Australian house prices are expected to rise in 2013 as improved affordability and interest rate cuts attract buyers back to the market, economists said on Wednesday.
A real estate market report released on Wednesday by the Bendigo Bank/Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) showed the capital city weighted average median price fell by 0.6 percent for house and by 1.2 percent for other dwellings over the September quarter.
REIA President Peter Bushby said the weighted average median house price for the eight capital cities fell to 515,669 AU dollars (about 542,809 U.S. dollars) in the September quarter.
"There has been a slight dip since the June quarter, however the median house price has not changed when compared to the same period last year," Bushby said in a statement.
Sydney continues to have the most expensive median house price at 641,890 AU dollars (675,653 U.S. dollars).
Bushby said home prices in Australia were expected to improve in 2013.
"With improved affordability and a stable price environment, I would expect to see renewed interest in housing in the New Year," he said.
Meanwhile, Australian Property Monitors (APM) senior economist Andrew Wilson said the Australian housing markets for 2013 should continue to build on the modest gains from 2012.
The APM predicts median house prices are likely to rise 3 percent to 5 percent in 2013.