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Is there a cool change coming to Australian housing market?

Is there a cool change coming to Australian housing market?

Australia could be looking at a cool change in the housing market, according to data compiled by Core Logic.

Levels of auction clearance rates in capital cities have continued to fall, with a preliminary capital city clearance rate of 71.8% achieved over the last week. If trends continue as they are, this rate could be pushed down to 70% by next week.

The difference between this year’s rates and those achieved in 2016 are evident in the chart below:

Credit: Core Logic

With many Australians waiting for Australia’s extravagant housing prices to deflate, this could be the golden beacon in the horizon for which many have been yearning. Many young Australians are forgoing their dreams of home ownership in the face of the housing affordability crisis, and the Federal Government’s indecision on a course of action is not alleviating the stress.

However, the housing figures by Core Logic show a drop of 0.2% in housing prices in Sydney, as well as smaller decreases in housing prices in Brisbane and Adelaide. Although prices rose in Perth and Melbourne, the increases were small.

Credit: Core Logic

Tim Lawless, the Head of Research for Core Logic, has remarked that the falling rates need not be a cause for alarm or celebration.

“The Sydney market is slowing, but remaining healthy. Markets traditionally were quieter until spring,” Lawless said.

There are other changes contributing to the cooling of the house price boom. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the value of housing finance fell by 1.6% to $32.474 billion this month. A large factor contributing to the auction clearance rates and prices could be the sharp 2.3% decline in the value of investor loans. That decline followed the out-of-cycle mortgage rate increases earlier this year, aimed predominantly at investors, along with the decision from Australia’s banking regulator, APRA.

“We expect further slowing in the investor segment in coming months, and broadly see the housing market as cooling from here,” said major bank ANZ following the release of the housing finance report.

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