House prices fell less than expected last quarter, suggesting government efforts to prop up the industry in the face of the global recession are gaining traction.

But the drop still suggests the Reserve Bank will slash official rates yet again when it meets tomorrow.

Home prices fell 0.8% in the December quarter, following a 1.8% drop in the previous three months. Economists had predicted home prices would fall 1% for the quarter.

For the year, house prices lost 3.3%, down from a 2.8% gain in the September quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Analysts expected a 2.4% contraction in the annual number.

Brisbane Times, The Australian