Housing prices have posted their strongest winter gain in seven years, according to a widely-watched gauge.
The RP Data CoreLogic Hedonic home value index of Australian capital city dwelling prices rose by 1.1 per cent in August, RP data said on Monday.
The rise brought the total gain over the June, July and August to 4.2 per cent, the biggest rise over the winter months since 2007.
Annual growth in prices came in at 10.9 per cent, more than double the gain of the 12 months to August 2013, but the gains were not evenly spread across the country.
RP Data research director Tim Lawless said Sydney and Melbourne are driving a two tier market.
The RP Data figures show Sydney home prices rose by 16.1 per cent in the past year, while Melbourne’s were up by 11.7 per cent.
The next strongest markets were Adelaide, Brisbane and Darwin, with price rises averaging between five and six per cent. At the other end of the scale was Canberra, hit by government spending cutbacks, where prices rose by only 1.4 per cent through the year.
Mr Lawless said that now spring has begun there would be a rise in listings of properties for sale over the coming few months, which would be a “real test” for the market.
“Considering the ongoing high rate of auction clearance rates, a generally rapid rate of sale and the ongoing low interest rate environment, it’s likely that dwelling values will rise even further over the next three months,” he said.
Median house prices in the year to August
• Sydney – rose 16.2% to $650,000
• Melbourne – rose 11.7% to $523,750
• Brisbane – rose 5.4% to $445,000
• Adelaide – rose 5.9% to $390,000
• Perth – rose 3.5% to $512,500
• Hobart – rose 2.8% to $310,000
• Darwin – rose 5.4% to $510,000
• Canberra – rose 1.4% to $510,500
• Combined capital cities – rose 10.9% to $520,000
• Rest of states/territories (year to July) – rose 3.6% to $340,000
Source: RP Data CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index