Australian property demand is strengthening heading in to spring

Photo: Daniel Carson/AFL Media

Australia’s housing market is showing few signs of weakening heading into the spring selling season, with auction clearance rates and prices continuing to push higher last week.

According to CoreLogic, a preliminary capital city auction clearance rate of 76.6% was seen last week, a modest increase on the 75.2% rate achieved in the prior corresponding week.

It was the highest level seen this year, and above the 73.4% level recorded a year earlier.

CoreLogic notes that the strength came despite an increase in the number of auctions held with 2,113 properties going under the hammer, up from 1,795 in the previous week. The figure was still well below the 2,654 level seen in the same week in 2015.

The group will release final figures for the week — prone to modest downward revisions — on Thursday. So far results have been received from 1,769 auctions held.

Keeping with a familiar theme, the strength was concentrated once again in Sydney and Melbourne — the largest and most expensive property markets in Australia.

A preliminary figure of 81% was achieved in Sydney, a small decrease from a week earlier, although that was largely offset by a spike in clearance rates in Melbourne, rising to a one-year high of 79%.

The performance of other capitals can be found in the table below from CoreLogic.

Fitting with the strength in clearance rates and limited available supply, the group’s separate capital city home value index continued to push higher, rising by a further 0.5% last week.

As shown in the table below from CoreLogic, prices rose in all cities monitored last week, led by a hefty 1.9% gain in Perth property prices.

Helping to explain the strength in the national figure due to their market waiting, prices rose by 0.8% in Melbourne and by 0.2% in Sydney.

Sydney retained its title as the hottest housing market in Australia, with prices jumping 11.7% so far in 2016.

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