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6416.0 - House Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, Mar 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/06/2004   
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MARCH QTR KEY FIGURES

ESTABLISHED HOUSE PRICES

Dec Qtr 03 to Mar Qtr 04
Mar Qtr 2003 to Mar Qtr 2004
Established house prices
% change
% change

Weighted average of eight capital cities
2.5
17.9
Sydney
3.5
15.8
Melbourne
-1.3
8.9
Brisbane
6.2
36.6
Adelaide
3.0
22.8
Perth
1.2
19.0
Hobart
4.3
18.6
Darwin
5.7
14.3
Canberra
4.2
25.3


MARCH QTR KEY POINTS

ESTABLISHED HOUSE PRICES

QUARTERLY CHANGES

  • The price index for established houses in Australia rose 2.5% in the March quarter 2004, compared with an increase of 6.0% in December quarter 2003. This was the lowest quarterly increase since March quarter 2001.
  • House prices fell in Melbourne (-1.3%) but rose in each of the other capital cities: Brisbane (+6.2%), Darwin (+5.7%), Hobart (+4.3%), Canberra (+4.2%), Sydney (+3.5%), Adelaide (+3.0%) and Perth (+1.2%).


ANNUAL CHANGES
  • Over the twelve months to March quarter 2004, established house prices rose 17.9%.
  • Annual increases in the capital cities were: Brisbane (+36.6%), Canberra (+25.3%), Adelaide (+22.8%), Perth (+19.0%), Hobart (+18.6%), Sydney (+15.8%), Darwin (+14.3%) and Melbourne (+8.9%).


NOTES


CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE

There are no changes in this issue.


CONSIDERATIONS WHEN INTERPRETING THE ESTABLISHED HOUSE PRICE INDEX

It is important to note that the established house price index is specifically designed to measure the medium term rate of change in the price of established houses. To ensure the index is based on a sufficiently representative sample of transactions prices, the prices used are for properties which were settled during the quarter rather than those for which contracts were exchanged. One of the effects of this approach is that the date of recording a price will lag the date at which the price was effectively determined. Because of this, there is likely to be a lag in identifying the turning points in the house price cycle.

In addition, as noted in paragraph 9 of the Explanatory Notes of this publication, in order to minimise the effects of compositional change on the measures of price change, the ABS stratifies the sales of established houses by geographic area. Compared with an approach which does not stratify by area, the difference in the measure of aggregate price change for a capital city will be most evident during periods when different geographical areas within a city experience different rates of price change. To varying extents across the capital cities, this is evident in the March quarter 2004 data where house prices in the inner city regions of many of the capital cities have grown less (or fallen) compared with those in some of the outer city regions.


INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Steve Whennan on Canberra 02 6252 6251.


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