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Australian city home prices mixed in November: RPData

Monday, December 1, 2014 - 07:47
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The overall result masked big differences in the cities with prices in Melbourne diving 2.6 per cent for the month, while Sydney boasted a gain of 1.0 per cent.

[SYDNEY] Home prices across Australia's capital cities showed markedly varying fortunes in November with a sharp fall in Melbourne overshadowing continued strength in Sydney, an industry survey showed on Monday.

Figures from property consultant CoreLogic RPData showed dwelling prices over all of Australia's major cities dipped 0.3 per cent in November from October, when the national index had risen 1.0 per cent.

The overall result masked big differences in the cities with prices in Melbourne diving 2.6 per cent for the month, while Sydney boasted a gain of 1.0 per cent. The annual pace of price growth was 13.2 per cent in Sydney compared to 8.3 per cent in Melbourne.

Still, there were signs of a cooling in the market that should be welcomed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which has become concerned that a surge in borrowing to buy investment properties could lift prices to unsustainable levels.

For the three months to November, prices rose a modest 0.8 per cent with five of the eight capital cities recording falls. The annual pace of price growth slowed to 8.5 per cent, the slowest for 2014 so far and down from a peak of 11.5 per cent in April.

The median price of a home in Sydney was A$705,000 (S$778,000), compared to A$568,500 in Melbourne and A$559,000 across all the major cities.

Rising home prices have been generally tolerated by policymakers as necessary to encourage a much-needed revival in home building, which is indeed under way.

REUTERS