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March 10, 2016

Median house price falls for the first time in three years

After 13 consecutive quarters of growth, the weighted average median house price for the eight Australian capital cities decreased in the last quarter of 2015, according to the Real Estate of Australia (REIA).

REIA president Neville Sanders says the latest REIA Real Estate Market facts publication shows Australia’s housing market recorded the first decrease since the December quarter of 2012.

“The weighted average, capital city median price decreased by 0.4 per cent to $695,788 for houses and 0.7 per cent to $543,468 for other dwellings,” Neville says.

“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.

“Annual growth is still strong but lower compared to what we observed over 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.

“Sydney, the strongest market in recent years, showed the largest decrease in median prices, leaving some commentators speculating whether the city’s housing market has reached its peak.

“Regulatory frameworks are responsible for the decrease in the value of investment housing commitments. Uncertainty around the future on negative gearing arrangements is expected to further contribute to the decline in investor activity. With this, owner-occupiers continue to have a strong presence in the stabilising market.”

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