CoreLogic’s monthly figures show prices fell 0.7 per cent nationally last month, with a 0.9 per cent slide in the capital cities and a 0.1 per cent fall in the regions. Sydney prices dropped 1.4 per cent in November, bringing the city’s total peak-to-trough decline to 9.5 per cent — almost on par with the previous record fall of 9.6 per cent between 1989 and 1991, when interest rates were in the high teens, unemployment was rising towards double digits and Australia was entering recession. In contrast, Australian interest rates are at record lows, unemployment is currently about 5 per cent and economic growth is around, or even slightly above, average at 3.4 per cent over the year to June 30. Melbourne’s property price falls have been less precipitous so far, with values down 1 per cent last month, and 5.8 per cent peak to trough. However, Melbourne’s decline started in November 2017, four months after Sydney’s. Eight of the 10 worst performing regions in Australia over the past year were in Sydney, with Ryde the Hills/Hawkesbury district, Sutherland and Parramatta recording declines above 10 per cent. The other two worst performing areas were in Melbourne, with the inner-east down nearly 12 per cent and inner-south falling 9.4 per cent. CoreLogic said the two cities combined account for about 55 per cent of the nation’s total housing value and are driving the national falls. Our view is that house prices may eventually fall by 12 per cent, which would be the longest and deepest housing downturn in at least three decades,” said chief economist Paul Dales. Interest rates are all but certain to remain at their record low of 1.5 per cent when the Reserve Bank meets on Tuesday, and further price-falls could delay the next rate hike which is now not widely expected by the market until 2020. Market analysts say the banking royal commission’s interim report has raised the likelihood of a borrower credit crunch, with commissioner Kenneth Hayne suggesting banks had to do more to check that customers could afford their home loans. Banks have argued it is too hard to conduct full checks on borrowers but Commissioner Hayne gave this short shrift in his report, saying it was “not difficult” to look at a customer’s income and spending on their bank statements – which are often held by the same bank they are seeking loans from.