Properties are taking longer to sell and vendor discounting has increased, according to data from CoreLogic. In the three months to July, the median days on market was 32, up from a low of 20 days over the three months to November.
Clearance rates also slowed across the country through July, down to an average of 53.3 per cent by the end of the month.The clearance rate for the equivalent period in 2021 was 74.4 per cent.
However, clearance rates have already seen an improvement in the first week of August, with CoreLogic economist Kaytlin Ezzy reporting that Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate was more than 60 per cent for the first time since late May. That was on the back of the quietest auction week since mid July, with 1,471 homes auctioned across Australia’s combined capital cities.
Sydney offered just 476 homes for auction, down from 624 properties a week earlier.
In other states, Brisbane held 153 auctions, Adelaide had 146 and Canberra 67.
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Amid looming rate rises, there are reasons to be cheerful as mortgage holders head into 2023
Mortgage holders should brace themselves for more pain as the Reserve Bank of Australia board prepares to meet this afternoon for the first time this year.
Most economists and the major banks are predicting a rise of 25 basis points will be announced, although the Commonwealth Bank suggested yesterday that the RBA may take the unusual step of a 40 basis point rise to bring the interest rate up to a more conventional 3.5 percent. This could present the RBA with the chance to put further rate rises on hold for the next few months as it assesses the impact of tightening monetary policy on the economy.
The decision by the RBA board to make consecutive rate rises since April last year is an attempt to wrestle inflation down to a more manageable 3 or 4 percent. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that the inflation rate rose to 7.8 percent over the 2022 December quarter, the highest it has been since 1990, reflected in higher prices for food, fuel and construction.
Higher interest rates have coincided with falling home values, which Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee says are down 6.1 percent in capital cities since peaking in March 2022. The pain has been greatest in Sydney, where prices have dropped 10.8 percent since February last year. Melbourne and Canberra recorded similar, albeit smaller falls, while capitals like Adelaide, which saw property prices fall 1.8 percent, are less affected.
Although prices may continue to decline, Ms Conisbee (below) said there are signs the pace is slowing and that inflation has peaked.
“December inflation came in at 7.8 per cent with construction, travel and electricity costs being the biggest drivers. It is likely that we are now at peak,” Ms Conisbee said.
“Many of the drivers of high prices are starting to be resolved. Shipping costs are now down almost 90 per cent from their October 2021 peak (as measured by the Baltic Dry Index), while crude oil prices have almost halved from March 2022. China is back open and international migration has started up again.
“Even construction costs look like they are close to plateau. Importantly, US inflation has pulled back from its peak of 9.1 per cent in June to 6.5 per cent in December, with many of the drivers of inflation in this country similar to Australia.”
The Victorian capital’s top-grossing transactions.