The Australian Property Monitors (APM) Home Price Guide shows houses grew in value by more than 3 per cent in Darwin and almost 5.5 per cent in Perth over the last three months. The commodities boom continues to fuel markets in the capitals of resources-rich Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Louis Christopher, the general manager of APM, says they were a little surprised by the results this time around. “What we’ve been noticing for some of our leading indicators is that activity has actually picked up,” he said. “Auction clearance rates are higher, sales activity has definitely picked up since June last year.”
He says he does not think the recent interest rate rise will affect Perth and Darwin. “Because the commodities boom story is still there,” he said, “that’s what’s driving those markets”.
He says there is a real chance that, because of the rate rise, Sydney house prices will fall by as much as 5 per cent this calendar year. “Meaning the total fall since the peak (in late 2003) will equate to somewhere around 14 to 15 per cent,” he said.
Mr Christopher said the fall is good news for first home buyers, many of whom are struggling to get into the market. “We’ve actually already seen that, where affordability’s actually improved since the end of 2003, so there will be very good buying opportunities.”
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