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Housing prices down as year-end lull nears

AAP logoAAP 28/11/2016 Garry Shilson-Josling, Economist

Prices fell at last week's housing auctions but the usual seasonal dip has come later and is shallower so far than in recent years.

A seasonal surge in auction numbers has pushed average home prices in the five mainland state capitals down by 0.4 per cent last week as the market undergoes its usual pre-Christmas retreat.

Falls of 0.3 per cent in Sydney and 1.2 per cent in Melbourne depressed the five-city average, with Brisbane/Gold Coast unchanged and rises of 0.5 per cent in Adelaide and 0.2 per cent in Perth, according to CoreLogic's weekly report.

The weekly dip in average prices followed a 0.2 per cent fall the week before, in a downturn which left the average marginally up from four weeks earlier.

In each of the past three years, the same four-week stretch has ended with prices lower than at the start.

The seasonal pattern is driven by a run-up in auction volumes ahead of the Christmas/New Year lull.

There were 3,367 homes taken to auction over the week to Sunday, up from 2,987 from the week before.

The two major centres dominated the average annual price rise which remained strong at 9.3 per cent.

Prices in Sydney were up by 13.0 per cent from a year earlier and Melbourne posted an annual gain of 11 per cent.

The annual increase for Brisbane/Gold Coast was five per cent, with Adelaide not far behind with an increase of 4.7 per cent, both well over the latest consumer price inflation rate of 1.3 per cent.

The Perth market remains in the doldrums, thanks to the ongoing mining investment downturn, with an annual fall of 3.3 per cent, a little steeper than the annual fall of 2.8 per cent reported this time last year.

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