Buyers are still holding back says report
Real estate agents and mortgage lenders may have to be more persuasive if they are to encourage potential buyers to make a commitment on a home. A report from PRDNationwide shows that confidence in ‘the right time to buy’ has been declining since the end of 2013. In Victoria the index fell by 29 per cent over the year to December 2014; in NSW it was down 25.8 per cent; WA 15 per cent; Queensland 8.7 per cent; and South Australia 0.7 per cent. Uncertainties over employment and interest rates are exacerbating the lack of sentiment in the market.

Growth in million dollar Melbourne homes
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria says there are now 59 Melbourne suburbs with a median house price above $1 million. Northcote, Richmond, Strathmore and Flinders all joined the million-dollar-median club in the December quarter. The institute’s figures show that there were 15,127 home sales in the last quarter of 2014 in Victoria and 2,769 of those were sold for at or above $1 million. Melbourne’s inner suburbs accounted for the majority with 1,433 out of 4,572 sales. Auctions were where most of the $1m+ sales were made.
Preliminary figures for the first quarter of this year show that 1,510 of the 8,317 homes sold across the state were in the million and above price bracket but in Melbourne the proportion was lower with 762 out of 2,439. Overall the figures suggest that there is strong demand for larger, more expensive homes in the Melbourne area and across Victoria.

Families help more first home buyers
The National Australia Bank says that more first home buyers are able to buy a new home using its Family Guarantee scheme. It allows family members to save in a term deposit account or use equity in their own home to help a relative to get on the property ladder. Figures show that 6.7 per cent of first home buyers are using the scheme, up from 4.8 per cent five years ago. While the bulk of customers are in the 20-29 age group (73 per cent) there is an increased number of those aged 30-40 before purchasing their first home (21 per cent) while 3 per cent are in their teens.