PHOTO: Residential property price indexes show more evidence of economy weakness. Photograph: Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images

The latest residential property price figures released by the Bureau of Statistics this week show that in the first three months of this year, for the first time since March 2011, residential prices fell in every Australian capital city.

It highlights that while the general sense is that things are now starting to improve in the housing market, it will take some time to translate that into increased house prices.

The first three months of this year were awful for the housing market. Every capital city saw prices fall – from 3.9% in Sydney to 0.2% in Adelaide.

The falls in Sydney are easily the biggest – prices in March were nearly 13% below the peak of June 2017, but the markets in all capital cities reflect the absence of demand in the economy and the stagnant real wages growth.

The 10.3% and 9% annual price falls in Sydney and Melbourne are the biggest falls in those cities since the ABS began compiling the residential price index in 2003, and only Adelaide and Hobart had residential prices in the March quarter of this year that were above those of 12 months ago