More than $70 billion was wiped off the value of Australia’s homes across the September quarter, new Australian Bureau of Statistics home price figures show.
The total value of Australia’s 10.1 million homes fell by 1.5 per cent or $70.1 billion to $6.8 trillion over the three months from July 1 to September 30 2018, according to the ABS September 2018 Residential Property Price Indexes released Tuesday.
The mean price of a home in Australia fell $9700 to $675,000 across the quarter, while the number of homes rose by 40,900 to 10,143,700.
Annually, home prices fell in Sydney (-4.4%), Darwin (-4.4%), Melbourne (-1.5%), Perth (-0.5%) and rose in Hobart (+13 per cent), Canberra (+3.7 per cent), Adelaide (+2 per cent) and Brisbane (+1.7 per cent).
The decline in national home values was largely driven by the cooling Sydney and Melbourne housing markets.
Melbourne property prices recorded the third consecutive quarter of falls and the first annual price fall (-1.5 per cent) in six years since September 2012.
Sydney property prices continued to fall, dropping 1.9 per cent in the September quarter 2018.
While home value falls have been led by the premium end of the residential property market, value declines are now hitting “middle and lower” priced homes, according to the ABS.
“Falls in Sydney and Melbourne are no longer confined to the more expensive properties, with declines now being observed in the middle and lower segments of the market,” ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman said.
Mr Hockman pinned part of the blame for falling home prices on a crackdown on home loan lending.
“Factors including tightening credit availability and falling property prices are weighing on activity from both investors and owner occupiers,” he said.