Prices have been falling sharply in recent months but new data suggests things might be looking up for spring.
Chief Economist at My Housing Market Dr Andrew Wilson said there has been an uptick in buyer and seller activity more recently.
“The latest data is perhaps telling us that there are some very early signs that the Spring market may be a little better than expected,” he told 9News.
“The time it takes to sell a property has just eased over the past month and auction clearance rates are certainly higher than they were over July.”
The latest data from Domain – which is part-owned by Nine – shows a surge in auction activity, the third week in a row that they’ve increased. They’ve increased 13.5 per cent across the country, but are up 16.5 per cent in Sydney.
Agents, too, are reporting more interest – particularly for good homes in good locations.
Marco Fabrizio from Melrose Estate Agents is selling a sprawling, luxurious seven-bedroom home in the Capitol Hill Estate at Mount Vernon in Sydney’s southwest.
It has a price tag that’s tipped to exceed $7 million.
“I put the property on the market yesterday and we had over a hundred calls. And really I haven’t experienced this level of inquiry on a property this year in this current climate,” Fabrizio said.
And that interest came not just from across Sydney, but around the world.
He said there is a growing trend of buyers shunning properties requiring renovation or rebuilding, given the recent surge in building costs. It also makes them more focused.
“Special homes in good locations are selling for well above reserve,” he said.
“We sold a house in Eastwood on the weekend at auction. Seventeen registered buyers. It sold for $600,000 above the reserve price.”
Veteran western Sydney agent Andrew Chrysanthou of Harcourts Unlimited said there’s no doubt buyers were spooked after interest rates started rising sharply in May.
Now the shock has passed, he’s seeing much more activity coming into spring.
“I’ve found that there’s a lot more first home buyers and owner-occupiers buying at this present moment,” he said.
“The investors are still holding back or pulling back for the time being.”
When it comes to auction clearance rates, some suburbs have clearly out-performed the rest in the past three months.
They include North Parramatta, Wentworthville, Alexandria, Camperdown, Rockdale, St Peters, Girraween, Hurlstone Park, Connells Point and Darlington.
When it comes to prices, some are less optimistic about where prices might head in the next year or so.
Both Westpac and ANZ believe property prices in Sydney will fall by around 18 per cent by the end of next year.
ANZ Senior Economist Felicity Emmett says most of that fall will occur before the end of this year.
“Already prices in Sydney are down 6 per cent to the month of July, and in August they look like they’re down another 2 per cent or so,” she said.
“It is a significant decline but, by the end of it, prices will still be higher than where they were prior to the pandemic.”
Not helped if, as predicted, the Reserve Bank continues to lift the official interest rate over coming months – with another half a per cent rise expected when it meets on September 6.