SYDNEY Oct 3 Australian home prices rose
overall in September as record-low mortgage rates kept demand
strong in Melbourne and Sydney, though the performance of other
cities was a lot more patchy.
Monday's figures from property consultant CoreLogic showed
its index of home prices for the combined capital cities climbed
1.0 percent in September, from August when it rose 1.1 percent.
Annual growth in prices ticked up to 7.1 percent in
September, from 7 percent in August, though that remained a long
way from last year's peak atop 11 percent.
The second straight month of gains followed rate cuts from
the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in May and August, which
took bank borrowing costs to an all-time low of 1.5 percent.
After its last easing, the central bank played down risks of
a bubble in the housing market and specifically noted that
changes to the methodology of CoreLogic's data had overstated
recent price gains.
The central bank holds its October policy meeting on Tuesday
and is considered almost certain to keep rates steady as it
assesses the impact of past easing.
CoreLogic's September data showed a familiar pattern with
continued strength in Sydney and Melbourne but huge variations
Home values were estimated to have jumped 2.3 percent in
Melbourne during September alone, bringing gains for the third
quarter to a blistering 5 percent.
Prices in Sydney increased by 0.8 percent in September, and
3.5 percent for the quarter.
Canberra and Adelaide both had upbeat quarters, but prices
actually fell in Brisbane, Perth and Darwin.
(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Eric Meijer)