House values finally back on the rise

THERE was good news for home owners in Brisbane on Monday - across most of the country in fact - with a report from RP Data and Rismark International showing that the values of dwellings in our capital cities are on the rise.

Overall gains were recorded at 0.5% in August slowing down somewhat from capital gains of 1.6% in July and 1.9% in June, but an indication nevertheless that our economy is slowly righting itself. Prices were up 5.3% on August last year with a median value of $490,000.

Brisbane, a city which until now has been struggling to take any firm steps towards growth, was the best performer in August with a 1.5% turnaround.

Home prices in Sydney rose by 0.6%, Melbourne by 0.2% with Perth still boasting the fastest growth of 9.4% despite a dip of 0.2% this month.

According to Tim Lawless, the research director at RP Data the increase in prices is down to the combination of low mortgage interest rates and a smaller number of homes on the market than a year ago.

Last month the Reserve Bank dropped the cash rate to 2.5%, a record low, in an attempt to boost consumer confidence.

It is too soon to tell what impact the drop has had but early indications are that people remain cautious choosing to use any surplus money to pay off debts rather than splurge on new purchases.

The RBA meets again today but economists predict that with the federal election looming and the currency closer to 85 US cents, the rate will remain unchanged. The betting men have not ruled out another cut before the end of the year, however, with weak GDP figures expected to be released on Wednesday and unemployment likely to hit 6.25%.