Property investment returns improve

For the month of August, RP Data-Rismark’s Combined Capital Cities Index indicated a slowdown in capital city dwelling price declines, reporting a seasonally adjusted capital loss of only 0.4 per cent, the smallest decline since April.

Sydney and Melbourne were the exceptions across capital cities for the same period, demonstrating capital growth of 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent consecutively in raw terms. Most other capitals recorded a decline except for Darwin (one per cent increase) and Hobart (0.4 per cent increase).

Over the 12 months to August 2011 Australian capital city dwelling values have declined by 3.2 per cent while rents have lifted by 1.1 per cent in the same period.

In the first half of 2011 rental rates picked up even further with a 4.9 per cent annualised pace, well above the core inflation rate, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Rismark economist Christopher Joye said housing sentiment is likely to pick up as interest rate cuts are announced; he points to the Australian Finance Group’s recently released finance figures for August, indicating its largest number of new housing finance applications in 18 months.

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