Auctions expected to be red hot this weekend
After last weekend’s auctions hit a clearance rate of 83.3 per cent in Sydney and 70.9 per cent in Melbourne the auction rooms are gearing up for another weekend of successful sales. The Real Estate Institute of Victoria is expecting more than 1000 auctions in 252 suburbs this Saturday. It says that the auction market has begun to gain momentum with higher auction levels. Historically, the last two weekends in February have achieved solid clearance rates above 70 per cent. The clearance rate for the year to date is 71 per cent, last weekend achieved 72 per cent.
Source: REIV

Residential land supply pressures mount
Australia’s residential land market is under pressure from supply bottlenecks according to the Housing Industry Association and CoreLogic RP Data. “During the September 2014 quarter, the number of land market transactions fell, while price growth accelerated,” commented HIA Senior Economist, Shane Garrett. “These are the classic hallmarks of a market which is fast running into supply problems.” He said that policymakers need to intervene to address the issue and blames the process for delivering new land supply for housing is too expensive and too slow. During the September 2014 quarter the weighted median price of residential land rose by 3.3 per cent to an all-time high of $212,727 per lot and Tim Lawless, RP Data research director says that has to change: “It is the high cost of vacant land which significantly contributes to the increasing cost of housing. Ideally we should be seeing more land brought to the market and sold during this period of low borrowing costs. This would help to curtail the increases in the cost of this vacant land.”
Source: HIA

Renovation plans for half of homeowners
Almost half of homeowners are planning renovations this year with a new bathroom top of the list. The latest Happy As Index from Mortgage Choice shows that a third plan to spruce up their washing facilities although in South Australia and Western Australia they have food on their minds with a new kitchen the main priority. TV shows like The Block fuel renovation motivation and while bathrooms and kitchens are popular choices for homeowners who have no plans to move they can also be a good investment as buyers will always notice their condition.
Source: Mortgage Choice