Sydney beats Melbourne, we’re buying more new homes and where the most singles live

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Melbourne loses auction crown to Sydney this week
Sydney has more auctions scheduled than Melbourne this weekend, a first for the year. Sydney will host 758 to Melbourne’s 728. Overall, Australia has 2169 auctions scheduled this week, with 1769 in capital cities. Brisbane has 132 auctions, Adelaide 72, Canberra 33, Perth 36 auctions and Tasmania has 10. The pace remains unusually high for the winter, with about 4000 auctions held this month – substantially eclipsing the previous record of 3300 set in June of 2010. It’s a third again more than previous June auction months. Read the full story here.

Home sales volumes continued rising through April
The Housing Industry Association this week confirmed reported volume gains in new home sales through April, which saw a rise of 2.9 per cent in the month and 6 per cent through the first quarter. Multi-unit sales rose by 9.3 per cent while detached house sales increased by 1.8 per cent. That matches reports of unusually heavy auction volume during the period and the pace of construction permits being issues through the last year. HIA forecasts an increase of 7.1 per cent in home building this year – a near-record outdone only by 2013’s 10.9 per cent rise. The question, though, is whether demand will keep pace with the increasing construction. Weekly home price reports since April show that values appear to have begun falling off, although that may be little more than a winter cyclic decline. Read the full story here.

RBA probably won’t hike interest rates next week
The Reserve Bank of Australia meets to discuss interest rates on Tuesday. A panel of 18 economists watching the market thinks the likelihood of an interest rate hike next week is close to nil, but about two thirds of them believe rates will rise within the next year. Half of those who predict rates will rise believe increases will come before the end of this year. This raises questions about the way Australians think about mortgages. The nation tends to be risk averse, with lower rates of investment in publicly-traded equities and more cash in reserve than other countries. But Australians also tend to avoid fixed-rate mortgages even as the average mortgage size climbs, a trend that could be damaging with an interest-rate reversal at a time when a family may not have the economic profile for refinancing a mortgage. Read the full story here.

If you’re a single bloke, move to Bondi; bachelorettes might consider St Leonards
A look at the Australian suburbs with the highest demographic proportion of young adults under the average age of marriage shows Sydney has the highest number of suburbs full of bachelors and bachelorettes. Single men disproportionately live in St Leonards, North Sydney and Neutral Bay, while single women tend to live in the Bondi beach suburbs. (Given the prices, one might assume everyone in both places is shacked up four to a room.) Melbourne appears to have only one singles suburb: Elwood, about 8km from the CBD, as does Adelaide: North Adelaide, only 2km from the CBD. Read the full story here.

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