National dwelling values nudged 0.1% lower in April, the seventh consecutive month-on-month fall since values started retreating in October last year according to the CoreLogic April home value index results out today. 

Similar to previous months, CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless found that the declines were concentrated within the largest capitals, while regional dwelling values edged 0.4% higher.  

Capital city dwelling values were 0.3% lower over the month, driven by larger falls of -0.4% in Sydney and Melbourne and a smaller decline in Brisbane values (-0.1%).  The falls were offset by flat conditions in Perth and subtle rises in Adelaide (+0.1%), Darwin and Canberra (both +0.6%).  Hobart was the only city where dwelling values rose by more than 1% in April.

Index results as at April 30, 2018

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On an annual basis, the combined capitals recorded the first decline in dwelling values since late 2012, with values slipping 0.3% lower, driven by falls in Sydney (-3.4%), Perth (-2.3%) and Darwin (-7.7%).  The only capital city to see an improvement in annual growth conditions  relative to a year ago is Perth, where the rate of decline has slowed from -3.0% last year to -2.3% over the past twelve months. 

A reversal of longer term trends  Mr Lawless said, “At a macro level, the latest trends are virtually the opposite of what we have become used to over the past five or so years.  Regional areas are now outperforming the capitals and units are outperforming houses.  Also the most expensive properties are now showing weaker conditions than the more affordable ones.”  

Regional areas now outpacing the capital cities  The past five years has seen combined capital city dwelling values appreciate at the annual rate of 6.8% which is almost double the annual rate across the combined regional markets at 3.5%.  The past twelve months has seen capital city dwelling values fall by 0.3% while regional values are 2.4% higher.

Unit values outperform house values  Similarly, capital city detached house values have recorded an average annual growth rate of 7.3% over the past five years, while unit values were up 5.5% per annum over the same period.  Mr Lawless said, “Despite the surge in unit construction over recent years, the past twelve months has seen unit values continue to trend higher, up 1.9%, compared with a 1.0% fall in house values.”

More affordable housing stock has been resilient to value falls  Across the most expensive quarter of the market, dwelling values have increased at almost twice the pace of the most affordable quarter over the past five years, up 8.2% per annum compared with 4.4% per annum.  As conditions have slowed down, it’s been the most affordable end of the housing market where values have remained resilient to falls, trending 1.9% higher over the past twelve months while the most expensive quarter of properties has seen values fall by -1.6%.