Aust house prices reach three-year highs

AUSTRALIAN house prices reached three year highs in the June quarter and look set to keep climbing – and that’s without the help of a massive government stimulus package.

National median house prices rose by 2.8 per cent in the June quarter – and 5.4 per cent in the year to June – a level of growth not seen since March 2010, according to the Australian Property Monitors (APM) quarterly housing report.

It was the third consecutive quarterly rise for national house prices.

Unlike the price boom of 2009 and 2010, buying hasn’t been driven by the federal government’s first home owner boost.

APM senior economist Andrew Wilson said the patchiness seen in the housing market last year is diminishing.

“The usually quieter winter market is set to be one of the hottest on record,”

“Unlike 2009 and 2010, buyer activity and prices growth will be generated by underlying local drivers.
“Buyer activity is set to accelerate through the remainder of 2013 with market momentum and prices clearly on the rise.

The lowest interest rates in decades, rising consumer confidence and generally solid economic conditions had boosted buyer activity over the first half of 2013, he said.

The report said Sydney, Canberra and Perth recorded their highest ever median house prices over the June quarter.

Melbourne house prices recorded the strongest growth for the quarter with a rise of 5 per cent, and 6.1 per cent for the year.

Unit prices are also rising, up 4.9 per cent for the year to June in Sydney, and up 9.3 per cent in Perth.

But in Hobart, unit prices fell 7.3 per cent in the June quarter and 1.4 per cent over the year.