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Shock as Sydney home values rise in February

Home prices have fallen another 0.14 per cent in February.

A composite image of a sign out the front of a home that indicated it is for sale and rows of apartment blocks and houses on the Australian coast line.
Home prices have continued to fall across the nation, but surprisingly Sydney has bucked the trend. (Source: Getty)

Aussie home prices have recorded their smallest monthly fall since May 2022 when interest rate hikes first began - with the average home in Australia now $702,136.

CoreLogic’s Home Value Index (HVI) recorded a 0.14 per cent decline in February and, surprisingly, a 0.3 per cent rise in Sydney.

CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said the stabilisation in home prices over the month coincided with consistently low levels of homes hitting the market and a rise in successful auctions.

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“The past four weeks have seen the flow of new capital-city listings tracking 17 per cent lower than a year ago and 11.9 per cent below the previous five-year average,” Lawless said.

“This trend towards a below-average flow of new listings has been evident since September last year, coinciding with a loss of momentum in the rate of value decline.”

Auction clearance rates also bounced back through February, with the capital-city weighted average reaching the high 60 per cent range through the second half of the month. This just means that 60 per cent of auctions were successful.

In the same vein, Sydney clearance rates rose to above 70 per cent in the week ending February 19, the first time since February 2022.

Have home prices hit the bottom?

While home owners would welcome prices potentially bouncing back, CoreLogic said it was highly uncertain if it could be sustained.

Lawless said while listings currently remained low, we could see housing demand dented further under higher interest rates and lower sentiment.

“Considering the RBA’s move to a more hawkish stance at the February board meeting, along with an expectation for a weaker economic performance and a loosening in labour markets, there is a good chance this reprieve in the housing downturn could be short-lived,” Lawless said.

“We also have the fixed-rate cliff ahead of us; arguably the full impact of the aggressive rate-hiking cycle is yet to play out.”

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