Perth dwelling prices dropped 0.9 per cent in April as a string of Reserve Bank interest rate increases started to affect confidence among buyers in several markets, according to figures released today.

The RP Data-Rismark measure of dwelling prices showed median house prices in the city were flat, staying at $495,500 to be up just one per cent this year.

Over the past 12 months, Perth house prices are up 8.4 per cent.

RP Data research director Tim Lawless said price gains were slowing, towards levels not seen since the global financial crisis hit.

"A wide range of indicators have been hinting that a slowdown was on the cards," he said.

"We are in a market now that has lower auction clearances, weaker home loan approvals and lower consumer confidence.

"Combined with the six recent interest rate rises and the fact that home values have recorded very large gains across key markets since the start of 2009, it is not surprising to see values start to track sideways."

The Reserve Bank board meets tomorrow and is expected to leave rates on hold following three consecutive monthly increases.

The figures reveal prices for units and apartments dropped sharply in April, falling 4.1 per cent through the month. They are down 2.5 per cent this year to a median price of $410,000, and up just 5.1 per cent over the past year.

Nationally, prices in the nation's capitals rose 0.2 per cent in April to reach a median value of $460,000.

House prices were up 0.1 per cent, led by a 0.7 per cent increase in Melbourne but offset by a one per cent fall in Canberra and a 1.2 per cent in Brisbane.

Unit prices rose 0.5 per cent nationally, driven by a 6.9 per cent jump in Canberra, a 1.3 per cent lift in Melbourne and a 0.7 per cent increase in Sydney. Prices fell in Brisbane and Darwin.

The West Australian

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