Housing prices pulled back a touch on average last week, something they typically do around this time, as the market heads into a crucial part of the year.
The average price of a home sold in the five mainland state capitals last week was 0.1 per cent lower than a week before, according to CoreLogic RP Data.
That followed a fall of 0.3 per cent the week before and no change the week before that. Only Brisbane/Gold Coast recorded a weekly rise, while Sydney was flat and prices fell in the other three capitals.
The last time prices rose was in the week ending August 16. But this flat spot is similar to the one seen last year and the year before.
The real test for the market is yet to come, as it now heads into a pre-Christmas building in sales volumes.
At last count, there were 26,822 homes listed for sale within the past 28 days – new listings according to the definition used by CoreLogic RP Data, and 96,668 in total.
Based on the pattern of recent years, the number of new listing is likely to rise to around 35,000 by late November.
And total listings should top 110,000 and, depending on how quickly, or slowly, they are snapped up, maybe even hit 115,000. So far, demand has been strong, aside from areas clearly hurt by the drawn-out death throes of the mining investment boom.
Both houses and units are spending fewer days on the market in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra.
Time on the market has risen for units, but not houses, in Brisbane/Gold Coast, and risen for both houses and units in Perth and Darwin, where the demise of the mining investment boom is taking its toll.
Despite the regional variations the picture that emerges is one of demand rising to meet increased supply, strongly enough to lift the national price average by 10.6 per cent in the past year.
Much of the increased supply is coming from Sydney and Melbourne, where home-owners are cashing in on the buoyant market.
New listings are up by 18.1 per cent from a year before in Sydney, and by 9.7 pr cent in Melbourne.
In Canberra, new listings were up 18.5 per cent, most likely as home-owners return to the market which has stabilised, with little change in prices over the past year, according to recent monthly figures from CoreLogic RP Data.
All other centres reported lower levels of new listings.
HOUSING PRICES, WEEK ENDING SUNDAY SEPT 6
Sydney: Weekly unchanged, annual +17.2pct
Melbourne: Weekly -0.1pct, annual +11.4pct
Brisbane: Weekly +0.2pct, annual +4.8pct
Adelaide: Weekly -0.4pct, annual +1.5pct
Perth: Weekly -0.3pct, annual -1.8pct
Combined 5 capitals: Weekly -0.1pct +10.6
Source: CoreLogic RP Data