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House prices on pause after APRA pinch

Sydney's once fast paced property market ground to a halt in August, and prices barely moved across the nation.

Home values in Sydney and Brisbane froze in August and fell 0.7 per cent in Perth and 0.1 per cent in Adelaide, according to the latest figures from property analytics firm CoreLogic.

Melbourne was the only capital city where home values improved, lifting 0.5 per cent for the month to September 3, for annual growth of 12.5 per cent.

The average home value across the five major capital cities rose just 0.1 per cent in August, and some economists suggest the property market is starting to go off the boil.

The slowdown was consistent with a softening of building approvals, housing finance and auction clearance rates, economists at St George said.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) capped interest-only mortgage lending in March, forcing lenders to limit higher risk interest-only loans to 30 per cent of new residential mortgages.

St George Economics said home values had grown by an average of just 0.4 per cent a month since the APRA move, compared with 0.9 per cent in the five months prior.

Average house prices are still highest in Sydney, followed by Melbourne and then Canberra.

The cheapest city is still Hobart, where an average house costs $383,000.

On the auction front, fewer homes have been going under the hammer recently, with just over 2,000 auctions held in the week to September 3, down from 2,270 in the prior week, according to preliminary figures from CoreLogic.

The clearance rate was 70 per cent, up from 68.3 per cent in the previous week, but will likely settle in the mid to high 60 per cent range when final results are published later this week.

CAPITAL CITY PRIVATE TREATY MEDIAN PRICES

HOUSES

Sydney - $880,000

Melbourne - $700,000

Canberra - $600,000

Brisbane - $520,000

Darwin - $495,000

Perth - $486,500

Adelaide - $421,500

Hobart - $383,000

Combined capitals - $659,985

UNITS

Sydney - $697,750

Melbourne - $540,000

Canberra - $432,500

Perth - $399,500

Brisbane - $380,000

Darwin - $373,500

Adelaide - $310,000

Hobart - $290,000

Combined capitals - $564,107

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