House prices on the rise
The property downturn appears to be well and truly over, with recent figures showing house prices ...
The property downturn appears to be well and truly over, with recent figures showing house prices around the nation are steadily rising.
According the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics' Index of Established House Prices, home values lifted 1.6 per cent in the three months to December - the strongest quarterly growth in almost three years.
Housing Industry Association (HIA) economist Geordan Murray said the latest data is a sign of improving conditions in the residential real estate sector.
"The results may indicate that home buyer demand improved in the last quarter of 2012," Mr Murray explained.
"Interest rate cuts in late 2011 and throughout 2012 are an obvious contributor to this, but it could also be an early sign that after a few years of bolstering household balance sheets some would-be homebuyers may now feel more comfortable," he added.
Sydney and Perth led the nation in terms of house price growth, with Mr Murray attributing the trend to demographic demand in the two cities.
Perth trumped the nation with a 2.9 per cent increase, followed by Darwin with 2.6 per cent, Sydney with 2.3 per cent, 2.1 per cent in Canberra, 0.8 per cent in Adelaide and 0.7 per cent in Brisbane and Melbourne.