Clearance rates strong over Grand Final weekend; Brokerages at risk from digital disruption

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Clearance rates remain high through Grand Final weekend
Footy fans skipped the auctions this weekend, and it didn't matter. The national auction clearance rate topped 70 per cent for a fifth week according to early figures from RP Data, with clearances of 78.5 per cent in Sydney on more than 1000 auctions listed. sold according to RP Data. Melbourne had a clearance rate of a ridiculous 88 per cent on a tiny handful of auctions, largely because sellers chose not to compete with the final. About 50 per cent of auctions cleared in Brisbane, Adelaide posted a clearance rate of 67.4 per cent, Canberra 41.2 per cent and Perth 52 per cent. Read the full story here.

Report: The web will continue to fundamentally disrupt Australian brokerages
Deloitte notes in a new report that two-thirds of the South Australian businesses face significant digital disruption over the next five years and almost a third will be disrupted within the next three years. The most vulnerable firms work in a range of industries including ICT and media and finance as well as real estate and construction. Disruption, in Deloitte's terms, means a serious change to business models, and doesn't necessarily mean the death. Some firms will find themselves hiring more staff and expanding their businesses. But small businesses tend to have less digital engagement, making them more vulnerable to displacement. Read the full story here.

Apartment resale prices cratering on Melbourne's suburban fringes
The prospect of massive supply increases for units around Melbourne may finally be catching up to the market. Apartments up for resale in some Melbourne skyscrapers are taking substantial losses, with more than 10,000 new apartments slated for completion this year, more than that next year and even more in 2016. Prices in the CBD remain stable, but regular apartments purchased off the plan in Southbank and Docklands – not the birdhouse-sized units being mass produced – are selling at losses. Prices across Melbourne remain up by 12 per cent to August, but a glut of rental space has pushed up vacancy rates and forced incentives into leases. Read the full story here.

CoreData: Property investment is driving SMSF adoption
Investors hoping to use tax-advantaged borrowing to speculate in the property market have become the second-most common reason people start a self-managed superannuation fund, according to surveys from CoreData. About 30 per cent of the $1.7 trillion super industry is in SMSF accounts today, and about 14 per cent of SMSF money holds property. Financial planning experts warn that bad advice on investments may begin to creep into the retirement picture, leading to scandals. Read the full story here.
 
RBA talk of housing bubble, Chinese economic weakness breaking out of the paper's business section
Australia is too hot. China is too cold. With more than 35 per cent of Australia's exports going to China, the $50 billion trade surplus has rendered Australia dependent on Chinese demand. And the slump in construction in China leaves RBA Governor Glenn Stevens to name falling Chinese house prices and the shadow banking sector there as a major marker on domestic policy considerations, such as forcing banks to reserve more capital on loans to investors, or to cap loan-to-value ratios. Read the full story here.

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