Annual rate of housing market capital gains slips to slowest pace in 31 months

The rate of value growth continued to moderate as housing market conditions cool in Sydney and Melbourne, whilst the remaining capital cities recorded a range of outcomes from small value increases to moderate declines.

During March, capital city dwelling values recorded a subtle lift, rising by 0.2 per cent to take capital city home values 1.6 per cent higher over the first quarter of 2016. The quarterly increase in home values was broad based across the nation’s capitals, with Perth (-0.9%) and Brisbane (-0.1%) the only two cities to record negative movements in dwelling values over the past three months.

CoreLogic RP Data Head of Research Tim Lawless said, “The March quarter rise in capital city dwelling values is in stark contrast to the first quarter of 2015, when values increased by 3.0 per cent, which is almost double the current pace of quarterly growth. However, compared with the final quarter of 2015, when capital city dwelling values were down 1.4 per cent, the housing market has shown a modest rebound in growth which is well below the strong capital gains recorded over the first half of 2015.”

“The annual pace of home value appreciation across Australia’s capital cities highlights the slowing growth trend,” he said.

Following the March results, the annual rate of capital growth across the capital cities has now reached its lowest point in 31 months, with dwelling values rising by 6.4 per cent over the past twelve months across the combined capitals. Furthermore, no Australian capital city has recorded an annual growth rate in the double digits over the past twelve months. Melbourne remains the capital city with the strongest annual growth, with dwelling values increasing by 9.8 per cent over the past twelve months.

Mr Lawless said, “The housing market has been losing momentum since July last year, when capital city dwelling values were increasing at the annual rate of 11.1%.”

Index results as at March 31, 2016


Perth and Darwin are the only two capital cities where home values are trending lower on an annual basis, down 2.0 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively. However, Mr Lawless noted the moderation in the rate of capital growth in the Sydney market has been the most pronounced, with annual dwelling value growth more than halving to 7.4 per cent per annum, from a high of 18.4 per cent per annum in July last year.

The Melbourne market has been much more resilient, with annual growth in dwelling values slipping below the 10 per cent mark for the first time since May last year, to reach 9.8 per cent at the end of March 2016.

The current growth cycle has been running since values troughed in May 2012. Through to March 2016, capital city dwelling values have risen by a cumulative 32.2 per cent. Over the cycle to date, Sydney home values have seen the most significant level of appreciation, with dwelling values 49.2 per cent higher since values started rising, followed by Melbourne at 35.7 per cent cumulative growth.

Darwin and Perth moved through their respective cyclical market peaks more than a year ago, with Darwin home values peaking in May 2014, whilst Perth’s housing market peaked in December 2014. Since then, both Darwin and Perth home values have fallen by a total of 4.6 per cent.

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