Australian home prices rise again in March, led by Sydney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Home prices across Australia's capital cities rose in March led by a blistering pace in the Sydney market, complicating policy considerations for the central bank which is under pressure to cut interest rates again amid falling commodity prices.

Figures from property consultant CoreLogic RP Data showed dwelling prices across all of Australia's major cities climbed 1.4 per cent in March from February, to be 7.4 per cent higher than a year earlier.

The solid overall move in March was mainly driven by Sydney prices, which surged 3.0 per cent to be 13.9 per cent higher for the year. In contrast, prices in Perth were flat, while Brisbane actually fell.

Regulators tightened their coverage of bank lending standards for property investment and could adopt more macroprudential measures in coming months to cool the market.

CoreLogic RP Data head of research Tim Lawless said although value growth had started 2015 on a strong note, the annual rate of growth at 7.4 per cent was actually the slowest since September 2013.