Another bad hair day at Fairfax.
Many journalists/subs seem to have a thing when it comes to numbers. Maybe they don't like the whole precision thing?
She may have been trying to say: housing is still un-affordable to most young adults.And that is an ongoing story.
Actually, in real (inflation-adjusted) terms, it's around 6% cheaper, and therefore more affordable for all. In Canberra this week: the place is booming, with construction all over the place, but it's off all over the rest of the country. Metaphor for this government really: productive parts of the economy in trouble (outside mining); public sector going gangbusters.
Her grammar's terrible, and not just for a journalist. "THE fact is", unless you're from Fountain Lakes. "prices of detached houses in Australian capital cities". And I think she knew they were cheaper, which would have been clear had she said "down" instead of "off". She just doesn't think 3.6 % down is much, which needs to be considered in the context of the "property always rises" meme we're endlessly fed by Fairfax's main sponsors.