By Terry Ryder, 2nd August 2012
The nearest thing to a consensus about capital city house prices is that there was a small rise in the June Quarter.
The weighted average across the eight state/territory capitals is a 0.5% rise, according to the ABS, or a 0.4% rise recorded by Australian Property Monitors (APM). Both sources record median prices still slightly (about 2%) below those of a year ago.
According to the ABS House Price Indexes, Darwin recorded a 5% rise in the June Quarter while Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth recorded smaller increases. Melbourne, Hobart and Canberra all went a little backwards.
APM records small rises in six of the eight cities in the June Quarter.
The figures suggest that the tentative recovery seen in the March Quarter has continued.
Looking at the June Quarter results for each city, based on figures from the ABS, APM and RP-Data, there are few examples of major change in median house prices. Each of the eight cities is given a small rise, no change or a small decrease.
The only exception if the 5.1% in the House Price Index for Darwin recorded by the ABS – but both APM and RP Data suggest a small decline in Darwin. So, once again, the figures create as much confusion as clarity.
Adelaide has a consistent result across the three research sources: a minor rise in its median house price. Two out of the three sources report small increases in Canberra, Perth and Sydney.
Similarly, two out of the three sources indicate small decreases in average price levels in Brisbane, Hobart and Melbourne.
The one clear conclusion is that the city markets are still hesitant – no longer in major decline but yet to gain any major impetus.
The really positive news in real estate continues to be in the regions.
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