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Australia city home prices rises 0.3% in Aug: RPData

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 08:21
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Growth in home prices across Australia's capital cities cooled in August, an encouraging outcome for regulators cracking down on potentially risky lending to property investors.

[SYDNEY] Growth in home prices across Australia's capital cities cooled in August, an encouraging outcome for regulators cracking down on potentially risky lending to property investors.

Tuesday's figures from property consultant CoreLogic RP Data showed dwelling prices across the major cities climbed 0.3 per cent in August, following a 2.8 per cent surge in July.

Annual growth in home values slowed to 10.2 per cent, from 11.1 per cent in July. Again, headline growth masked wide divisions between cities with much of the strength concentrated in Sydney.

For August alone, Sydney prices rose 1.1 per cent, while Melbourne stalled. Annual gains in those cities were still very high at 17.6 pe rcent and 10.6 per cent respectively.

Markets were much cooler elsewhere, with Canberra slipping 1.7 per cent in the month and Perth down 1.3 per cent.

RPData head of research Tim Lawless warned about reading too much into the slowdown, noting the quarterly and annual trend of capital gains remained high in Sydney and Melbourne. "The spring season will provide a timely litmus test for the housing market given it's a time when listing numbers normally increase materially. It will be important to monitor whether buyer demand keeps pace with the additional number of homes being advertised for sale," he said.

Regulators have reacted to the booming housing markets by tightening lending standards for property investment with the aim of keeping annual growth in credit at 10 per cent or less.

The jury is still out on whether these measures will work, although recent data showed growth in credit advanced for housing investment eased to an annual rate of 10.8 per cent in July, from 11.1 per cent in June, which was the fastest pace in eight years.

REUTERS

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