The price of houses in Canberra slid in the latest quarter, while most capital cities reported a price rise.
Latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows average capital city house prices in the June quarter were up 0.5 per cent, the first rise since the end of 2010.
But Canberra bucked the trend with the weighted average price of a detached house down by 1.3 per cent.
The only other capital cities to record a drop in house prices for the quarter were Melbourne and Hobart, which were both down 0.4 per cent.
But Housing Industry Association ACT executive director Neil Evans said cheaper prices might indicate Canberra had the right number of houses for its population.
”It’s a difficult thing to pinpoint, but one thing I think is a major player … is when supply meets demand you might get drops,” he said.
In 2011 Canberra had a slight oversupply of houses, however, with the local building industry slowing this year that balance might have been found again.
Mr Evans said consumer confidence was also a factor in house prices throughout Australia, and predicted there would not be an increase in housing starts, the number of approvals to build houses, in Canberra until the end of 2013.
In the year to June, capital city house prices rose only in Darwin and Perth, with prices in Canberra down 2.6 per cent.
But there was some consolation for the owners of apartments, units and townhouses in the capital, with figures revealing the price of those dwellings down only slightly in the year to December 2011 compared with a greater decrease in the price of houses over the same period.
The ABS’s new Experimental Other Dwellings Price Index, which covers apartments, units and townhouses, fell by an average of 3 per cent in the year to December 2011, while over the same period the price of detached houses in capital cities was down by an average of 4.4 per cent.
The price of apartments, units and townhouses in Canberra dropped just 0.6 per cent in the year to December 2011, less than the 1.8 per cent fall in the price of houses for the year and the smallest annual fall of all the capital cities.
A spokesman for the Real Estate Institute of the ACT said living in an apartment complex was increasingly seen as a desirable option for many Canberrans.
”There are a lot of professional couples, [and] single people who prefer the lifestyle of an apartment where they can just lock up if they go travelling or whatever it might be,” he said.
Mr Evans said young people, first home buyers, renters and some retirees were interested in apartment living.
”Younger generations have seen the benefits of living in apartment complexes.
”Energy saving is an obvious one, without all four walls and a roof open to the elements.”