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New year, same old housing woes

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The year is off to a weak start for property prices.

The CoreLogic January home value index has revealed further declines for Australian dwelling values. Home prices fell 1% across the nation in January for a cumulative 6.1% decline since the market peaked in October 2017.

Sydney and Melbourne again proved to be the weakest markets. Sydney values fell 1.3%, while Melbourne values were down 1.6%. Sydney home values have now fallen back to levels last seen in July 2016 and Melbourne values have fallen to January 2017 levels.

Across Australia's capitals, home values were down 3.5% for the year to the end of January. Regional areas have proven more resilient, with values still up 4.2% on a year ago.

Canberra was the only market to see growth, with values up 0.2% for the month for an 8.5% year-on-year increase.

"January can be a difficult month to read the housing market due to low levels of activity however, the recent trend in housing market data has generally weakened over the past three months, with the pace of decline accelerating across markets already in the their down phase, and growth generally moderating in other areas," CoreLogic research head Tim Lawless said.

"Tight credit conditions, weakening consumer sentiment, less domestic and foreign investment and higher levels of housing supply are the primary drivers of the worsening conditions."

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