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Property prices fall in Sydney, Hobart as rate rise looms

·2-min read
houses in hobart
The looming cash rate hike could dampen house price growth further. (Source: Getty)

After slowing growth throughout 2022, house prices remained flat across all the capital cities in April, according to the latest PropTrack Home Price Index.

According to the index, house prices rose just 0.13 per cent month-on-month, with home prices in Sydney and Hobart falling for the first time since early in the pandemic.

Home prices fell 0.10 per cent in Australia’s biggest city in April, with Hobart’s market dropping 0.44 per cent.

Sydney’s property market has been cooling since mid-2021, with the median house price of $1.2 million out of reach for many buyers.

PropTrack pointed to the federal election announcement and public holidays as likely disruptions to housing market activity last month.

Looking forward, the timing of the cash rate hike is expected to become a major determining factor for future growth.

Two-speed market emerges

Despite a sluggish month for growth in the capital cities, the regions continued to outperform the major urban centres, with regional parts of Tasmania, NSW and QLD performing strongly.

In the past year, prices have increased 23 per cent in the regional areas, compared with just 14 per cent in the capitals.

However, the regions were also seeing slower growth throughout 2022 in line with the rest of the country.

Even Brisbane, which has been the strongest-performing housing market in the country in the past year, had its slowest monthly result since April 2020.

Buyers wary of rate hikes

After higher-than-expected inflation figures last week, experts have warned the Reserve Bank of Australia could start lifting rates this week.

The major banks all updated their forecasts after the inflation data showed the cost of living had soared.

A rise in the cash rate will most likely be passed on by the banks, meaning customers will see their monthly mortgage repayments rise and potentially reduce the amount buyers can afford.

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