AFTER 12 months of growth Orange property experts say house prices are flattening out.
Australian Property Monitors’ (APM) senior economist Andrew Wilson said the APM quarterly report for December last year showed the Orange housing market was no longer outperforming the Sydney market.
“After a resilient year in Orange we’re now not seeing quite the level of growth in housing prices we saw in 2011 and 2012,” he said.
“There’s been a flattening out in the Orange market ... it’s still growing, but at a more modest rate.”
Dr Wilson said in the past the Orange market had registered strong price growth at a time when Sydney wasn’t.
“It’s now not tracking quite as strongly as Sydney is,” he said.
The median price of a house in Orange in December 2012 was $324,500, up 1.4 per cent from $320,000 on the median price 12 months before.
Dr Wilson says the house prices may reflect the fact the market does not want to pay more for housing and workers “need their incomes to catch up with the prices”.
Dr Wilson said the central west’s relatively high unemployment rate of 6.2 in December, an increase from 5.7 in November, could also have contributed to the moderate growth.
Less competition in the rental market may also have helped slow prices.
APM data shows all Australian capital cities recorded house price rises over the December quarter for the first time since March 2010 with national median house prices rising by 1.9 per cent over the quarter.
The Perth housing market was the top performer in 2012, rising by 6.1 per cent over the year.
Sydney showed how resilient it was with house prices rising by 3.4 per cent over the year to December, pushing the Sydney median house price to $656,415.
“Looking ahead in 2013 activity will depend on the direction of local economies as it is no coincidence that the better performing housing markets in 2012 reflected better performing economies particularly in regard to unemployment levels,” Dr Wilson said.
“With a rising share market and an improving international outlook, the general economic landscape and prospects remain optimistic, which is unequivocal good news for Australia’s recovering housing markets,” he said.