The Melbourne Star observation wheel is seen between residential buildings at night in the Docklands area of Melbourne, Australia. (Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg)

Australian Home Prices Fall Again in Further Sign Boom Is Over

(Bloomberg) -- Australian home prices fell for a fifth consecutive month in February, in a further sign the property boom is over

Housing prices fell 0.1 percent nationally, led by a 0.6 percent decline in Sydney, according to CoreLogic Inc. data released Thursday. Prices in Sydney, the epicenter of the boom, are down 0.5 percent from a year earlier -- the first annual decline since 2012.

The data adds to growing signs Australia’s housing boom has peaked after regulators clamped down on riskier lending and banks started to prioritize owner-occupiers over the investor market.

“Considering the tighter credit environment, the eventual prospect of higher interest rates and ongoing housing affordability constraints, we expect housing market conditions will remain sedate relative to previous years,” CoreLogic’s head of research Tim Lawless said.

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