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Australia's October home prices slide, weakest since 2012


AUSTRALIAN home prices slipped again in October, falling for the 13th month in a row with losses in Sydney and Melbourne deepening amid tightening credit conditions.

Property consultant CoreLogic said its index of home prices nationally dropped 0.5 per cent in October from September, leading to an annual fall of 3.5 per cent, the weakest since February 2012.

Values in the combined capital cities fell 0.6 per cent in the month and 4.6 per cent for the year. Prices outside the cities eased 0.2 per cent in October, but were still 0.8 per cent higher from a year earlier.

"With such broad-based weakness in housing market conditions, it's clear that tighter credit availability is acting as a drag on housing demand and impacting adversely on the performance of housing values across most areas of the country," said CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless.

Regulators have clamped down on risky lending by banks, particularly for interest-only loans, while a raft of scandals across the industry has added to an air of caution.

The slowdown has been greatest in Sydney where home prices skidded 7.4 per cent on the year, though Melbourne was catching up with an annual drop of 4.7 per cent. REUTERS

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