Spring hopes after slow home sales figures

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Home sales slower this year; but it’s not over yet
Home sales have been slower so far in 2014 than they were last year but springtime has huge potential. New figures from property market researchers RP Data show that last November’s sales were at a peak and things have been trending lower since. Spring though is bringing a higher rate of listings; higher than this time last year RP Data’s Tim Lawless told Sky News. Prices are still high but vendors are now discounting which should also provide a boost along with the continuing low mortgage rates.
Sydney’s median house price hits a new high
The median price of property in Sydney has reached an all time high according to a new report from the Domain Group. The figures show an increase of $10,000 per month during the last quarter with the median hitting a record-breaking $843,994; that’s a quarterly hike of 3.8 per cent. The Sydney Morning Herald quotes HSBS chief economist Paul Bloxham as saying that they are forecasting continued growth through to the middle of 2015, despite a moderation in prices elsewhere in Australia. He says that things will continue to be solid until interest rates rise. Sydney may be booming but elsewhere median prices are flat or falling; Melbourne up 1 per cent; Canberra down 1.7 per cent; Perth down 1.5 per cent; Brisbane down 1.3 per cent; Adelaide down 1 per cent.
Local government reform in Perth is welcomed
The Property Council of Australia welcomes the WA Government’s strategy to implement local government reform in Perth following the release of the Local Government Advisory Board’s final report. The report recommends that Perth’s 30 councils be reduced to 16. The hope is that the real estate industry will benefit with planning and building approvals being simplified and speeded up. Joe Lenzo, Property Council of Australia Executive Director said: “This announcement will clear up a lot of uncertainty in the property sector with local government reform. It is now crucial that the Government meets its 1 July 2015 deadline for implementing the majority of the new local government framework.”
Land sales report shows healthy construction plans
The latest HIA-RP Data Residential Land Report provided by the Housing Industry Association provides a healthy forecast for the construction industry in 2014/15. The cost of residential land was up 7.4 per cent from a year earlier; 4.1 per cent outside the state capitals. The median price of land in the June quarter increased by 1.1 per cent to $205,330. According to RP Data research director, Tim Lawless, the bounce back after a softer March quarter result suggests there may still be some life left in the residential land sector. “This is the strongest result since the June quarter of 2013 which is welcome news. A rise in land sales implies a rise in detached housing construction about six months down the track which in turn provides a substantial multiplier for the Australian economy; more jobs, more building materials, home furnishings, appliances and white good sales.”

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