Sydney home prices fall for the first time in 17 months

| 03.10,17. 09:45 AM |

Sydney home prices fall for the first time in 17 months

Photo: Hobart's 14.3 per cent home price rise over the past year is the nation's biggest increase. (ABC News: Angela Ross)

Sydney property prices have dropped for the first time in almost one-and-a-half years, but strong gains for Hobart and Melbourne have continued, according to the latest CoreLogic report.

The company's home value index shows Sydney prices inching 0.1 per cent lower last month — the first month-on-month decline since April 2016.

Sydney property prices also trod water over the September quarter, rising just 0.2 per cent, the weakest result since values in Australia's largest city dropped 2.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2016.

Previous strength in the market means the annual increase in prices to September 30 was still 10.5 per cent.

However, recent weakness has seen Melbourne, and now Hobart, easily overtake Sydney as the nation's hottest property markets.

Prices in Hobart jumped 1.7 per cent last month and are up 14.3 per cent over the past year, while Melbourne recorded a 0.9 per cent price rise in September and 12.1 per cent capital gains over the past year.

CoreLogic's Tim Lawless said the recent relative weakness in Sydney was probably due to the higher proportion of investors in that market who are being affected by a regulatory crackdown on investment and interest-only home loans.

"We're still seeing more than half of mortgage demand in Sydney is investment based, whereas in every other state we are seeing investors less than half of mortgage demand," he told ABC News.

Melbourne's market was being held up by the nation's fastest population growth, with the number of people in Victoria rising by 2.4 per cent over the past year.


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