AU: Residential Property Prices

June 19, 2017 08:30 CDT

Actual Previous
Q/Q percent change 2.2% 4.1%
Yr/Yr. percent change 10.2% 7.7%

Australia's residential property price index rose 2.2 percent quarter-on quarter in the three months to March, after increasing 4.1 percent in the three months to December. Year-on-year growth in the index accelerated from 7.7 percent to 10.2 percent.

The headline index is a weighted average of house prices for the capital cities of Australia's eight states and territories. House prices rose strongly in Australia's two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, up 3.0 percent and 3.1 percent respectively on the quarter, and up 14.4 percent and 13.4 percent respectively on the year. Prices, meanwhile, fell in Perth and Darwin, two cities with larger exposure to the mining sector, down 1.0 percent and 0.9 percent respectively on the quarter, and falling by 3.5 percent and 5.9 percent respectively on the year.

Today's data are broadly consistent with the assessment of the housing market published today in the minutes to the Reserve Bank of Australia' s policy meeting held earlier this month. Officials noted then that "conditions in the established housing market had continued to vary across the country". They also referred to strength in Sydney and Melbourne property prices but noted "tentative signs of easing" after recent prudential supervision measures aimed at curbing growth in housing lending.

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.