Domain - National & Sydney Property Market Report - July 2013

Buyer activity continues to rise in Australia’s capital city housing markets driven by low interest rates, rising confidence and a generally solid economic performance.


The impact of the Reserve Bank’s May decision to cut interest rates to 2.75 percent, the lowest level in decades, is clearly evident in the latest house price data. All capital cities, with the exception of Brisbane and volatile Darwin, reported rises in house prices over the May quarter, with

the national house price up by a solid 2.5 percent. This is the strongest quarterly increase in the national series sinceMay 2010.

The national housing market has clearly recovered, with the median house price now at $555,657, the highest ever recorded and an increase of $18,037 or 3.4 percent over the past year.

The Sydney housing market continues its strong performance, with median house prices now at record levels. The median house price of $673,568, recorded over the May quarter, was 3.2 percent higher than that recorded over the February quarter. Unit prices are also rising, with the median price over the May quarter up by 2.1 percent.

Sydney’s weekend auction market, usually a reliable forward indicator of the overall strength of the housing market, is producing some of its best results in years. Weekend auction clearance rates have continued to increase over the year with the June result at 72 percent, the highest recorded in any month for nearly 10 years.

Although June auction sales in Sydney were at an all-time high, market activity remains mixed both between buyer types and price ranges. First home buyer numbers remain at low levels, and the prestige market is yet to reflect the rising buyer activity of the wider market.

Although first home buyers are largely missing from the budget market, investors are currently active in record numbers, chasing solid rental yields and the prospect of capital growth in Sydney’s resilient market.

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