Property values are still trending lower, but the rate of decline has been easing over the past three months, new figures show.
In fact, the latest CoreLogic home value index reveals that the 0.6 per cent drop in March was the smallest of the monthly declines since values fell by 0.5 per cent in October last year.
CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless noted, however, that while the pace of falls has slowed in March, the scope of the downturn has become more geographically widespread.
Dwelling values were down across six of the eight capital cities, with Sydney recording the largest drop of 0.9 per cent. Melbourne followed, with a fall of 0.8 per cent, then Brisbane and Darwin (both 0.6 per cent lower), Perth (0.4 per cent) and Adelaide (0.2 per cent). Canberra values held firm while Hobart values were 0.6 per cent higher.
Most of the 'rest of state' regions, which comprise the areas outside the capital cities, also recorded a fall in values; the exceptions being in Tasmania (up 0.5 per cent) and South Australia (0.3 per cent).
National dwelling values have now been trending lower for seventeen months and have fallen by a cumulative 7.4 per cent since peaking in October 2017. Despite the broad-based weakness, the national index remains 15.9 per cent higher relative to five years ago, highlighting that most property owners remain in a strong equity position.
Markets where values peaked much earlier have shown a more substantial downturn. In Darwin and Perth, where weak housing market conditions were driven by post mining
boom weaker economic and demographic conditions, dwelling values have fallen by a cumulative 27.5 per cent and 18.1 per cent respectively since peaking in 2014.
"The silver lining here is that housing is now very affordable and first home buyers are proportionally much more active relative to other areas of the country"
Tim Lawless, CoreLogic, Head of research.