Australian residential property prices steady

The Australian property market is showing tentative signs of stabilising with a study pointing to a slight rebound in house prices for March 2008 after a February plunge.

Data from property analyst Residex has given mixed signals over the health of the Australian housing market; with house prices rising across metropolitan centres despite falling sales volumes and mortgage approvals.

Residex managing director John Edwards believes the market is in a holding pattern after earlier rate shocks.

“March figures suggest a more confident, if still somewhat cautious, mood has returned to the housing market.

“This is because purchasers who are equity rich, wealthy or property investors are largely unaffected by rate rises and, having dodged the bullets, march on regardless. Those hurt the most by successive rate rises take the hits and are left behind,” says Edwards.

The Residex data also showed that apartments were outperforming houses in major cities as strong rental growth encouraged investors to move into this sector.

Houses in Australian cities

Growth in median prices

City

Median price (Mar-08)

Monthly change

Quarterly change

ACT

$458,000

-0.88%

1.24%

Adelaide

$368,000

0.30%

4.25%

Brisbane

$449,000

1.35%

3.81%

Darwin

$411,500

1.87%

3.25%

Hobart

$350,500

3.61%

1.88%

Melbourne

$481,500

2.62%

0.31%

Perth

$521,000

2.93%

3.82%

Sydney

$584,000

1.09%

-0.15%

Source: Residex

Fall in sales volumes

City

Sales volume (Mar-08 qtr)

Sales volume (Dec-07 qtr)

Change (qtr on qtr)

ACT

1142

1334

-14.39%

Adelaide

4557

5705

-20.12%

Brisbane

11,041

14,684

-24.81%

Darwin

464

559

-16.99%

Hobart

834

574

45.30%

Melbourne

14,032

14,476

-3.07%

Perth

7024

7246

-3.06%

Sydney

9657

11,897

-18.83%

Source: Residex

Unit / apartment prices in Australia

City

Price

Change in March 08

ACT

$357,500

-0.96%

Adelaide

$282,500

1.60%

Brisbane

$347,000

2.67%

Darwin

$314,500

0.00%

Hobart

$249,000

1.94%

Melbourne

$366,000

1.23%

Perth

$409,500

3.00%

Sydney

$402,000

0.87%

Source: Residex

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