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Australian house price growth grinds to halt

The recent rise in house prices across Australia has petered out, according to a new survey. 

CoreLogic revealed that prices were flat in August, with the average home in capital cities rising by 0.1 per cent and regional properties down by 0.2 per cent. 

These figures indicate that the steam has gone out of the market, but there have been some notable variations between different major cities. 

Hobart has performed best with prices up 0.6 per cent in August and 13.6 per cent since the same month on 2016. Prices grew by 1.9 per cent over the three months to the end of August. 

In contrast, prices have fallen 2.8 per cent in Perth over the course of the last year, while Darwin has done even worse with a drop of 4.2 per cent. 

While Sydney has seen growth of 13 per cent over the past year and remains the most expensive market with a typical real estate value of $909,914, prices were flat in August. After a 75 per cent surge in values over the last five years, it may be the market is now at the point of correction.

In Melbourne, the slowdown has been less pronounced, with the Victorian capital offering cheaper values at an average of $695,500. 

CoreLogic's head of research Tim Lawless commented: "If the current trends continue, by the end of the year we could see dwelling values across Australia's two largest housing markets, Sydney and Melbourne, trend lower as they move through their cyclical peaks."

By contrast, he noted that Hobart has been enjoying its strongest house price growth since 2004, adding that affordability is a key driver of the city's growth.

Melbourne may be set to get something of a boost from international buyers, after it was named the most liveable city in the world by the Economist last month.

It topped the Economist Liveable Cities Index for the seventh year running. Sydney slipped from seventh to 11th, but the five largest Australian cities all made the top 20.

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