23:00Nov 30, 2021Reuters

Australia home price boom ebbs in Nov as sellers rush in

Australian home prices extended their meteoric run to 14 straight months in November, although the pace of gains is moderating as sky-high values tempt sellers into the market.

Figures from property consultant CoreLogic out on Wednesday showed national home prices rose 1.3% in November, after a 1.5% increase the month before.

Values were up a steep 22.2% on last year, the fastest pace since 1989, while regional prices climbed 25% amid a pandemic-driven shift to the country.

The median home price hit A$698,170 ($497,655), having risen an average A$2,436 every week for the past year.

Sydney's super-expensive market saw growth of 0.9% in November and almost 26% for the year, taking median values to A$1.09 million. Melbourne was up 16% from a year ago, Brisbane 25% and Perth 15%.

The red-hot market is finally drawing a flood of sellers, with new listings up by two-thirds since early September.

"Fresh listings are being added to the market faster than they can be absorbed, pushing total active listings higher," said CoreLogic's research director, Tim Lawless. "More listings imply more choice and less urgency for buyers."

The boom in values has been a windfall for household wallets and consumer confidence. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates the value of the housing stock surged a record A$596 billion in the June quarter alone to hit A$8.9 trillion.

Yet price growth has far outstripped wages, forcing would-be buyers to borrow ever more and prompting regulators to tighten lending standards.

Some fixed-mortgage rates have also risen, although the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has resisted pressure to lift the 0.1% cash rate arguing it would only slow the economy and cost jobs.

The RBA holds its final policy meeting of the year next week and is expected to again signal that rates are on hold until at least 2023.

($1 = 1.4029 Australian dollars)