The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics have confirmed a modest easing in Australian house prices, according to the Housing Industry Association.
The ABS house price index decreased by 1.7 per cent in the March quarter to be relatively flat for the year at -0.2 per cent.
HIA’s chief economist Harley Dale said the result was consistent with current market conditions and justified an ongoing pause in monetary policy.
“We continue to expect a flat to slightly weaker trajectory for existing house prices over the course of 2011, as is currently playing out, with a solid floor being provided by Australia’s strong underlying fundamentals for housing,” he said.
“Today’s update bears some resemblance to the 2.2 per cent decline reported two years ago for the March 2009 quarter ABS update. Talk then of impending doom and gloom for Australian property prices proved wide of the mark and any repeat of such exaggerated claims following today’s ABS numbers will once again be well wide of the mark.”
Across the capital cities, in the March 2011 quarter the established house price index increased by 0.5 per cent in Perth and by 0.4 per cent in Hobart.
The index fell by 1.8 per cent in Sydney, 2.5 per cent in Melbourne and Brisbane, one per cent in Adelaide and Darwin, and 0.4 per cent in Canberra.