Australian house prices saw more increases in August but the value growth is losing steam, according to CoreLogic.
National dwelling values went up by 1.5% over the month, with all capital cities except Darwin posting decent gains. And while this rate of growth is still well above average, it's the lowest monthly rise since January.
The gains come as the biggest property markets of Sydney and Melbourne continued to be locked down by the coronavirus pandemic, with the virus spreading also into regional areas of NSW and Victoria in August as well as Canberra and the ACT.
Source: CoreLogic. * Figures for Perth not provided in this month's Hedonic Home Value Index report.
"Lockdowns are having a clear impact on consumer sentiment, however to date the restrictions have resulted in falling advertised listings and, to a lesser extent, fewer home sales, with less impact on price growth momentum," said CoreLogic research director, Tim Lawless.
"It’s likely the ongoing shortage of properties available for purchase is central to the upwards pressure on housing values," he said.
The CoreLogic report noted the increasing unaffordability of the Australian property market, with dwelling prices up 18.4% over the past year or the dollar equivalent of $103,400 or $1,990 per week. By contrast, average wages went up by just 1.7% over the same period. Record low interest rates "continue to be a tailwind on the property market", Aird said.
While noting the narrowing gap between the growth in house prices compared to apartments, Gareth Aird, CBA Head of Australian Economics, also suggested that "affordability constraints may be starting to bite as would-be buyers that can’t afford a detached dwelling may be opting for an apartment".
House prices have gone up by 17.8% in the first eight months of 2021, while prices for apartments are up by 9.3% over the same period.
CBA continues to predict national dwelling prices will rise by 20% over 2021, and that Sydney will be the strongest performer of the capitals, before value growth moderates in 2022.