AU: Residential Property Prices

December 12, 2016 06:30 CST

Actual Previous
Q/Q percent change 1.5% 2.0%
Yr/Yr. percent change 3.5% 4.1%

Australia's residential property price index rose 1.5 percent quarter-on quarter in the three months to September, after increasing 2.0 percent in the three months to June. Year-on-year growth in the index fell from 4.1 percent to 3.5 percent, the weakest growth since the three months to March 2013, and a significant slowdown from the recent peak of 10.7 percent growth a year ago.

The headline index is a weighted average of house prices for the capital cities of Australia's eight states and territories. Of these eight cities, the strongest quarter-on-quarter increase in house prices was seen in Sydney, up 2.6 percent, and Hobart, up 2.3 percent. Year-on-year growth in house prices were strongest for Melbourne and Hobart, up 6.9 percent and 6.8 percent respectively. Prices fell by 1.6 percent in Perth and by 1.2 percent in Darwin, two cities with larger exposure to the mining sector, with prices also down in year-on-year terms by 4.0 percent and 7.2 percent respectively.

The average (mean) price of dwellings in Australia was estimated to have risen by A$9,000 to A$631,000 over the three months to September.

Today's data follows home loan data released last week which showed a moderation in housing finance commitments, consistent with the Reserve Bank of Australia's assessment that domestic financial institutions have tightened their lending standards in response to recent regulatory measures. The slowdown in year-on-year growth in house prices should also reassure officials that conditions in the housing market remain relatively subdued despite record low policy rates.

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.