House values down 0.7%

Australian housing prices have fallen 0.7% this year according to an independent report.

The RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index showed dwelling values fell in five of the eight Australian capital cities.

The greatest falls were in Hobart, down 2.9%, while Melbourne fell 1.7% and Brisbane dropped 1.3%.

Market values did not fall in Adelaide, Darwin or Canberra.

RP Data research director Tim Lawless said gains in February and March had been mostly wiped out.

“Our estimate of transaction volumes to February suggests that the two interest rate cuts in November and December last year are yet to provide a sustained stimulus to the market,” Lawless said.

Transaction volumes were hovering at around 31,000 sales a month, down on the 45,000 typical figure in 2009.

Rismark managing director Ben Skilbeck put the housing market weakness down to fears that banks would not pass on official interest rate cuts to consumers after ANZ independently lifted its home and business loan rates last month.

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