Strong property market activity suggests the downturn to date has been quite minor.
According to RP data’s latest figures of weekly market activity, new listings continue to increase and now sit at almost 52,000.
RP Data research analyst Cameron Kusher told Real Estate Business the strong results were extremely unexpected.
“With less than a month to go to Christmas it was expected that listings would begin to slow, but with such strong market conditions who can blame vendors for wanting to sell,” he said.
“Last week was the nation’s busiest auction week of the year and this week that has eclipsed that record with more than 2,200 auctions. Clearance rates in Australia’s largest auction market (Melbourne) softened again this week (76.6 per cent) albeit only slightly. Sydney clearance rates bounced back after slumping last week with rates recorded at 72.6 per cent. Nationally, the weighted average clearance rate was recorded at 71.4 per cent.”
Based on the latest RP Data – Rismark Home Value Index results for the month ending October, the market is very strong right now with Perth units the only mainland city and property type which recorded a fall in values over the last quarter.
Meanwhile, on an annual basis all cities have recorded an increase in their house and unit values with the strongest increases recorded in Darwin and Melbourne.
Mr Kusher said the trends which have started to unfold late in 2009 are likely to set the scene for the residential market in 2010, that is fewer first home buyers, more investors, higher mortgage rates and a return to more durable levels of capital growth.
"The impact of higher mortgage rates will start to be felt in the new year and may lead to fewer buyers (particularly first home buyers)," he said.
"As finance becomes more expensive and difficult we anticipate the pressure which has eased within the rental market over recent months will once again start to build. This is likely to be exacerbated by the fact that building approvals continue to fall. This would suggest that during 2010 rental rates will begin to gather pace and from an investment perspective, property market investment will become more attractive as yields improve."