ABS: Property prices fall from coast-to-coast

By Leith van Onselen

The ABS has released its property price index – incorporating both detached houses and units – which registered another 3.0% decline in home values nationally over the March quarter and a 7.4% decline over the year:

Sydney (-3.9%), Melbourne (-3.8%), Brisbane (-1.5%), Perth (-1.8%), Darwin (-0.6%), Adelaide (-0.2%), Canberra (-0.9%), Hobart (-0.4%) and Darwin (-1.8%) all recorded quarterly declines in values.

Over the year to March, Sydney (-10.3%) and Melbourne (-9.4%) recorded by far the biggest house price falls, whereas only Hobart (+4.6%) recorded any meaningful growth.

The ABS has also updated its estimated total value of residential properties in Australia, which was $6.56 trillion in the March quarter, down from $6.74 trillion in the December quarter and the $6.96 trillion at the same time in 2018. The average price of Australia’s 10,307,600 residential properties is also $636,900, down 7.4% from $688,000 recorded in the March quarter of 2018 (see below table).

Obviously this data precedes the monetary, macroprudential and fiscal stimulus that has arrived/been announced since the federal election and likely represents the low water mark for the housing market.

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Leith van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

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