534 auctions were reported to the REIV resulting in a solid clearance rate of 80%.  In comparison, there were 1,007 auctions on the same weekend last year producing a clearance rate of 73%.  351 properties sold at auction, 78 properties sold before auction and 105 passed in.  In addition, there were 156 private sales.

The difference in auctions held from this year vs last year does demonstrate the lack of properties on the market with some vendors opting not to sell until they see the property market conditions improving.  This time may have come with CoreLogic releasing data overnight demonstrating that Australia’s housing downturn is over.  We still believe the bottom was December last year however data always takes time to show evidence of this.

CoreLogic’s national Home Value Index rose again for the second month in a row.  Sydney property prices increased 1.3% in April and is leading the charge.  It is not unusual for Sydney’s property market to be the first market to show signs of an upturn or downturn then other capital cities usually follow suit.  Melbourne’s property prices only rose 0.1% but the data is suggesting the market is now stable.  Regional property prices in Regional Victoria have fallen 0.4% for the month again suggesting the market is stable.

What does this mean?  With interest rate rises seemingly to have somewhat stabilised (or close to reaching its peak) and strong migration predicted over the next 2 years, we may start to see property prices creep up again in the not to distant future.  Unfortunately, many buyers will wait to see some confidence in the property prices before deciding it is time to buy.  But timing the market is a dangerous strategy as history shows that property prices can increase at rapid rates and the data lags behind which means buyers generally end up paying more than what they would have only a few months earlier.

8 Hillside Avenue, Bentleigh went to auction on the weekend.  This updated and well located, four bedroom, three bathroom family home was popular with buyers.  The property was quoted at $2,000,000 to $2,200,000 prior to auction. The auction bidding started on a $2,000,000 bid and 2 bidders went head to head with some other buyers not getting a chance to put their hand up.  The property sold for $2,325,000 under the hammer.

72 Spensley Street, Clifton Hill sold well over reserve with the renovated three bedroom house selling for $2,080,000 with six bidders participating at the auction.  The renovated, 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1 carpark home was quoted for $1,680,000 to $1,780,000 prior to auction.

Have a great week.

David Easterbrook