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Australian home prices record biggest quarterly fall in 12 years

04-29-2011 14:29 BJT

SYDNEY, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Australia's capital city home prices dropped more than 2 percent over the March quarter, the biggest quarterly fall in 12 years, a new residential property survey showed on Friday.

The latest RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index showed capital city dwelling values fell by 2.1 percent over the March quarter of 2011.

The quarterly change was the steepest since the index series began in June 1999, RP Data research director Tim Lawless said.

Prices were flat in March and down 0.6 percent over the past 12 months, with the Australian city dwelling value median price at 455,000 AU dollars (495,950 U.S. dollars), the survey said.

"With household incomes growing at 6 percent per annum, interest rates potentially approaching the peak of the tightening cycle, rents increasing, and house values going nowhere, buyers are seeing an improvement in their position," Lawless said in a statement on Friday.

He said key leading indicators point towards a sedate capital growth environment for the remainder of the year.

"Clearance rates are bouncing around the low fifty percent mark each week, the number of homes being advertised for sale is almost 30 percent higher than at the same time last year, and sellers are being forced to adjust down their price expectations," Lawless said.

According to RP Data's Lawless, the tightness in the rental market combined with flat to negative change in home values is providing a boost to rental yields.

"In contrast to the fall in home values, gross rental yields have been improving with apartments and houses now delivering a gross return of 4.9 percent and 4.2 percent respectively in March 2011," Lawless said.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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