House prices fall in major cities, figures show

House hunters who are looking to secure a home loan before buying a property in a major city have seen the average value of dwellings fall.

The latest RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index showed that house prices dropped by 0.2 per cent in December 2011 and by 0.5 per cent in the third quarter of the year.

Despite the decline, RP Data's director of research Tim Lawless said that the fourth quarter was the least significant fall of the year, which suggests that the property market could be strengthening.

According to the report, Sydney experienced the highest number of sales during December and the average value of properties actually grew during the period.

"In seasonally-adjusted terms, Sydney dwelling values rose by 0.4 per cent in the month of December. In the December quarter, Sydney dwelling values are up a total of 0.7 per cent," commented Rismark's managing director Ben Skilbeck.

The eighth annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey recently indicated that house prices in Australia are among the most expensive in the world.

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