HIA hopes the housing slowdown will ease policy pressure over negative gearing. Picture: AAP Image/Brendan Esposito.
HIA hopes the housing slowdown will ease policy pressure over negative gearing. Picture: AAP Image/Brendan Esposito.

HIA says housing market cooling

GOOD news if you're househunting: Australia's peak housing body has signalled a cooling across the market, with every capital city except one registering falls in the first quarter.

The comments come after the Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe made particular reference to slowdowns in the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets when he left the national cash rate target at 1.5 per cent.

HIA principal economist Tim Reardon agreed "the market is already cooling".

"As noted by the RBA Governor, the housing markets in Sydney and Melbourne have slowed. In fact house prices fell in the first quarter of 2018 in all capital cities, except Hobart," he said.

"Sydney house prices are now 2.1 per cent lower than they were a year ago as a consequence of the supply of housing temporarily rising to meet demand."

RELATED: Mortgage relief as rates stay on hold

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Mr Reardon said it was now a record 19 consecutive month that the cash rate was left on hold at 1.5 per cent.

"And," he said, "it seems it won't change soon."

Mr Reardon said there had been a decline in investor activity in the market after direct intervention by APRA to cool the market.

"The market is already cooling and this is not the time to expose the market to higher interest rates, or heavier taxes through changes to negative gearing.".

CoreLogic head of research Australasia, Tim Lawless, said in a statement over the RBA hold that while national dwelling values were flat last month, "six of the eight capital cities saw dwelling values slip lower in March, albeit at a reduced rate of decline relative to other months".

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