Editor's Note: June 2013
More positive news
Finally, many of Australia’s leading property data researchers have found something they can agree on. House prices are off and running! Buyer activity has increased, rents are rising and seller confidence is returning.
According to SQM Research, capital city sellers raised asking prices by 1.3 per cent during the March quarter. Sydney and Darwin led the charge, posting rises of four per cent and 3.9 per cent respectively for houses, while for units Darwin and Hobart recorded improvements of seven per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively. Improving auction clearance rates are another sign the housing market is on the comeback trail. But the most telling indicator is the data coming out of various research houses.
Australian Property Monitors (APM) shows the national median house price made a quarterly gain of 1.5 per cent in the March quarter and an even stronger 2.7 per cent year-on-year. For units, APM reports a 0.3 per cent quarterly gain and a two per cent annual gain.
According to Residex, house prices achieved a capital gain of 1.37 per cent in the year ending February 2013, while units climbed by 1.11 per cent.
Meanwhile, RP Data reports that capital gains over the March quarter are the highest since May 2010, with the capital city change in dwelling values up by 2.8 per cent for the March quarter and 2.4 per cent year-on-year. The numbers may be different, but the trend is the same – up!
The lift in values is creating a lift in sentiment too. Well, that and interest rates that are so low they’re proving too tempting for investors to resist. Agents in Sydney are reporting that some suburbs have seen price rises of five to 10 per cent in the first few months of this year.
Even the long-suffering property market of the Gold Coast is making a revival, with agents reporting that the first quarter of 2013 has been the strongest in Surfers Paradise for nearly seven years and the Real Estate Institute of Queensland revealing an eight per cent jump in property sales in the year ending December 2012.
Over on the other side of the nation, Perth has broken its median house price barrier, setting a new record of $510,000. The previous peak was $505,000 in the March quarter of 2010, according to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.
Auction clearance rates haven’t been below 55 per cent on any occasion this year so far, RP Data reports, and sellers using the private treaty method haven’t had to discount as much to make a sale.
2013 is proving lucky for some. Although it’s action, not luck, that investors need to create success, as you’ll see in our cover story on page 34. Enjoy!