The embryonic housing market recovery has stumbled, with home values falling in most states last month. But while values slumped, sales of new dwellings ramped up.
New home sales bounced back in March, rising 4.2 per cent after falling in February, Housing Industry Association figures show.
But dwelling values contracted by 0.5 per cent over April after posting a solid 2.8 per cent gain over the first three months of 2013, according to property analysts RP Data.
Analyst Tim Lawless said the figures represented "a stumble" on the path towards recovery rather than suggesting home owners were facing a new round of falling prices.
"When viewed in line with other metrics such as auction clearance rates, private treaty indicators and some improvement in housing finance demand, it is likely that the negative April result will be a blip along the path to recovery," Mr Lawless said.
The healthier figures for new homes sales suggested the housing market was maintaining a "modest recovery", HIA chief economist Harley Dale said.
Sydney values were down 0.4 per cent, Melbourne's 0.5 per cent, Brisbane's 0.7 per cent and Perth's 2.5 per cent. Dwelling values in Adelaide were up 2.8 per cent over the month and Darwin's rose by 0.2 per cent, but RP Data cautioned the rise in Adelaide was likely due to "natural volatility" from a small number of sales.