Transaction rates keep rising, even as the number of homes listed has fallen

Explain this: RP Data shows 7.7 per cent fewer homes on the market than a year ago. But overall, sales volume has risen by 10.4 per cent over the past year, with the BOQ Spring Buyer’s Guide showing a 14.8 per cent year over year increase in sales in Queensland and a 19.8 per cent increase in Brisbane. New South Wales rose 13.6 per cent and Tasmania's volume increased by 11.2 per cent. Both South Australia and Victoria increased by 9.5 per cent. The increase in sales appears to track the increase in investor activity, since first-time homebuyers hit a post-GFC low this year. The implication – people are buying and flipping homes. Read the full story here.


Home, home on the cliff

There are homes on the edge of cliffs, and homes built into cliffs, and then there's this concept home, stapled right to the side of the cliff with engineered steel pins. The Cliff House, by Australian architectural firm Modscape, clings like a barnacle on the face of a sheer wall overlooking the Indian Ocean. It's hard to argue that the property takes up much land – the bottom of the building faces the ocean. Let's hope the eventual new owners won't be afraid of heights. Read the full story here.


ANZ Australia chief: Asian capital is not the source of rising home prices

ANZ Australia chief executive Philip Chronican, speaking at a business lunch, told analysts and investors not to fear the wave of foreign investment from China, but to view it as a sign of a robust open economy. Demand from China isn't large enough to cause the property markets' wild ride, he said, arguing that supply constraints explain the spike in prices. Some demand from China can be attributed to parents seeking housing for their children while they were studying in Australia. ANZ estimated that Chinese direct investment in Australia could be worth up to $200 billion by 2030, and will ultimately drift into other areas of the economy, to Australia's benefit. Read the full story here.


Victoria Valuer-General posts a fall in Melbourne home values for first quarter

The city’s median house fell to $520,000, a fall of 8.1 per cent or $46,000, for the first three months of the year. Melbourne property values – at least in the government’s eyes – rose 1.3 per cent for the six months preceding March. (RP Data shows market gains of about 10 per cent over the year.) More than 100 suburbs lost value for the first quarter, according to the Valuer-General, with South Yarra taking the largest fall – a $200,000 decrease from $1.3 million to $987,500. Melbourne's figures come from about 13,000 houses sold from January to March. Read the full story here.

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