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Biggest dip for house prices in 23 years


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Australian house prices in 2008 posted their biggest annual fall in 23 years and there may be more falls to come, economists say.

House prices declined 3.3 per cent in the year to December, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported on Monday.

It was the biggest annual fall since the ABS data series began 23 years ago.

The ABS also said that house prices fell 0.8 per cent in the December quarter, which was below market forecasts of a one per cent decline.

The drop was the third consecutive quarterly fall.

JP Morgan economist Helen Kevans forecasts house prices to fall 10 per cent in 2009 but the decline would be far less than that experienced in other countries.

"Larger falls in house prices may materialise, although the acute shortage of new homes and accelerating population growth (on the back of higher skilled migration) will provide support for house prices in some cities," Ms Kevans said.

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Hmm, I was talking to a couple of large residential project builders late last year and also just last week - they expect to be very busy through this year. It would be a great time to be at the upper end of residential property investment and cashed-up.


PS: Sandman, how was the operation? (Feel free to reply "G" for good, "OK" or "S" for sh177y if it's easier on your wrists ;)

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