Property market remains upbeat despite fall in buyer activity

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Buyer activity tumbled by 11.7 per cent from March 2015 to March 2016, mainly due to two consecutive long weekends. However, this is by no means a sign of a cooling market as seller activity bounced back in the same month with 798 new property listings – 7.7 per cent higher compared to March 2015. The proportion of sales by auction also rose from 26.2 per cent to 32.9 per cent this year.

The rising number of new sellers and the higher proportion of sales by auction both indicate that buyers remain confident even as the market enters the historically quieter months.

Detached house prices have also risen by 5.14 per cent over the year to $590,000, driven by strong demand and low supply. According to the latest ABS construction figures, the number of detached house approvals has fallen from February 2016. Because the demand for the houses remains strong, this might only lead to further price hikes.

On the other hand, units and apartments continue to underperform as prices fell by 0.77 per cent to $386,500 this March due to high supply. The latest ABS building figures show an increase in the number of medium and high-density housing approvals.

Many people are also switching towards these properties due to affordability as townhouses, units, and apartments offer an affordable alternative to a house and land package. It has also helped first home buyers enter the property market. But as the developments complete and add further stock to the market, it is likely to lead to further price falls.

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