Melbourne home price falls worst on record, but easing up, CoreLogic finds

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Melbourne home values are 10 per cent lower than they were a year ago, with only Sydney notching bigger declines. Picture: Ian Currie

The worst appears to be over for the nation’s housing downturn, with Melbourne’s price falls easing up, according to a leading property data firm.

But 17 consecutive months of declines have blown out the city’s annual drop to 10 per cent, CoreLogic’s latest Hedonic Home Value Index shows.

CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said the property data firm hadn’t “seen Melbourne values falling on an annual basis by more than 10 per cent in the history of the indices, which dates back to the 1980s”.

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Melbourne dwelling values — taking into account both houses and units — dipped 0.6 per cent last month to hit a $621,759 median.

Mr Lawless said while prices were still falling, April marked an improvement from previous months, with values down 0.8 per cent in March, 1 per cent in February, 1.6 per cent in January and 1.5 per cent in December.

CoreLogic experts say the worst of Australia’s housing market conditions appear to have passed. Picture: David Crosling

“We are seeing further evidence that the worst of the housing market conditions are now behind us,” he said.

“Values are still broadly declining, however the pace of decline has moderated since December last year. We’re seeing the most improvement in Sydney and Melbourne.

“And there are some tentative signs that credit flows have improved, albeit from a low base.

“Considering tighter credit conditions were one of the primary catalysts for the housing market downturn, any sign that credit availability is improving would be a welcome outcome.”

Melbourne’s inner east remains the nation’s worst performing capital city market, notching a 15.4 per cent year-on-year decline.

CoreLogic also recorded big slides in the city’s inner south (13.1 per cent) and outer east (12.4 per cent).

But Victoria’s regional cities continued to record annual price rises, led by Ballarat (5.9 per cent), Latrobe-Gippsland (4.9 per cent), Shepparton (3.9 per cent) and Bendigo (2 per cent).

And Melbourne units haven’t been hit as hard as houses — the former have fallen 4.1 per cent in value year-on-year and the latter, 12.6 per cent.

The Sydney market remained the biggest loser of the capitals, with values 10.9 per cent lower than they were a year ago. Also down on an annual basis were Perth (8.3 per cent), Darwin (7.1 per cent) and Brisbane (1.9 per cent).

Hobart has recorded the strongest yearly gains of 3.8 per cent, with Canberra (2.5 per cent) and Adelaide (0.3 per cent) also edging up.

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria last week reported a 0.6 per cent decline in Melbourne’s median house sale price in the year to March 31 — the first annual fall recorded by the body since 2013.

But the REIV data only takes into account houses that sold in the past year, while CoreLogic calculates the estimated value of all residences in the city, whether they’ve sold or not.

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