National: Melbourne and Sydney Lead Housing Market Fall

Australia’s housing prices continue sliding, with Melbourne and Sydney driving the decline.

According to data from CoreLogic, national dwelling values have fallen for the eleventh consecutive month, leading to a 2 percent decline over the past year. Sydney prices fell 5.6 percent year-on-year, while Melbourne dipped 1.7 percent.

CoreLogic research head Tim Lawless said markets in “higher value cities” such as Sydney and Melbourne suffered from tighter credit conditions due to the higher gaps between house prices and median household incomes.

The only segment to improve over the past 12 months was the most inexpensive quarter, the firm found. Lawless said “more robust housing market conditions” could be found where affordable properties are, such as Hobart and parts of Adelaide and Brisbane real estate. Prices in Hobart, Brisbane and Adelaide have grown 0.9 percent, 1 percent and 10.7 percent respectively since last year.

“Stronger market conditions across Australia’s more affordable areas are likely attributable to a rise of first home buyers in the market as well as changing credit policies focused on reducing exposure to high debt-to-income ratios,” said Lawless.

CoreLogic’s head of Australian research Cameron Kusher said sellers should “be very realistic about the market” and set prices accordingly.

“For potential buyers, you don’t really need to be in a hurry in this market, there’s lots to choose from, there’s not as much competition out there in the market,” said Kusher.

“Be aware that the cost of housing is falling, so if you hold off you might be able to get that property or a similar property at a lower price point a little bit further down the track.”