Here is an interesting chart from RPData:
It shows that housing volume has started crashing from early 2010 into the end of the year. By itself that might not be a huge problem, but with a rising inventory, (as can be seen at SQM Research) it likely signals further price declines to come. As vendors tire of waiting for buyers who become fewer and fewer, they will further discount their prices.
Melbourne, the city which saw the highest growth in 2010 has also seen a huge drop in the volume towards the end of the year.
This hasn't stopped the media from spruiking the same old story, reporting the other day that house prices in Melbourne are "going through the roof".
MELBOURNE home owners can pour the champagne - the median house price has smashed the $600,000 barrier for the first time.Herald Sun
Melbourne's median house price of $601,500 now rivals such cities as London, New York and Toronto for expensive homes.
Despite rising interest rates, the value of homes jumped $1173 a week in 2010 to break the psychological milestone by year's end.
The median house price has soared $330,000 in the past decade, with $180,000 of the increase happening in the past two years alone.
Melbourne now rivals Sydney - Australia's most expensive real estate market - where the median house price is $634,300.
It hasn't only been volume of established houses that have been dropping, land sales have also fallen significantly as reported by the HIA.
Land sales have dropped to decade lows, further eroding the nation's housing affordability as prices continue to rise, according to RPData and the Housing Industry Association.
The volume of nationwide land sales plummeted in the September quarter, falling 57 per cent below the level of a year earlier to 10,000 lots – a level not seen since the September quarter of 2001.
Sydney Morning Herald
RPData released their December price growth figures yesterday, which provided year on year statistics:
Over the 12 months to end December 2010, the best performing cities were Melbourne (+8.4percent), Sydney (+6.6percent), and Darwin (+4.8percent). The worst performers were Perth (-2.3percent) and Brisbane (-1.0percent). Canberra (+2.5percent) and Adelaide (+3.6percent) fell slightly short of the national, value-weighted capital growth rate.
Some housing bulls consider our resources to be one of the main reasons economic/housing growth will remain strong into the future, so it's amusing to see that our two biggest resource states have their capital cities leading the price declines. Not only that, but it was during a year we saw very strong commodity growth.
2011 is going to be an interesting year!