Only 520 properties in Sydney are set to go under the hammer this weekend--a decline from last weekend’s 672. Sydney’s inner west region is set to host the most number of auctions with 91, and Randwick, Manly and Cammeray are regarded as the most popular suburbs, each with eight scheduled auctions.

Still, last week’s results were deemed encouraging for the market despite the challenge of high listings following the end to the holiday distractions last month. Sydney reported a clearance rate of 73.8 per cent last weekend--the highest result since the Easter break. However, it was still well below the 89.1 per cent recorded during the same time last year.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank cut the official rates this week to a new record low of 1.75 per cent in order to stimulate an underperforming local economy. According to the latest ABS inflation data, prices fell over the March quarter and the annual inflation failed to reach RBA’s target of two to three per cent. These lower interest rates, if passed on by banks, are positive news for prospective home buyers and mortgage holders. Further cuts throughout the year are still a possibility.

The budget announcement this week is also positive for the economy, even though there are underwhelming projections for growth, inflation, and unemployment. The tax relief will benefit many wage-earners and businesses, hence possibly translating into higher consumer spending and investment generating economic growth. However, the budget will have a largely neutral impact on housing market activity, with price growth remaining modest in the capital cities.