Watch house prices fall in 2012

As the number of first home buyers thins and mortgage debt decelerates, Australian house prices are set to fall by up to 10 per cent this calendar year.

The ABS house price data for December 2011 shows that house prices fell 4.8 per cent in nominal terms between December 2010 and December 2011. The usual suspects are already trying to see this as marking the bottom, while "just the facts, ma'am" reporting simply emphasises the scale of the downturn. In response to requests for my views on the next calendar year, here they are – along with some historical perspective on the house price bubble.

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