Sydney dwelling values increase for a second straight month

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Sydney dwelling values climbed for the second consecutive month, clawing back some of the losses from the end of 2015, according to CoreLogic Inc.

Home values in the nation’s largest city increased 0.5 percent in February, the research firm said in a statement Tuesday.

Notwithstanding the increase, Sydney home values are still down 0.2 percent in the past three months. The number of properties being listed in Sydney will be a “litmus test” for the market’s resilience, CoreLogic said in the statement, with the total number of homes being offered for sale 22.3 percent higher than a year earlier.

The median home price in the city dropped 4.6 percent in February, the most since at least 1990 and double that of the national average, according to CoreLogic. It was A$735,000 last month from a peak of A$800,000 in October.

The difference between the simple median and the home-value index is due to factors such as fewer high-end homes being offered for sale during the year-end period, CoreLogic said. CoreLogic’s Hedonic home value index methodology attempts to smooth out the “compositional bias” associated with median pricing, it said.

“Particularly over the Christmas and New Year period you find substantially fewer higher-value properties on the market and subsequently far fewer selling. Each year we see the median price fall late in the early months of the year as less premium housing stock sells due to fewer of these types of properties being available for sale,” Cameron Kusher, a senior analyst at the research firm, said

There’s been a change in the mix of the property activity in the last little while with fewer premium properties being sold or listed, said Martin North, principal at research firm Digital Finance Analytics.

“Secondly, we are seeing prices at the top end of the market coming off quite a bit and I expect them to slip further,” he added.