Sydney House Prices Drop Again

Sydney home prices fell for the second-consecutive month and recorded the worst quarter in four years as a regulatory crackdown pushed up mortgage rates and dented affordability amid record prices.

Home values in Australia’s largest city dropped 1.2 percent in December from a month earlier following a 1.4 percent decline in the previous month, data from property researcher CoreLogic Inc. showed Monday. This is the first time since May 2013 that Sydney dwelling values have dropped for two straight months.

Prices in Australia’s capital cities have jumped almost 55 percent in the past seven years as mortgage rates dropped to five-decade lows and foreigners, including from China, accelerated their purchases of local homes. The gain was led by Sydney where the median home value has almost doubled since 2008. In another sign of a cooling property market in Australia’s most populous city, Sydney home prices fell 2.3 percent in the quarter ended Dec. 31, making it the weakest performing capital city, CoreLogic said in an e-mailed statement.