The Courier-Mail

HOUSING GROWTH SLOWING Winter chills price rises

- GARRY SHILSON-JOSLING LUCY HUGHES JONES

WINTER has cooled the Australian property market slightly with the pace of growth in housing prices across the mainland state capitals slowing and new home sales falling.

CoreLogic RP Data preliminar­y data showed prices in the mainland capitals rose 0.5 per cent in August, after rises of 2.8 per cent in July and 2.1 per cent in June. After prices rose 1.1 per cent in August last year, the latest monthly rise suggested annual growth slowed to about 10.5 per cent in the year to August, from 11.1 per cent over the year to July.

CoreLogic RP Data head of research Tim Lawless said the monthly growth slowdown was most evident in Melbourne, where prices were relatively flat, up only about 0.1 per cent on average in the first four weeks of August, compared with the July average.

Sydney prices were up about 1 per cent. The data for Brisbane and other detailed figures would be released today. Meanwhile, Housing Industry Associatio­n data showed new home sales eased 0.4 per cent in July, after rising 0.5 per cent in June.

But HIA chief economist Harley Dale said house sales remained strong, drifting along at historical­ly high levels through midyear.

“It appears that the cyclical peak for total new home sales occurred in April but the subsequent downward trend is very mild,” he said yesterday.

Dr Dale said there was little prospect for further growth in new home constructi­on in 2015-16 but after three years of strong growth that helped prop up the domestic economy, he said Australia was in for another healthy year. Detached house sales rose 0.7 per cent in July, while multi-unit sales fell 4.2 per cent.

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