Weekend auction market solid on lower volume in Melbourne, clearance below 80 per cent in Sydney
Sydney’s auctions remained a sellers’ market over the weekend, with a  77.8 per cent clearance rate on the 457 properties listed for auction. Listings may have declined from the previous weekend's bumper 631, but this is still considerably higher than the 357 recorded during the same weekend last year. Sydney’s North West saw the keenest bidding with 90% clearance rates. Further South, Melbourne’s auction market reported a respectable clearance rate of 72.8 per cent over the weekend, in line with previous weekend sales with 603 properties under the hammer – down from 756 last week and 685 on the same weekend last year. Read the full story here.

Dubbo one of the last bastions of a five-figure sale
Seven registered bidders and more than 30 people turned up to watch a series of properties being sold in the redevelopment of the Apollo Estate in Dubbo. One sold for $95,000 at auction this week, according to selling agent Colin Knight of LJ Hooker Dubbo. Restrictions on the sale required owners or family members to occupy the property for a time before renting it to tenants, culling the auction of investor-bidders and leaving it to first-timers. Read the full story here.

Signs emerge of cooling off in the housing market
Housing prices fell in all the mainland capitals last week except Adelaide – which held even – ranging from a 0.3 per cent fall in Sydney to a 0.7 per cent decline in Brisbane. Prices remain substantially higher than the same period last year and relatively even for the last few months. Sydney remains up 17.1 per cent and Melbourne up 9.5 percent over the last year. But investors and homeowners remain sensitive to the possibility that the market may begin a fall in earnest. Read the full story here.

Self-managed superannuation funds under attack by the big fund managers
Managers from large superannuation funds – with large fees – are asking David Murray’s financial services inquiry to consider requiring self-managed funds to be regulated not just by the Australian Taxation Office but also by APRA. One argument: self-managed funds put themselves at risk by borrowing to enter the real estate market. Read the full story here.

Commentary: Sydney real estate a status symbol for foreign investors
Sydney real estate “has become the new gold bullion” for foreign investors, a parliamentary inquiry heard. City of Sydney councillor John Mant told the Inquiry into Social, Public and Affordable Housing that owning a Sydney property had become a status symbol for wealthy foreign investors. “You can put it in gold or you can put it in a Sydney apartment. They’re not places to live in.” He described it as a “disaster” for low-income residents. Read the full story here.

ACT real estate remains pressured from job cuts
Canberra homeowners face 16,000 job cuts and a slimmed-down federal work force to be revealed in the budget today. Local real estate observers expect the real estate market in Canberra to come under additional pressure as a result. House rents have fallen -3.6 per cent in the past year according to RP Data, with unit rents down -5.7 per cent in the capital.  Read the full story here.