House prices down 0.3% across Australia, but auction clearances improve

New data released this morning from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has confirmed the bad news about the housing market, with prices falling 0.3% in the three months to 30 June.

New data released this morning from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has confirmed the bad news about the housing market, with prices falling 0.3% in the three months to 30 June.

The biggest fall was in Perth, where prices fell 2.4% during the quarter, followed by Hobart (down 2%) and Canberra (down 1.4%).

Prices in Melbourne dipped 0.3% but grew 0.3% in Sydney, 0.6% in Brisbane and 0.4% in Adelaide. The best performed city during the quarter was Darwin, where strong demand from the resources industry helped boost prices by 1.9%.

The official data from the ABS is not as bad as many had feared and the figures for the last 12 months reveal most cities have enjoyed growth higher then 7%.

Unfortunately for home owners, the outlook for the residential property market is poor, with Australian Property Monitors tipping prices will fall 10% in the next 12 months.

This week’s auction clearance rates indicate buyers are watching the market cautiously, perhaps even hoping that the Reserve Bank board will lower interest rates when it meets tomorrow afternoon.

In Sydney, the clearance rate bounced from 40% last week to 63% this week, although this is still down from 65% at this time last year.

The clearance rate in Brisbane jumped from 36% to 40% while Adelaide’s clearance rate rose for the second straight 47% to 52%.

In Melbourne there were 438 auctions held, with 277 sold and 161 passed in. The clearance rate of 63% was slightly down from last week (64%) and the year-to-date result (66%).

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