Australia’s housing values rose 0.7% in March, driven by stronger conditions in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and the ACT, along with several regional areas, according to CoreLogic.  

The March monthly rate increased despite housing values slipping across Sydney and Melbourne.  

For the first quarter of 2022, Australian dwelling values increased 2.4%, reflecting a significant slowdown compared to Q1 2021 when housing values jumped 5.8%. 

Sydney’s growth rate has slowed the most, with values up just 0.3% in Q1 2022 compared to 9.3% during the same period last year.  

In Melbourne, housing values crept up 0.1% during Q1 2022 compared to 5.8% for the same quarter in 2021.  

CoreLogic’s research director Tim Lawless said there was mounting evidence that housing growth rates are losing momentum despite the monthly rate of growth rising among some cities and regions. 

“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,” 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 annual housing value growth rate was 18.2%, falling below the 20% mark for the first time since August last year after reaching a cyclical high of 22.4% in January 2021. 

Lawless said the annual growth trend will fall sharply in the coming months, as the strong gains recorded in early 2021 drop out of the 12-month calculation.   

National housing turnover was also easing, with preliminary transaction estimates for the March quarter tracking 14.3% lower than the same period in 2021, but still 12.2% above the previous five-year average. 

“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,” Lawless 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.” 

In regional Australia, housing values across the combined regional areas rose at more than three times the pace of the combined capital cities through the March 2022 quarter.  

Regional dwelling values increased 5.1% in Q1 2022, compared with the 1.5% increase recorded across the combined capital cities.  

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) regional population growth figures for FY2020-21 helped explain the strong housing conditions outside of the capitals.  

The number of people living in regional areas of Australia increased by almost 71,000 residents, while residents living in the capitals fell by approximately 26,000, mostly due to a sharp drop in Melbourne and, to a lesser extent, Sydney. 

Last month, CoreLogic reported that Australian housing values rose 0.6% in February.