Super-auction weekend approaching
Sydney has 888 homes listed for auction this weekend – second-highest for the year. It would have been a record, except that the auction market has been on a tear all year, including an 1100-auction weekend just last month. The year-to-date is far and away the busiest recorded. Read the full story here.

A level playing field for small banks… or a path to defaults?
Small regional banks have to use a risk model that requires a risk weighting of about 40 per cent on mortgages. The Big Four can use their own model, which requires them to hold substantially less capital on the books. Regulators are debating a change which would create a general risk floor of 15 per cent, affecting about half the loans of the Big Four banks while freeing up capital for loans by smaller competitors. The call for a level playing field, however, comes just as regulators are also sounding alarms about erosion in lending standards. Read the full story here.

Foreign buyers are not crowding out first time home buyers
Are Chinese investors pushing up prices? Perhaps, at the margins. But the central bank says they’re not responsible for putting home ownership out of reach for young buyers. Australians are doing that all by themselves. Foreign investment is “at most 5 to 10 per cent of market turnover,” a share of the market that has remained fairly steady over the past two decades. The source of rising prices, it seems, is a constraint on supply. Read the full story here.

Housing affordability data questioned
Figures released by the CBA-HIA – used to calculate affordability figures released earlier this week – claim that home values fell by 2.7 per cent in the three years to March 2014. However, the ABS shows an 11.3 per cent increase in dwelling values over the same period. The best state of affordability in 12 years? Perhaps not. Read the full story here.

Value growth strongest in southern states
Suburban Sydney and New South Wales beat the rest of the country for property value appreciation over the last three months, according to Onthehouse. Beaumont Hills in Sydney has risen 13.13 per cent. Wollstonecraft is up 7.27 per cent while Melbourne’s Alphington rose by 8.65 per cent, Balwyn rose by 6.33 per cent and Box Hill by 6.23 per cent. 

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