AU: Residential Property Prices

September 19, 2016 08:30 CDT

Consensus Actual Previous
Q/Q percent change 3.1% 2.0% -0.2%
Yr/Yr. percent change 4.1% 6.8%

Australia's official index of residential property prices rose by 2.0 percent in the three months to June and by 4.1 percent from the same period a year ago. This increase is below the consensus forecast for an increase of 3.1 percent but represents a rebound in prices after a small fall in the previous three months, which had been the first quarterly fall in the index since mid-2012.

The fall in year-on-year growth in residential prices is in line with comments from Reserve Bank of Australia officials that were reported in the minutes for the policy meeting held earlier in September. At that meeting, officials had noted housing market conditions had appeared to have eased since 2015 and that housing prices have risen modestly over the past year.

The headline index is a weighted average of residential property prices in the capital cities of Australia's eight states and territories. Prices rose in six of these cities in the three months to June, with Sydney and Melbourne recording the biggest increases (2.8 percent and 2.7 percent respectively). Prices fell in Darwin and Perth by 2.4 percent and 1.2 percent respectively. Prices were also lower in year-on-year terms in Perth and Darwin, largely reflecting the ongoing impact on local property markets of weaker mining investment.

Prices for attached dwellings, such as apartments, rose 1.4 percent in the three months to June, while established house prices rose 2.3 percent.

Residential Property Prices provide estimates of changes in housing prices in each of the eight capital cities of Australia along with a weighted average of the eight.

Home values affect much in the economy, especially the housing and consumer sectors. Periods of rising home values encourage new construction while periods of soft home prices can damp housing starts. Changes in home values play key roles in consumer spending and in consumer financial health. Rising prices increase consumers' ability to spend, based on wealth effects and from being able to draw upon expanding home equity lines of credit.