Australia’s home price growth slowed in March – report

Australia’s rampant home price growth slowed further in March, lifting by 0.34%, the slowest pace of growth since May 2020, according to the PropTrack Home Price Index.

The PropTrack Home Price Index is an Australia-first monthly revised residential property price index just launched by REA Group’s data business, PropTrack, to deliver timely insights on home prices and market trends.

The report found monthly price growth was highest in South Australia (1.03%), with Adelaide (0.84%) the top performer of the capital cities. Prices fell slightly in Melbourne (-0.02%) while larger falls have been recorded in Perth (-0.11%) and the Northern Territory (-0.13%).

Findings also showed that regional areas continue to outperform the capitals in the post-pandemic market, with prices rising 25% in the past year in regional areas, compared to only 16% in the capitals.

Growth standouts over the past year have been Brisbane (27.02%), regional NSW (26.85%), and the ACT (26.4%), with regional Queensland (23.35%) also performing strongly.

“Home price growth has slowed considerably in 2022,” said Paul Ryan, PropTrack economist and report author. “The increase in prices across the country in March 2022 was at the slowest pace since May 2020, after national pandemic lockdowns. While price growth has slowed dramatically, it is comparing to an exceptional period – 2021 saw the fastest growth in over 30 years. In March, regional areas continued to benefit from relative affordability and preference shifts towards lifestyle locations. Regional areas in all states outperformed their capital city region.”

Ryan said the easing in price growth reflects the reduced influence of lower interest rates. And with fixed mortgage rates expected to rise further as RBA increases the cash rate, probably later in the year, “the outlook for price growth remains subdued, with the speed of official interest rate hikes the big unknown for the market in 2022.”