PHOTO: SQM has downgraded its forecast for Australian property prices. – ABC News: Grant Wignall.

Housing prices in Sydney and Melbourne are tipped to fall by as much as 4 per cent this year, according to the latest report from property analysis firm SQM Research.

This is a major reversal of its previously rosy forecast — that Australia’s two priciest cities would see their prices surge by at least 4 to 8 per cent.

SQM says the Sydney and Melbourne property markets are overvalued by at least 45 per cent, based on its comparison of nominal aggregate incomes to housing prices.

It expects “this overvaluation to wind down somewhat over an extended period of time”.

Its new downgraded forecasts for five capital cities are:

  • Sydney -4 to 0 per cent
  • Melbourne -3 to 1 per cent
  • Darwin -5 to 0 per cent
  • Brisbane 0 to 3 per cent
  • Canberra 1 to 4 per cent