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Price Data Depends On The Source

The key thing that Australian consumers need to know about property prices is that the state of play depends on whose figures you read.

Media reports CoreLogic data most of the time and tends to treat it as gospel truth – and never acknowledges the reality that there are other credible sources of price information which often disagree with the CoreLogic figures.

CoreLogic is undoubtedly the most negative of the price data sources, which may be why journalists favour their figures. That company’s tendency to focus on the negatives certainly suits the narrative that most media outlets prefer.

But other reputable sources of property data have figures that conflict with CoreLogic’s, a fact that should be highlighted more than it is.

The general theme from CoreLogic is that prices are falling pretty much everywhere and that there was decline across the board in November.

I strongly dispute whether CoreLogic is in a position to say anything definitive about property prices in November in a report published early on 1 December, but that’s a major story for another day.

PropTrack which is part of the organisation that owns has different figures for November.

PropTrack finds that several market jurisdictions recorded small increases in property prices in November and several others recorded no change.

According to the PropTrack Home Price Index, there were increases in November in Adelaide, the Northern Territory, Regional WA and Regional South Australia.

In addition, there was no change in Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, Regional Queensland, Regional Victoria and Regional NSW.

That means that out of the 15 major market jurisdictions across Australia, 10 of them achieved small increases or no change in their price indexes.

Sydney decreased, but only by 0.1%, while Melbourne was down just 0.3%.

Those figures paint a completely different picture to the theme prevalent in mainstream media, based on the findings of the publicity-hungry CoreLogic boffins.

But the latest figures from SQM Research are even more positive than those from PropTrack.

According to the SQM Prices Index, house prices nationally rose 0.6% in November and unit prices rose 0.2%.

The figures indicate that regional markets continue to be stronger than capital city markets.

But most capital cities recorded some level of price growth in November, according to the SQM index.

House prices were up in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart, while unit prices rose in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart – in other words, apartment prices rose in every capital city except Darwin.

According to this index, Sydney house prices fell 1% in November and Melbourne house prices also fell, but by just 0.2%.

In summary, then, the latest price data from both PropTrack and SQM Research show very different results to the scenario portrayed by CoreLogic.

And this is the norm.

For years now, I have been highlighting the considerable differences in the price data published by all the main sources, including Domain and the ABS, as well as PropTrack, SQM and CoreLogic.

It’s very rare that they agree on what’s happening with prices in any market.

And I think Australian consumers need to know that they are not being given the full picture from a news media which serves them very poorly when it comes to information about housing markets across the nation.


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