Larry Schlesinger | 31 January 2013

Brisbane, Perth and Sydney lead 1.2% gain in property values in January: RP Data

Brisbane was the top performing mainland property market over January with property values up 2% to a median of $432,250, according to RP Data-Rismark.

Brisbane house values lifted 1.8% to a median of $450,000 and unit values rose 4.4% to a median of $350,500 - welcome news for Brisbane apartment investors.

Nationally, dwelling values across the eight capital cites gained 1.2% over the month to a median of $480,000 following a small drop in values in December (-0.3%) and no change in November. 

The result means that property values are now 1.8% up on annual basis. 

Since bottoming out in May last year, property values are up now up 3.1%. 

RP Data research director, Tim Lawless, says housing market conditions have started the year on a strong footing. 

“These strong January results are likely to have seen some upwards seasonal bias, however the housing market has been on a clear recovery trend since June last year. 

“Capital gains aren't likely to remain this high over the coming months, however we are likely to see the recovery trend continue through 2013.” 

“Despite the improving market conditions in January, dwelling values across the combined capital cities remain 4.6% below their 2010 peak. 

“The latest housing market data adds weight to the argument that interest rates may be at the bottom of the cycle. The Reserve Bank will be watching the performance of the housing market closely, and the positive trend in housing values will dampen calls for further interest rate cuts,” he says. 

Apart from Darwin, where the market corrected by 2.2% over January to a median of $525,000 (and is still up 8.7% year-on-year, all capital city markets recorded gains over the month. 

The other strong performing markets were Sydney, which posted gains of 1.8% to a median of $576,500 and Perth, where prices rose 1.7% to a median of $480,000.

Melbourne was the poorest performing market with prices up just 0.2% with RP Data saying that conditions remain “relatively subdued”. 

Melbourne is the only capital city housing market where values are still down year-on-year – having fallen 0.4% over the past 12 months. 

Among the smaller capital city markets, there was some good news for Hobart investors and homeowners with values up 4.5% over January and 5.3% over the quarter a median of $315,000. 

Hobart still remains the most affordable capital city market well ahead of Adelaide, where house prices rose 0.4% to $381,750. 

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