Sydney home values have biggest quarterly drop in seven years

[SYDNEY] Sydney home values fell the most in seven years in the December quarter as a regulatory crackdown amid record prices pushed up mortgage rates and sapped demand.

The residential property index in Australia's biggest city dropped 1.6 per cent, the first decline in 13 quarters, according to government statistics released Tuesday. Sydney prices have, however, recovered in the first two months of the year, more recent data from research firm CoreLogic Inc showed March 1.

Home-price growth in Australia's biggest cities is expected to slow as mortgage-rate increases and tightening lending standards, introduced as prices climbed to a record, hurt buyer affordability. Sydney home values have climbed about 70 per cent since the end of 2007, while in Melbourne they have risen about 50 per cent, data from the statistics bureau show.

Home values across the largest cities in the country expanded 0.2 per cent in the December quarter, according to the data. The total value of Australia's 9.6 million residential dwellings increased A$31.6 billion (S$33 billion) to A$5.9 trillion, the data show.


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