Winter chill does nothing to dampen hot property market

Melbourne and Sydney continue to deliver solid results in the property market and show no signs of slowing despite the typically tough winter selling period, experts say.

Figures from Australian Property Monitors for Saturday show auction clearance rates in Sydney hit 75% and in Melbourne hit 69%, with 427 properties listed in Sydney, up almost 60 on last year, and 714 properties listed in Melbourne, up 65 from the same time last year.

Australian Property Monitors chief economist Andrew Wilson told SmartCompany consistency is characterising growth for the Melbourne and Sydney property market, but the Sydney market is performing more strongly.

“The Sydney market is travelling at a higher level than the Melbourne market,” he says. “Sydney is a strong market, in Melbourne’s case the market is 10% higher than a year ago, Sydney is 20% higher than a year ago.”

However, Wilson says the Melbourne property market is more even ¬than Sydney, with upper price levels in the Victorian capital increasing over the past 12 months as buyers set their sights on properties beyond the inner-city borders.

“The north-eastern and south-eastern suburbs are starting to become more active and popular with buyers,” he says.

The Sydney property market continues to travel at record levels, which is largely thanks to increased activity by investors.

“Higher confidence, particularly the middle market, has investors very active in the Sydney market,” Wilson says.

He says there’s an uptick in investor activity in the Melbourne market too.

“We are seeing this sort of flight to bricks and mortar, Melbourne investors are looking at the potential for capital returns,” he says.

The most expensive property sold in Sydney for the weekend was located in the coastal suburb of Dover Heights. The five-bedroom house went under the hammer for $2.9 million, while a six-bedroom Brighton property topped out Melbourne’s markets for the weekend selling at a cool $4.2 million.

At the other end of the scale, a one-bedroom studio in Gladesville, NSW sold for a little more than $250,000. In Melbourne, a two-bedroom house in Glenroy was the cheapest sale of the weekend at an affordable $250,000.

With school holidays about to begin Wilson says there may be a flattening in activity, but the market could evade this trend too.

“We’re now three weeks into winter selling season and there are no signs of a falling away of activity,” he says. “We’re still seeing solid lifting rates. It looks like winter selling season activity is going to keep pushing through.”




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