Property activity surges, supply plummets

Real estate groups continue to report strong sales month on month, in a sign that the property market is on track for another solid year.

Australia’s largest property group, Ray White, announced yesterday that it had recorded its best ever residential sales in results in Victoria last month.

According to the real estate group, statewide sales figures for February totalled in excess of $350 million – a 58 per cent increase on sales for the corresponding month.

Ray White Victorian general manager Marcus Williams said the highly active residential market was expected to continue in the short term despite the Reserve Bank raising official interest rates to 4.0 per cent earlier this week.

“We anticipate whilst the market will absorb the latest rate rise, the impact of rates rising another percentage point, as predicted by some economists, may prove challenging as the year progresses,” Mr Williams said, adding "now is the best time to sell, while demand is high".

“Auctions have been achieving spectacular results. We had a one bedroom apartment in St Kilda, for example, which sold for $511,000, $136,000 above the reserve price,” he said.

But while demand is high, supply is not.

Century 21 real estate agent Jeff Torr said everywhere you look it is the same story, “stock is low and prices are going up”.

And the supply issues are not being helped by a surge in construction activity.

Data from the Australia Bureau of Statistics showed building approvals dropped 7 per cent in January.

Private sector units and semi detached other dwellings were the hardest hit, with approvals down 29.1 per cent on the previous month.

 

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