Sydney continues to drive residential property price increases
Sydney continues to drive residential property price increases with the Residential Property Price Index for the city rising 2.7 per cent in the September quarter and 14.6 per cent in the previous year. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that established house prices for Sydney rose 3.2 per cent and attached dwelling prices rose 1.8 per cent. Elsewhere the RPPI rose by 1 per cent for Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Hobart while Darwin and Canberra were up 0.3 per cent in the September quarter. The only capital to show a decline was Perth which fell 0.1 per cent in the period. The total value of Australia's 9.4 million residential dwellings increased to $5.3 trillion. The mean price of dwellings in Australia is now $563,100, an increase of $8,300 over the quarter or 1.5 per cent. Housing Industry Association senior economist Shane Garrett commented: “Today’s figures are a welcome addition to the suite of home price data which show that price growth is easing to a much more sustainable rate.”

NSW is first to use new electronic conveyancing system
Conveyancing just got a whole lot easier in NSW thanks to the newly adopted electronic Pexa system. Banks have been using the system for about 18 months but NSW is the first state to use the technology for buying and selling properties – the rest of Australia is due to follow over the next year or so. Home buyers and sellers will sign a single authorisation and then lawyers, banks and even the state revenue office will access all they need online. The system will speed up the process and make the need for physical payment methods redundant with electronic payments being made the same day.

First time buyers are getting older
Younger Australians are finding it harder to get on the property ladder as prices make saving a deposit a longer-term commitment. New data from RAMS and Core Data Research shows that the proportion of first-timers over the age of 36 is 40.5 per cent; double what it was in 2012; under-25s make up just 18.3 per cent. Other shifts in demographics include more single people and more women becoming first-time buyers.