New data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today shows the national mean dwelling price fell from $666,800 in the September 2018 quarter to $651,100 in the December 2018 quarter.

The supply of residential dwellings over the period rose by 42,600 to reach over 10,256,700.

Through the year, the average price fell $38,600, from $689,700 in December 2017.

Chief Economist for the ABS Bruce Hockman said Australia’s two largest cities continue to lead the fall, but issued a reminder of how far they’d risen.

“These falls follow a period of solid growth, where prices in Sydney rose 68 per cent and Melbourne rose 54 per cent, over the five years to December quarter 2017,” Mr Hockman said.

Quarterly price falls were felt in six out of the eight capital cities.

Only Adelaide and Hobart experienced rises.

Capital city Sept Qtr 18 to Dec Qtr 18 % change
Sydney -3.7%
Melbourne -2.4%
Brisbane -1.1%
Adelaide 0.1%
Perth -1.0%
Hobart 0.7%
Darwin -0.6%
Canberra -0.2%
Weighted average -2.4%

Source: ABS

Sydney’s quarterly slide of 3.7% marked the Harbour City’s sixth negative quarter in a row, while Melbourne’s 2.4% slide was its fourth.

“While property prices are falling in most capital cities, a tightening in credit supply and reduced demand from investors and owner occupiers have had a more pronounced effect on the larger property markets of Sydney and Melbourne,” Mr Hockman said.

But Brisbane’s 1.1% price fall was notable, given its property market had for so long been a relative pillar of stability. This fall was the River City’s biggest slide since September 2011.

Year-on-year, only three capital cities (Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra) have had a rise in property prices.

Capital city Dec Qtr 17 to Dec Qtr 18 % change
Sydney -7.8%
Melbourne -6.4%
Brisbane -0.3%
Adelaide 1.5%
Perth -2.5%
Hobart 9.6%
Darwin -3.5%
Canberra 1.8%
Weighted average -5.1%

Source: ABS

The average residential dwelling price remains highest in New South Wales at $831,800 while Tasmania has the lowest at $411,700.

For feedback or queries, email

Ready, Set, Buy!

Learn everything you need to know about buying property – from choosing the right property and home loan, to the purchasing process, tips to save money and more!

With bonus Q&A sheet and Crossword!

By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy