House prices eased in 2011
Buying a property became slightly more affordable last year, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicate.
Analysing the latest index of established house prices, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) noted that values declined by one per cent in the quarter ending in December 2011.
This marks a fall of 4.8 per cent compared to the same period of the previous year.
Dr Harley Dale, chief economist at the HIA, explained that these latest statistics mirror a trend seen in late 2008 and early 2009, when considerable variations in house prices were seen across Australian cities.
"The ABS existing house price series reveals annual declines in established house prices for all eight capital cities, and quarterly declines with the exceptions of Perth, Hobart and Canberra," he commented.
Additional figures show that the capital city project new house price index increased by 0.2 per cent in the three months leading up to December 2011, increasing 1.5 per cent on a year earlier.
On a regional basis, this index rose by 0.7 per cent in Canberra, 0.8 per cent in Hobart and 0.5 per cent in Perth.
However, Sydney saw a decline of one per cent, followed by falls of 1.6 per cent in Melbourne and Adelaide, 1.4 per cent in Darwin and 1.3 per cent in Brisbane.
The HIA recently reported that sales of detached houses in South Australia increased by 12 per cent in December 2011.