House prices have declined in real terms in the past six years but they are still high against international comparisons, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor Glenn Stevens says.

“Relative to mean income, dwelling prices have actually declined since the about the end of 2003,” he told the House of Representatives Economics Committee meeting in Sydney on Friday.

“Not in a straight line, but basically they have come down a bit where they were unusually high at that time.

“Prices remain, for a country of our size in physical size and the population we have, it still strikes me a little bit hard to explain why the price of dwellings are at the upper end of what you see internationally.”