5.4% over the year to March.
The Canberra housing market remains subdued with the median house price falling by -2.6% over the March quarter and the median unit price up by just +0.2%.
Hobart house prices weakened over the March quarter falling by -2.5% with prices however increasing by +3.2% over the year.
Darwin’s median house price fell by -1.6% over the March quarter - the city’s worst quarterly performance since June 2012. Darwin unit prices, however, increased by +2.1%. House prices are now +3.9% higher than a year ago with unit prices up by +2.7%.
Housing market activity has generally weakened over the March quarter with all capitals reporting declining rates of growth in median house prices compared to the previous December quarter results.
Although growth rates in Sydney and Melbourne have declined sharply over the quarter to produce their worst results in a year, the two cities clearly remain the country’s best performers.
Other capital city markets have recorded, at best, modest growth which clearly reflects the disparity of the multi-speed recovery profile of the current growth cycle. Affordability barriers, particularly in the Sydney market, are emerging with the impact of underperforming local economies also acting as an impediment to activity.
House price growth is set to continue through 2014 generally although at significantly reduced rates compared to 2013 and with the usual disparity of performance between local markets.
The effect of record-low interest rates on housing markets is now dissipating with the December quarter 2013 likely to be the high-water mark in the cycle for growth rates.
Dr Andrew Wilson is Senior Economist for Australian Property Monitors Twitter@DocAndrewWilson The Property Hour expert 2UE Saturdays 2-3pm