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Upward Housing Price Trend Continues

The upward trend in housing prices continued in April, with gains over the past few months about in line with the path of prices in the same part of last year.

At the same time, preliminary figures from CoreLogic RP Data on Monday show an auction clearance rate of 71.3 per cent on average in the five capitals.

That was up from 69.7 per cent the week before and 67.4 per cent the week before that.

Despite the two weekly increases, the proportion of auctions ending with a sale is still well down from this time last year, when clearance rates averaged 78.6 per cent.

Even so, the current trend is still relatively firm by the standard of recent years. T

hat's reflected home price inflation, which remains entrenched in spite of measures announced by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority in late 2014 to dissuade banks from fuelling the fire with excessive lending to investors.

The monthly figures from Corelogic RP Data show capital-city prices rose 1.7 per cent in April.

And that was not just a one-off.

Prices rose 2.4 per cent over the past three months, compared with a near-identical rise of 2.5 per cent over February, March and April last year.

Annual growth of 7.3 per cent is also not much different from the pace of 7.9 per cent recorded this time last year.

But while the big picture looks similar, the figures show the focus of price growth has shifted.

Melbourne has clearly leap-frogged Sydney and is now the price leader.

Sydney prices rose 8.9 per cent in the year to April 2015, a big step down from the 14.5 per cent rise in the preceding 12 months.

In Melbourne, prices posted annual growth of 10.1 per cent in the year to April, from 6.9 per cent a year ago.

Canberra has picked up to 4.5 per cent from 1.1 per cent, and Brisbane prices have nearly tripled their growth rate, to 6.2 per cent from 2.2 per cent.

HOUSING PRICES - ANNUAL GROWTH IN APRIL

Sydney: +8.9 pct (year earlier +14.5 pct)

Melbourne: +10.1 pct (+6.9 pct)

Brisbane: +6.2 pct (+2.2 pct)

Adelaide: +3.6 pct (+1.7 pct)

Perth: -2.1 pct (+0.3 pct)

Hobart: +1.1 pct (+1.2 pct)

Darwin: -3.7 pct (-1.6 pct)

Canberra: +4.5 pct (+1.1 pct)

Combined capitals: +7.3 pct (+7.9 pct)

Rest of State*: +2.7 pct (+1.5 pct)

*Rest of state figures are for March

Source: CoreLogic RP Data

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