Heat in the property market kept auction clearance rates buoyant and new apartment sales were strong for the final spring weekend.
With the Reserve Bank of Australia expected to keep the official cash rate at a record-low 2.5 per cent for at least the next three months, home buying is tipped to continue beyond the peak spring season and well into December.
Stock levels rose throughout November and buyers wanting to secure a property before Christmas have more choice now than at any other time during the year.
Buyers’ agent David Morrell said higher stock levels had diluted the market, reducing the number of bidders.
CoreLogic RP Data recorded a preliminary 75.2 per cent clearance rate for Sydney, up from 71.8 per cent the week before. Melbourne’s clearance rate was 63.7 per cent, down from 66.1 per cent a week earlier.
ELECTION FAILED TO MAKE AN IMPACT
Robert Larocca, CoreLogic RP Data’s market specialist said the Victorian election on Saturday had no impact on results that reflect the mild easing in demand over November.
Brisbane’s clearance rate was 45.9 per cent and Canberra was 63.3 per cent. Adelaide recorded an above-average 66.7 per cent. Keen buyers queued from 7.30am on Saturday morning to buy apartments in Toga’s Chatswood development. The off-the-plan project will have 156 one, two and three-bedroom units.
Doors opened at 8am and two hours later, more than 120 units – 80 per cent – had already sold. Buyers were mostly couples and young families from around the local Chatswood area, according to the developer.
Foreign investment in Australian off-the-plan apartment also shows no sign of slowing.
“The appetite for investment in Australian property continues to be very strong, especially in the Sydney market. There is significant pent-up demand,” said Joseph Zaja, managing director of sales agency Ausin Group.
400 PROPERTIES SOLD IN FOUR WEEKS
Mr Zaja said Ausin had more than 100 clients pre-registered for new releases in Sydney apartment projects and the group had sold more than 400 properties valued at more than $250 million within the past four weeks.
Of that, 300 inner-city apartmnets in Melbourne and Sydney were sold to investors and 100 house and land packages in Melbourne and Brisbane. Owner-occupiers bought more than 50 per cent of the house and land packages.
Official Reserve Bank interest rates are expected to remain unchanged on Tuesday for a 15th straight meeting. because inflation is benign and the economy continues to be sluggish, according to the Australian National University’s “shadow board”.
However, the nine-member shadow board, which includes former Reserve Bank board members Warwick McKibbin and Bob Gregory, believes the need for a rate hike in six months has climbed to 56 per cent from 54 per cent a month ago.
There is also a 71 per cent probability rates will need to be higher in a year’s time.
Tuesday’s Reserve Bank meeting is its final for 2014, with the next gathering scheduled for the first Tuesday in February.