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Auction Clearance rates for the week ending August 10, 2008 continued to show an uncertain market where buyers and vendors are struggling to find common ground. Low price expectations from would-be bargain hunters are making it difficult for many vendors to make decisions on auction day and Luxury property continues to perform poorly at auction.
Properties below $1 million are the best performers at auction right now with Melbourne leading the way with an overall Clearance rate of 55%. Sydney is steady at a clearance rate a little over 43% with Perth performing worst of all Australian Capital cities with a dismal clearance rate of just over 15%.
The figures for the week ending August 17, 2008 will be available shortly and I hope to see an improved result with expectations of an interest rate decrease growing. We eagerly await the announcement from the Reserve Bank.
We at Marquette Turner Luxury Homes have been urging our Luxury clientele to sell by Expressions of Interest and we are experiencing high levels of success. Whilst this is a strategy less commonly used below $1million, we find that the flexibility it enables for all parties very much assists in the ultimate sale of properties.
This table is compiled with the assistance of RP Data for the week ending August 10, 2008.
Here are Australia’s auction clearance rates for the week ending 20 June 2008.
Source: RP Data
Despite the ongoing negative sentiment, property investors in Australia have fared better than their share market counterparts.
Residential properties have increased by 1.46% nationally over the three months to March and achieved an annualised return of around 6%. Despite rising interest rates and inflation fears, RP Data’s national research director Tim Lawless said that when compared to the share market, this return is “very positive”.
“As an example, during the March quarter, the ASX200 and All Ordinaries dropped 15.5% and 15.8% respectively,” he said.
The only capital cities to record a fall in property values were Perth and Canberra, where dwelling values declined by 1% and 0.6% respectively over the quarter. Lawless said that despite the fall, Perth units hold the most expensive median value of any capital city at $464,000.
He added that Adelaide has the most affordable housing with a median value of $419,156, and is still the best performing city in the country.
“The city recorded the strongest gains in the market, with values increasing by 23.4% over the year to March 2008. Adelaide appears to have largely shrugged off the recent rate rises with consistent growth across all its regions,” he said.
Brisbane recorded growth of around 20%, while Melbourne growth rates – though still healthy on an annual basis – showed a considerable slowing in quarterly figures.
Sydney values increased by around 1% for houses and units over the first quarter of 2008 which, according to Lawless, isn’t a bad result, considering the impact that affordability pressures have already had on the market.
Michael Marquette of Marquette Turner stated that “there are a large number of the expensive areas in Sydney are starting to struggle, with markets in the inner city, eastern suburbs, Lower North Shore and Northern Beaches all recording flat to slightly negative capital growth”.
On a positive note for investors, Rismark International’s Dr Matthew Hardman said that with interest rates now at a 12-year high of 9.35%, the likelihood of another rate rise is reduced.
He added that another rise in interest rates would certainly cool the market further, causing more price falls of up to 5% in the mortgage belts of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. “On the other hand, a constant interest rate environment, as we have experienced for the last few months, would likely put a floor under many areas which have seen significant value falls. If rates remain stable over the next 12 months, we’d expect national dwelling values to remain in positive growth territory,” Hardman said.