It's official: ABS index shows house prices rising

Bureau of Statistics data has backed up private sector measures that are showing a recovery in home prices.

The bureau's index of house prices, which excludes apartments, in the eight capital cities rose 1.6 per cent in the final three months of last year, to be 2.1 per cent higher over 2012.

That is similar to an Australian Property Monitors report showing house price rises of 1.9 per cent in the quarter and 2.1 per cent last year.

RP Data-Rismark's more timely index showed a fall of 1.2 per cent in the quarter, but it also covers apartments which recorded bigger price falls than houses in the quarter after outperforming for most of the year.

RP Data's figures also showed a strong 1.2 per cent .

The ABS figures show Perth (+2.9 per cent), Darwin (+2.6 per cent), Sydney (+2.3 per cent) and Canberra (+2.1 per cent) led the way for house price gains in the December quarter.

Adelaide (+0.8 per cent), Brisbane and Melbourne (both +0.7 per cent) had modest price rises, while Hobart (-1.4 per cent) again lagged.

The ABS says areas with median house prices below $750,000 contributed most to the rise in Sydney, while Perth saw its fifth straight quarter of growth with gains spread across price ranges.

Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens, in his explaining today's , noted the recent upward move in dwelling prices.

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