Aussie Home Prices Drop By 3% During March Quarter

Housing prices are something a lot of Aussies keep an eye on, more than just removals in Sydney or realtors in Melbourne. With the Aussie dream of home ownership, the housing sector is a closely watched industry.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently published the latest iteration of its Residential Property Price Index, an analysis of house pricing across the country, and their data noted how residential property prices in the capital cities continued to drop during the March quarter. According to their report, in the three-month quarter that ended in 31 March, home values in the AU’s eight capitals dropped by 3%.

With the data assembled annually, the 2019 March quarter dropped by 7.4% compared to the preceding year’s quarter.

The biggest decline during the quarter was seen in the Sydney housing market, with a drop of 3.9%, with Melbourne at a close second with a drop of 3.8%, to the detriment of businesses in these cities reliant on the housing market, like removals in Sydney and renovations. Brisbane, and Perth follow with 1.5%, and 1.1%, respectively. Canberra, Hobart, and Adelaide recorded below 1% drops, at 0.9%, 0.4%, and 0.2%, respectively.

Sydney and Melbourne also recorded the biggest drop year-on-year, with prices dropping from the same quarter of the preceding year by 10.3%, and 9.4%, respectively.

Meanwhile, Hobart and Adelaid reported a year-on-year growth of 4.6%, and 0.8%, respectively, standing out amidst the capital cities. Canberra’s values remained, more or less, stable over the same time period.

ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman says that the data they got matched what soft housing market indicators were pointing to, with sales transactions and auction clearance rates being weaker than what they were compared to the preceding year. He says that a combination of continuing lack of credit supply and decreased demand from investors and owner-occupiers are what led to the property prices in the AU’s capital cities to drop for the March quarter of 2019.

CoreLogic’s latest Hedonic Home Value Index backed up what the ABS published, reporting property values dropping across the AU at a rate of 0.4%, though the research firm also noted that this is the slowest rate of decline for the market since 2018.


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