Hope for sellers as house prices start to build on earlier gains

SYDNEY home owners preparing for spring sales campaigns have been given some encouraging news, with three sets of data now showing price growth.

Independent analyst RP Data-Rismark released its July results yesterday which showed Sydney dwelling prices were up 1.2 per cent over the month. House prices rose 1.4 per cent while apartment prices were flat.

The research director at RP Data, Tim Lawless, said it was the second monthly dwelling rise in a row - prices rose 1 per cent in June. ''Two consecutive months of growth is encouraging and will probably improve spirits,'' Mr Lawless said yesterday. ''If we do see another rise in August, the worst will be behind us.''

However, Mr Lawless cautioned that he would want to see more months of gains before concluding that ''a recovery was under way''.

Bureau of Statistics data released yesterday showed established house prices in Sydney grew 1.4 per cent in the June quarter. New homes had grown 1.1 per cent. A senior economist at the Housing Industry Association, Andrew Harvey, said interest rate cuts could have halted price falls.

The Fairfax-owned Australian Property Monitors released its June quarter data last week and that also showed price growth. Its figures showed most of the growth had been in the $600,000-to-$1 million price range of houses, which had risen 1.2 per cent over the June quarter and 4.5 per cent for the first half of the year.

Weekend auction clearance rates have also been improving. They averaged 60 per cent in July. This compares with 50 per cent in December. They were 54 per cent a year ago.

The story Hope for sellers as house prices start to build on earlier gains first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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