House prices steadied in the September quarter, the latest national figures show.
The Domain Groups property research division, APM, says the national quarterly growth rate is the lowest recorded since March last year.
With the exception of Sydney, Melbourne and volatile Darwin, all capitals recorded falling house prices over the September quarter, according to APM PriceFinder.
In Adelaide, house price growth reversed over the September quarter, falling by 1.0 per cent to $459,258 – the first price fall recorded in a year according to APM PriceFinder.
Recent changes to the State Government’s first home buyer grant have resulted in a sharp decline in activity from this group, impacting on overall market performance, APM’s report says.
Dr Andrew Wilson, senior economist with the Domain Group, says that, nationally, the past year’s underlying impetus from record low interest rates continues to fade.
“Price growth in Australia’s housing markets has clearly moderated over September as affordability declines in the face of a generally problematic economic climate,” he said.
“Sydney, however, is the exception with house prices continuing to rise strongly and much of this activity is still being generated by record levels of investors.
“The latest APM PriceFinder results that indicate weakening price growth will act to extinguish recent debate regarding the prospect of overheating housing markets and new policy initiatives.
“With no clear sustained revival in economic activity on the horizon, housing market activity will continue to generally decline as affordability falls and confidence wavers.
“A declining economic environment may open the gate for interest rate falls, particularly if jobless rates continue to climb.
“Interest rates are nonetheless set to move in a narrow range, if at all, over the foreseeable future with house price growth to continue to flatten accordingly over the medium to longer-term.”
The data shows the median price for home units in Adelaide rose by 0.3 per cent over the quarter to $289,823.
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