Finance Property Housing prices expected to suffer winter blues

Housing prices expected to suffer winter blues

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The weather across much of Australia is unseasonably warm, but the housing market is cooling down right on schedule.

After falling by 0.9 per cent the week before, prices in the five mainland state capitals were down by another 0.6 per cent over the week to Sunday.

According to the RP Data’s analysis of the residential property market, all five capitals recorded falls last week, from 0.2 per cent in Brisbane to 1.0 per cent in Adelaide.

It was the third week in a row that prices had posted significant falls, but not necessarily an indication that the market has topped out and, at long last, begun the slump that pundits have been forecasting for years now.

House for saleThere are two reason to doubt that the boom is now going bust.

One is that the market dipped at the same time last year, and to about the same degree – around two per cent or a bit more by RP Data measure.

Both times it had recovered all the lost ground by the end of June.

There is an obvious seasonal pattern.

The other is the auction clearance rates remains high.

Just over 66 per cent of properties whose auction results were tabulated by RP Data last week were sold.

The week before it was 65.4 per cent.

That was still down from the peak of over 75 per cent reached a couple of months earlier as buyers and sellers returned from summer holidays, but it remains high.

It’s about level with clearance rates seen at the same time last year.

In other words, it still appears that demand is rising more rapidly than supply.

That could all change, of course.

Consumer confidence figures since the budget the week before last suggest households have had their equilibrium disturbed.

So the coming few weeks, especially the latter half of June when prices would normally be expected to recover from their winter blues as they did last year and the year before, will be a critical time for the housing market.

If the recovery does not proceed as normal, investors will be prompted to wonder whether the easy ride is over.



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