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Housing affordability improves

By webmaster
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Housing affordability has improved once again, with new data showing house prices fell 0.8 per cent during April.

According to the latest research from RP Data, on a year to date basis, dwelling values are now down 0.7 per cent.

Values were down across five of the eight capital cities over the month of April, with Hobart, Melbourne and Brisbane recording the largest falls.

On a 12 month basis capital city dwelling values have fallen by 4.5 per cent with the weakest conditions recorded in Melbourne, which recorded a 7.0 per cent drop.

RP Data’s research director Tim Lawless said that the housing market gains seen throughout February and March, which delivered a flat first quarter result, have now been mostly offset by the -0.8 per cent fall over the month of April.

“Our estimate of transaction volumes to February suggest that the two interest rate cuts in November and December last year are yet to provide a sustained stimulus to the market, with transaction volumes remaining reasonably steady at around 31,000 sales each month. Comparing this with the sales rate through mid 2009 when around 45,000 homes were selling each month, the slowdown in buyer activity becomes quite clear,” he said.

Rismark’s managing director Ben Skilbeck said the stability seen in the first quarter continued though mid April before the market declined in the last two weeks of the month.

“This decline coincided with the considerable interest rate uncertainty introduced by the ANZ Bank increasing its interest rates and the anticipation of the first quarter inflation figures. With inflation figures now behind us, home buyers will benefit from considerable affordability gains provided the Reserve Bank doesn’t cut rates again in June.”

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