SYDNEY house prices fell more than three percent in the December quarter, but the market has remained strong in Bathurst.
Data from the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that house prices fell 2.4 per cent nationwide in the December quarter, with the Sydney market taking the biggest hit.
Sydney's 3.7 per cent drop in the last three months of 2018 was the biggest fall since 2003, when the ABS started to collect data, and in a 12-month period prices had fallen by 7.8 per cent in that market alone.
ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman said that house prices were falling in most capital cities, citing two key reasons.
"While property prices are falling in most capital cities, a tightening in credit supply and reduced demand from investors and owner occupiers have had a more pronounced effect on the larger property markets of Sydney and Melbourne," he said.
In Bathurst, though, there is little concern about the current state of the market.
Raine and Horne director Grant Maskill-Dowton said Bathurst had experienced stronger than average years recently, but now the situation was returning to normal.
"We've had a really strong market in Bathurst because of the Sydney market, but I think we are back to what it used to be," he said.
Bathurst is still achieving good sales prices and seeing plenty of interest, but he said his agency had seen homes stay on the market longer than the recent average of around 60 days.
"We're probably around 120 days on the market now," he said.
He said that banks were having more of an impact on the market in Bathurst than Sydney house prices.
"It is taking much longer to get their finance in order and so that is blowing out time on market," he said.
Provided that they were kept up to date with the process and the changing market, Mr Maskill-Dowton said vendors understood and accepted why their homes were listed for a little longer.
Mitchell Bestwick of One Agency Bestwick Real Estate had a different perspective of time on market.
He acknowledged that it was harder for buyers to secure finance, but he didn't feel it had impacted the time a property spent on market.
"We're still getting them under offer and sold quicker, it's just banks and people trying to get finance that is taking longer," he said.
The biggest change he has seen is the level of investor interest coming from Sydney.
"We have noticed that the volume of inquiry from Sydney buyers is decreasing and a lot of that is due to them not being forced out of Sydney by high prices," Mr Bestwick said.
Both Mr Bestwick and Mr Maskill-Dowton felt that Bathurst would continue to be a stable market despite the situation in Sydney.
"Bathurst has always shown an ability to be quite sheltered from the tempermental markets like Sydney and metropolitan cities," Mr Bestwick said.
"We've got a lot of diverse industries that aren't high-risk industries; we've got a lot of government offices here, tourism and stable positions.
"Bathurst runs its own little economy."