The latest figures from national property analysts RPData are a mixed bag but show the national housing market remains healthy in 2014. Here’s what happened to property in the first three months of 2014.
Prices refused to budge
Average capital city prices dropped by 1.9 per cent across the March quarter, which is the first drop in 12 months. However all capital city markets have grown over the past year, with the biggest increases posted in Sydney (16.6 per cent) and Melbourne (9.9 per cent). Prices in these two cities, along with Perth and Canberra, are now sitting well above their pre-GFC peaks.
Sales volumes increased
Most property experts will tell you that sales volumes are a better indicator of market health than median sale prices, which are easily influenced by outliers. The first quarter of 2014 saw national house sales increase by 7.9 per cent on the previous year, and unit sales increase by 4.0 per cent.
Vendor discount rates decreased
High vendor discount rates – which reflect the amount sellers drop their prices by in order to achieve a sale – are a sign of a distressed market. So the fact that vendor discount rates dropped from 5.9 per cent in April 2013 to 5.6 per cent this year is good news.
Days on market are down
Speedy sales are evidence of two things – strong buyer interest and well-priced stock. The average number of days a listing spent on the market dropped from 48 to 37 days over the past 12 months, which means homes are selling 23 per cent faster than they were at the same time last year.