The smaller capital cities of Adelaide and Brisbane continue to drag up property prices while Sydney and Melbourne have started to stagnate.
The latest data from CoreLogic shows that across the country property prices rose 0.7 per cent last month, with Brisbane prices surging 2 per cent and Adelaide 1.9 per cent.
Canberra and Perth saw rises of 1 per cent, with Darwin increasing 0.8 per cent. Sydney values fell -0.2 per cent while Melbourne prices dropped -0.1 per cent.
Over the past 12 months, property prices around the country are now 18.2 per cent higher, led again by Brisbane with an increase of 29.3 per cent.
CoreLogic’s research director, Tim Lawless, said that while prices are still moving higher, the rate of growth has slowed in nearly all markets.
“Virtually every capital city and major rest-of-state region has moved through a peak in the trend rate of growth some time last year or earlier this year,” Mr Lawless said.
“The sharpest slowdown has been in Sydney, where housing prices are the most unaffordable, advertised supply is trending higher and sales activity is down over the year.”
“There are a few exceptions to the slowdown, with regional South Australia recording a new cyclical high over the March quarter and some momentum is returning to the Perth market where the rate of growth is once again trending higher since WA re-opened its borders.”
The move towards the regions is continuing to put upward pressure on prices with regional dwelling values increasing 5.1% in the three months to March, compared with the 1.5% increase recorded across the combined capital cities.
Along with slowing growth rates, national housing turnover is also easing, with preliminary transaction estimates for the March quarter 14.3% lower than the same period in 2021 according to Mr Lawless.
“Nationally, the volume of housing sales is coming off record highs but there is some diversity across the capital cities in these figures as well,” he said.
“Our estimate of sales activity through the March quarter is 39% lower than a year ago in Sydney and 27% lower in Melbourne, while stronger markets like Brisbane and Adelaide have recorded a rise in sales over the same period.”
One of the reasons for the divergence between the smaller markets and the larger capital cities has been the level of new listings.
While advertised inventory, at a national level, is 30% below the previous five-year average there are still significant differences between the different capital cities.
In Melbourne, total advertised supply was 8% above the previous five-year average towards the end of March, while the number of homes available to purchase in Sydney had virtually normalised to be 7.5% higher than a year ago and only 2.6% below the five-year average.
Advertised stock levels in Brisbane and Adelaide remain more than 40% below the previous five-year average levels and around 20% to 25% down on a year ago.
“With higher inventory levels and less competition, buyers are gradually moving back into the driver’s seat. That means more time to deliberate on their purchase decisions and negotiate on price,” Mr Lawless said.
According to CoreLogic, the housing market has transitioned from a broad-based upswing to one the described as ‘multi-speed’.
Sydney and Melbourne, are recording flat to falling housing values, while at the other end of the scale is Brisbane and Adelaide are seeing annual growth rates of upward of 20 per cent.
However, CoreLogic warns that the outlook for housing remains skewed to the downside, with risks including the prospect of rising interest rates, affordability, higher supply and waning sentiment all likely to pressure the market.
Although there are going to be some drivers of growth to come including the return of immigration, a strong economy and the latest round of incentives for first home buyers outlined in the federal budget.