Australian house prices have risen nationally for the first time since September 2010, indicating tentative signs of a recovery in the housing market.
The latest Australian Property Monitors December Quarter House Price Report has revealed that national house prices rose marginally over the December quarter from $533,521 to $533,650.
Although the rise was minimal, this was the first rise in the national median house price following five consecutive quarterly falls.
The rise in national median house prices essentially reflects the impact of an increase in the Melbourne housing market over the December quarter.
Melbourne led the nation in capital city median house price growth, increasing by 1.1 per cent.
Sydney home prices were flat over the quarter, having recorded only one quarterly fall in median house prices (September 2011, down 1.8 per cent) over the 13 quarters since the height of the GFC in September 2008 – a remarkable performance.
“Adelaide and Hobart also recorded increases in median house prices each rising by 0.5 per cent over the quarter,” APM senior economist Andrew Wilson said.
“Canberra, Darwin, Brisbane and Perth however all recorded falls in median house prices over the December quarter, with the greatest falls in Brisbane and Perth.
“Brisbane and Perth continue to be the house price underperformers with both cities having now recorded six consecutive quarters of median house price decreases.”
But despite the recent decreases in median property prices, Mr Wilson said improvements in housing affordability and subdued house price growth together with the continuing prospect of strong economic growth, should help most Australian capital city housing markets recover through 2012.
“Early signs are already emerging of increased buyer activity in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Canberra,” he said.