Dubbo’s median house price took a small fall of 3.3 per cent for the March 2017 quarter compared to the previous three months, according to the Domain Regional House Price Report.
The median price was $355,000 according to the data, and was still 1.7 per cent higher than 12 months ago, according to Domain.
Domain chief economist, Dr Andrew Wilson said the result for Dubbo was a surprise but said it reflected a general trend for regional NSW that saw Orange fall by 4.2 per cent and Wagga Wagga drop 3.9 per cent.
He said the March quarter was traditionally a slower one because of the holiday period in January but said it could also just be a consolidation for a market that has been growing for more than three years.
“It was certainly interesting, especially when it was consistent at regional centres like Orange and Wagga Wagga that had been quite strong,” he said.
“Dubbo and Wagga have been growing for three years, although Wagga has had a bit of a slowdown in the last 12 months.
“Orange has really picked up in the last 12 months but all went backwards for the last quarter.
“To see all three go backwards was a surprise but for Dubbo I think it was just a consolidation and I think the price growth will resume very quickly.”
Dr Wilson said the signs were still positive for Dubbo, with a strong economy and low unemployment ensuring the housing market remained strong.
“We are still seeing house prices rise in Sydney with the median at $1.15 million so Dubbo is remarkably affordable, with the median price sitting well below $400,000,” he said.
“All the advantages Dubbo has are still there and we may even see potential homebuyers from Sydney looking at markets like Dubbo because it has that affordability.”
Real Estate Institute NSW Orana division’s Bob Berry said he felt quarterly data wasn’t an accurate reflection of the market and could be more confusing than useful for homebuyers and investors.
“With the amount of data that is collected now you could create weekly or monthly figures if you wanted to,” he said.
“But the Real Estate Institute have always provided figures on a rolling year basis and we did that as a service to the community.
“What we try and do is give an accurate guide of what is happening in the market and with a market like Dubbo, where we are selling 50 properties a month, we prefer to use rolling data.”
Mr Berry said the Dubbo market was in balance with supply meeting demand after a long period of undersupply.
He said the latest data he had showed median house prices for Dubbo were still at a record high with good growth for the last 12 months.