The median house price across all capital cities fell for the first time in three years, albeit marginally, to $695,788 in the December quarter, dragged down by a decline in the Sydney market.
The 0.4 per cent decline followed 13 consecutive quarters of growth in the weighted average median house price, the Real Estate Institute of Australia said.
REIA president Neville Sanders said strong growth in Hobart, Canberra and Brisbane and marginal increases in Darwin and Perth were unable to offset falling median house prices in Sydney and Melbourne.
Adelaide recorded no change over the quarter.
"Sydney, the strongest market in the recent years, showed the largest decrease in median prices leaving some commentators speculating whether the city's housing market has reached its peak," Mr Sanders said
Sydney's median house price fell by 2.5 per cent in the quarter.
The median house price for the capital cities was up 7.4 per cent compared to the December quarter of 2014, with rises in each of the capitals except Perth.
"Annual growth is still strong but lower compared to what we observed over the last couple of years," Mr Sanders said.
MEDIAN HOUSE PRICES IN CAPITAL CITIES:
- Australian median house price $695,788 (down 0.4 pct in December quarter)
- Sydney down 2.5 pct to $1,025,478
- Melbourne down 0.1 pct to $718,000
- Hobart up 9.8 pct to $392,000
- Canberra up 3.7 pct to $593,000
- Brisbane up 3.2 pct to $490,000
- Darwin up 0.5 pct to $608,750
- Perth up 0.4 pct to $535,000
- Adelaide steady at $430,000.