The value of Aussie homes increased in the first quarter, bucking a global trend downwards, according to a recently issued report.
House and flat prices in Australia increased in value by 1.6% in the first three months of the year, helped by a scarcity of supply, lower interest rates and incentives to first-home buyers.
The slight recovery in Australia “has been driven by the 40% fall in home loan rates to 5.7%, which are now at their lowest levels since July 1968!”
March’s three-month gain follows a 0.1% rise in the three months to February in the RP Data-Rismark’s national dwelling value index, and a 3% fall in the value of capital city homes in 2008.
The strength of Aussie home prices is a world away – so far – from the 2.7% drop in British home prices over the first quarter, capping a year to March 17.5% plunge.
US housing didn’t fare that much better, with prices in the top 20 cities sinking 1.9% in February, which brought the 12-month fall to 18.6%, according to the most recent S&P/Case-Shiller index, a widely followed measure.
RP Data-Rismark said the first-home buyer’s grant, which ends June 30, has acted like a catalyst for new home buying in Australia, but lower interest rates are sustaining the market’s growth.