After a pessimistic year in most housing markets across the country, the outlook for 2012 is generally a return to growth, according to Australian Property Monitors' annual State of the Market Report.
Despite earlier signs of growth, a sustained spring revival in buyer activAfter a pessimistic year the outlook for 2012 is generally a return to growthity failed to materialise.
In the quarter to October, national median house prices fell by 1.6 per cent and were down by 4.2 per cent over the year.
But, looking forward, the news isn't all bad.
Australian Property Monitors (APM) senior economist Andrew Wilson said 2012 will be a mixed bag when it comes to housing, with some capital cities set to revive strongly while others will remain flat.
Darwin, Perth and Brisbane have the best prospects for price growth, while Sydney and Canberra are also expected to achieve reasonable growth in the year.
Nationally speaking, Mr Wilson said property prices should grow somewhere between three and five per cent.
Meanwhile, Brisbane, Darwin and Perth are all expected to achieve growth between five and 10 per cent.
Melbourne and Adelaide on the other hand, are only expected to achieve growth of three per cent.
"Demand for housing will intensify in 2012, particularly in Sydney, Canberra and Perth, which will see housing markets reenergised albeit at different levels," Mr Wilson said.
"Australia's economic fundamentals are strong, and are well positioned to weather any downturn in international markets. This coupled with renewed buyer confidence, will be the key to driving prices growth in the New Year."