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The year in property has begun with some stabilisation in values

Australian property values appeared to stabilise with a 0.1% increase in national dwelling values for February. There was a –2.3% drop over the quarter according to CoreLogic’s national Home Value Index (HVI).

Although median property prices are still falling across the country there are signs some wind has come out of the housing downturn’s sails. While the 0.1% dip continues into negative territory, the February statistic was an improvement on the -1% fall seen in January, and was the smallest month-on-month decline since June.

All in all, CoreLogic’s Index is –9.1% off its April peak. However, it pays to put this dwelling downturn in context. “Record declines in home values follow a record upswing, both in magnitude and speed. The national HVI was up a stunning 28.6% in the space of just 19 months,” said CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless.

All eyes on interest rates

While they aren’t the only driver of the downturn, interest rates have played a major role in steering the ship. Once the Reserve Bank decides to hit the pause button – which is largely tipped to be in the first half of 2023 – economic experts predict housing values are likely to stabilise.

At its first meeting for 2023, the RBA increased the cash rate by 0.25 percentage points on February 7, pushing the cash rate to a decade-high of 3.35%.

Top end price performance

The upper quartile of the combined capital city housing market drove this month’s stabilising trend, increasing by 0.1% in February.

This trend was most obvious across Sydney’s upper quartile, which recorded a 0.7% rise in values over the month, compared with a -0.2% fall in values across the lower quartile of the Sydney market.

Regions still in favour

After extraordinary price growth in 2021, values in all regions are declining. Regional dwelling values were down -0.3% in February compared with a -0.1% fall across the combined capital cities. However, the weaker regional result relative to the combined capitals was mostly a factor of the monthly rise in Sydney housing values rather than a larger fall in regional market values.

Overall, CoreLogic recorded a combined regional market fall of -2.1% for the quarter to February 28. That’s a modest movement backwards after the combined non-capital city areas saw housing values surge 41.6% through the most recent upswing. Since peaking in June, the combined regionals index is only down -7.7%.


Melbourne’s median dwelling value is down –2.7% over the quarter. Data shows the Victorian capital has had a Covid trough to peak of 17.3%. After peaking in February 2022, the median dropped by -9.6%. Regionally, Victoria is –7.0% off its most recent peak in May 2022.


The quarter to January’s close saw the median dwelling price in the Harbour City fall by –2.4%. Although In February Sydney was the only capital city to record an increase, gaining 0.3%. Sydney’s median peaked in January 2022 and has since experienced a -13.5% decline. The city’s trough to peak was 27.7%. After hitting its peak in May 2022, regional NSW closed the most recent quarter –10.1% off that high.


By February Brisbane’s median dwelling price was down –3.2% for the quarter. The capital of the Sunshine State had an exceptional trough to peak throughout the pandemic with the media skyrocketing 42.7%. Post peak in June 2022, the drop has been –11.0%. Across regional Queensland the median has come -7.3% off the June 2022 high.


The ACT experienced a –2.7% decline of its median dwelling price during the three months to February’s end. Australia’s capital reached its price peak in June 2022 and has since come off the boil by –9.0%.


The Perth median appears to be plateauing with a modest quarterly move of just -0.2%. According to CoreLogic data the West Australian capital’s market only reached its peak in July 2022 and has come off just -0.9% since. The full trough to peak figure for Perth has been 25.9%. Regionally, the state is reportedly at its peak after experiencing a 32.4% increase through the recent growth phase.

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Note: all figures in the city snapshots are sourced from: CoreLogic’s national Home Value Index (March 2023)