Home price falls came to a crashing halt last week, suggesting housing market conditions may be starting to stabilise, according to data from CoreLogic.

Median house prices across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth remained unchanged last week.

Over the past month, house prices across these capital cities fell 0.4% – much slower than the regular 1% monthly declines seen in the last few months.

Sydney and Melbourne’s house price stabilisation is particularly noteworthy as it follows an improvement in housing finance, sentiment towards buying, auction clearance rates, and the overall outlook for prices.

Capital city home value changes

Capital city Weekly change Monthly change Year to date change 12 month change
Sydney 0.0% -0.5% -3.5% -10.9%
Melbourne 0.0% -0.5% -3.7% -9.8%
Brisbane 0.0% -0.3% -1.4% -1.7%
Adelaide -0.2% -0.3% -0.8% 0.3%
Perth -0.1% -0.3% -3.2% -8.2%
Combined 5 capitals 0.0% -0.4% -3.1% -8.7%

It comes after the Westpac-MI Consumer Sentiment Index for April showed that sentiment towards prices and purchasing rose strongly, indicating Australians have become more confident about where the housing market is heading.

“Sentiment around housing improved in April,” said Bill Evans, Chief Economist at Westpac Bank.

“The ‘time to buy a dwelling’ index rose a further 2.4% to 119.4 in April, a four-year high. The index has now risen 33% from its mid-2017 low and is back around its long run average of 120.”

A reading of over 100 indicates most Australians believe now is a good time to buy a home.

The slowdown in the pace of falling house prices coincides with a sharp drop in the number of property listings on the market.

Capital city properties listed for sale

Capital city No of new listings 12 month change (%) No of total listings 12 month change (%)
Sydney 4,689 -28.7% 27,459 4.5%
Melbourne 5,438 -32.6% 35,169 17.8%
Brisbane 3,408 -10.0% 20,875 7.2%
Adelaide 1,879 -6.8% 8,555 4.8%
Perth 3,108 -11.8% 21,046 -0.6%
Hobart 395 14.8% 1,313 24.2%
Darwin 140 -14.1% 1,400 -1.8%
Canberra 523 -13.3% 2,401 24.4%
Combined capitals 19,580 -21.9% 118,218 8.1%

With the exception of Hobart, property listings fell in all other capital cities across Australia.

The number of new property listings is down 21.9% nationally from the level seen at the same time last year.

For sellers, fewer listings on the market could limit any further house price falls, as buyers compete for the limited amount of properties available.

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