Housing prices across Australia’s capital cities have risen 3.5 per cent for the year to September 30, the weakest growth in more than three years even as the value of all the nation’s dwellings rose to $6.2 trillion.

Melbourne was the best performer, with an annual home price increase of 6.9 per cent, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows.

This was followed by Hobart, which recorded an average price increase of 6.8 per cent for the year to September 30.

Canberra posted price increases of 5.5 per cent.

Sydney was a distant fourth, recording an annual increase of 3.2 per cent, the same as Adelaide.

The harbour city, however, recorded the largest property price growth among all capital cities in the September quarter, with house prices up 2.9 per cent and attached dwellings 2.1 per cent.

However, weakness in other capital cities – annual home prices fell 7.2 per cent in Darwin, and four per cent in Perth, overshadowed the gains in the larger cities.

The ABS figures reveal the total value of Australia’s 9.8 million residential dwellings now stands at $6.2 trillion, having increased by $112.1 billion in the quarter.

The mean, or midpoint, house price in Australia is now $631,000.

Housing auction clearance rates around the country have edged up again in recent months, boosted by record low interest rates. However, first home buyer numbers continue to dwindle, with investors the main drivers of activity in the housing market.

  • Would be a really interesting discussion to understand who actually cares what happens to house prices.
    On one hand, investors who have negatively geared to buy are over exposed and have to stump up more funds or risk Mortgage Insurance ( A bit like gambling on the stock market in my view).
    On another, first home buyers who are the future of the sector are getting closer to realising their goals.
    On another, existing home owners looking to capitalise on their family home to downsize but at the same time not having to pay over the odds for that downsize.
    Or the headline writers to drum up a story on a topical subject.
    And talking about the mean average price is irrelevant. There is no room for detached and semi detached within 40klms of any Eastern seaboard capital city.
    What about publishing a mean average for inner suburbs, outer suburbs and regional?
    Or do we just want to reinforce the city centric mentality across the sector?

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