A thin auction market led to weak clearance rates and lower values this weekend
The national clearance rate fell below 60 per cent this weekend, with only 1178 homes on the auction block in capital cities. Sydney fell to 65.7 per cent, while Melbourne was 61 per cent. Brisbane posted a preliminary clearance rate of 42.9 per cent, Adelaide 63 per cent and Canberra 50 per cent. Perth fell to 33.3 per cent. Sydney prices fell 0.3 per cent and Melbourne fell of 0.8 per cent for the week. Essentially all of Melbourne’s price gains for the year have been wiped out at this point, while Sydney remains up by only 3.5 per cent. Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide all rose in value slightly. Read the full story here.
Falling commodity prices take their toll on Australia’s mining regions
Australia’s housing market is booming? Welcome to Moranbah, 970km north of Brisbane in Queensland – a ghost town. A real estate agent was selling 25 houses a day during the boom. This year she’s sold three. Steelmaking coal and iron ore are worth half of what they were in 2012. Australia’s mining industry has laid off 30,000 people in the last 18 months, a third of them in Queensland. Houses valued at $1 million in Moranbah during the boom might get looks at half that price. About 7.5 per cent of the town’s housing stock is uninhabited. Read the full story here.
Tony Cripps, Australia chief of HSBC, thinks market's pessimism is undeserved
Australia chief of HSBC Tony Cripps calls the economic scepticism in the Australian market “ridiculous,” and that a steady business outlook is borne out in demand for credit. “Mortgages are really strong and (there’s demand) from business.” Some of this may be chest-thumping puffery from a banking chief looking for business, but HSBC was up 93 per cent last year. HSBC has been growing strongly in lending to West Australian businesses, and expects Chinese investors to diversify their investing into new sectors. Read the full story here.
Banks are de-risking: fewer loans going to low-deposit borrowers
RateCity reported that the share of loans with a maximum loan-to-valuation ratio (LVR) of 95 per cent or above has fallen from 73 per cent in August last year to 69 per cent today. The banks dropping risk include ANZ, Commonwealth Bank-owned Bankwest, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and HSBC, RateCity said. The report is consistent with mortgage brokers and the latest APRA numbers that showed a decline in loans with LVRs above 90 per cent in the March quarter. Read the full story here.

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