House price trends turn sour

House prices fell across Australia for the first time in four years during the September 2004 quarter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates. The ABS said prices fell by 0.7 per cent overall across the country. Hobart led the falls with a drop of 2.2 per cent, followed by Sydney with a fall of 2 per cent, Melbourne at 1.6 per cent and Brisbane at 0.2 per cent. Prices increased in four cities. Prices in Darwin increased by 3.8 per cent; Perth by 3 per cent; Adelaide by 1.3 per cent and Canberra 0.6 per cent. Measured on annual basis, Brisbane recorded the biggest jump in house prices, a 20.5 per cent rise to September, Sydney recorded annual price growth of 5.4 per cent and Melbourne price growth of 1.8 per cent.