Australian dwelling values have recorded a healthy 2.8 per cent increase in the first four months of the year, defying the economic slump and virtually recovering all of the price falls seen in 2008.
RP Data and Rismark International’s Home Value Index released on Friday showed all mainland capital cities recorded an increase in the first four months of the year, except for Perth.
Darwin was the strongest performer, recording dwelling value growth of 5.3 per cent, followed by Melbourne (4.5 per cent) and Sydney (3.9 per cent).
While ABS figures released earlier this month reported a 2.2 per cent decline in house prices for the first quarter, RP Data and Rismark emphasised that their Index was more comprehensive, which included terraces, semi-detached homes and apartments a well as a larger sample size.
Christopher Joye, Rismark managing director, said the Index showed home values were rising in around 80 per cent of suburbs, with only the top 20 per cent of suburbs experiencing material value falls.
RP Data’s research director Tim Lawless also dismissed claims that first home buyers were contributing to a price bubble in the bottom end of the market.
“Home values in Australia’s mortgage belts, which are the prime first home buyer markets, were flat or falling between 2004-07, while the inner city and affluent market enjoyed consistent growth. In 2008-09 we have seen a reversal of fortunes,” he reasoned.
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