Housing sales activity softer than last year

While April saw a solid performance from the housing market, a recent report indicates that sales activity is still softer than last year’s peak.

The ANZ Research report found that the housing market experienced solid sales activity in April, driven by strong price gains in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The report noted that although auction clearance rates have stabilised in recent months, they remain below the clearance rates of recent years and thus suggest a moderate easing in price growth in 2016.

Sydney and Canberra were the only capital cities to report auction clearance rates above trend.

Sydney reported a clearance rate of 70.1 per cent (above trend of 68.6 per cent) while Canberra reported a clearance rate of 68.1 per cent (above trend of 65.4 per cent).

Meanwhile Melbourne reported a 70.3 per cent auction clearance rate for April, below its trend of 72.1 per cent.

Brisbane’s auction clearance rate was 44.6 per cent, below its trend of 49.1 per cent.

Adelaide also reported a rate below trend – 63.5 per cent (trend 66.1 per cent).

The ANZ report also highlighted that price growth remains mixed across the country.

Melbourne reported the most significant price growth out of all the capital cities, with an increase of 10.7 per cent year-on-year.

Sydney’s price growth increased by 8.3 per cent, Brisbane by 6.6 per cent, Canberra by 4.8 per cent and Adelaide by 3.4 per cent year-on-year.

Prices dropped in Darwin by 5.0 per cent year-on-year and Perth reported a decrease of 2.2 per cent.

The report concluded that despite some positive results indicating that the housing market is currently in better shape than at the end of 2015, activity remains softer than last year’s peak and is expected to continue for the rest of 2016.

[Related: Major bank flags 'inexorable' property slowdown]

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