Despite the slow start to the selling season, real estate agents say the buyer’s market will persist into 2019.
According to preliminary figures released by CoreLogic, 47.8 per cent of homes across Australia’s capital cities sold either before, at, or after auction last week.
That’s a small improvement on the levels seen late last year.
CoreLogic auction analyst Kevin Brogan says the low number of auctions makes it difficult to get a real sense of the clearance rate.
“There are so few it’s too early to tell,” he said.
“It is important to note that volumes are significantly lower than what we were seeing at the end of last year and clearance rates are generally less indicative over periods of such low activity,” CoreLogic said.
“As the number of auctions held increases over the next few weeks we will be able to get a firmer perspective on auction conditions for 2019.”
But it’s not unusual for clearance rates to bounce early in the New Year, as auction volumes are typically well down on normal. The graph below demonstrates this.
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) CEO Gil King said Craigieburn had the best start to the auction market this year.
“Craigieburn had the best start in Victoria’s 2019 auction market with ten properties sold under the hammer, followed by Torquay with five auction sales,” Mr King told WILLIAMS MEDIA.
“Opportunities for buyers”
Agents say the next three months should be “go-time” for house hunters, as a buyer’s market persists into 2019.
Hocking Stuart, Blairgowrie, director Craig Evans told WILLIAMS MEDIA there will be good opportunities for buyers over the next three months.
Nelson Alexander sales director Arch Staver says vendors are being more realistic now, making it an ideal environment to negotiate an outcome.
“It’s the best time to purchase anything,” he told WILLIAMS MEDIA.
Lachlan Goddard, sales consultant at Jellis Craig Northcote says sellers will want to get their properties off their hands before the election campaign begins later this year.
“The first quarter of this year will start to see a bit more activity as those looking to sell will want to get their campaigns finished before the election.
“Also, any policy changes to capital gains and negative gearing will impact homeowners and investors respectively,” he told WILLIAMS MEDIA.
Auctioneer Justin Nickerson says the South East Queensland market is experiencing normal auction volumes for the time of year.
“Most sellers are electing to hold until February and March to enter the market. Most of the volume occurred in the traditional holiday hot spot – the Gold Coast with a number of in-room auction events. Registered bidder numbers were strong perhaps indicating an early rise in buyer confidence in 2019 – although it will be interesting to see if this is maintained when the volume increases,” he said.
Home prices continue to fall
According to CoreLogic’s separate Home Value Index released last Friday, Australian capital city home prices fell by 1.2 per cent in January, building upon the 1.3 per cent drop that was seen in December that was the largest one-month percentage decline since 1983.
“The first month of the New Year has seen a continuation in the broad-based housing market weakness with every capital city apart from Canberra recording a month-on-month fall in dwelling values,” CoreLogic said.
CoreLogic’s hedonic home value index recorded a further 1.0 per cent decline in national dwelling values over the first month of the year, taking the cumulative decline in Australian dwelling values to 6.1 per cent since the market peaked in October 2017.
The national index has fallen over 13 of the past 15 months and national dwelling values are now back to levels last seen in October 2016.
While the declines were once again led by Sydney and Melbourne, median prices fell across all capitals except for Canberra over the month.
Credit: The Real Estate Conversation