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House prices were steady in the September quarter, but remained in positive territory over the 12 months to September 30, a private sector study shows.
A survey by Australian Property Monitors (APM) said that house prices were flat in the three months to September and recorded a 0.1 per cent rise annually.
APM senior economist Andrew Wilson says it is encouraging that buyer activity is increasing in most capital city markets over 2012, showing signs of housing market consolidation.
Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Darwin all recorded price increases over the first nine months of the year.
"Overall, capital city housing markets continue to edge their way through a tentative recovery following the downward correction of 2011," Dr Wilson said.
"Although falling interest rates have improved housing affordability and buyer confidence, market growth has been driven largely by other local factors."
Dr Wilson said those factors include changes to buyer incentives, local population growth, and value-buying momentum in some prestige markets.
He expects housing markets to continue to tentatively recover for the remainder of 2012, albeit in varying degrees of pace.
"Sydney and Perth median house prices retreated marginally over the quarter, however house prices for both these capitals remain higher than those recorded at the end of 2011," Dr Wilson said.
"Brisbane median house prices were steady over the September quarter, which is encouraging as it ends a sequence of eight consecutive quarters of price falls.
"This is a positive indication the market may have finally bottomed out, though Brisbane prices are still down over the year."
Median housing prices in the September quarter rose the most in Darwin, Melbourne and Canberra, up 1.7 per cent, 0.8 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively.
The biggest falls in the quarter were Hobart with a two per cent fall, and Adelaide, which lost one per cent.
Home unit prices, nationally, were down 1.1 per cent in the September quarter and fell 1.2 per cent for the 12 months to September.
Based on information provided by and with the permission of the Western Australian Land Information Authority (2013) trading as Landgate.