Mr Symonds’ comments come as the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that the national housing market is on the up but remains fragmented, with prices in Sydney, the nation’s biggest market, falling 1.2 per cent in the March quarter to be down 3.1 per cent over the year.
Economists expect the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates again this year, potentially putting another dampener on the resurgent housing market. But Mr Symonds said the RBA was unlikely to lift rates any time soon.
“There are certain areas in Melbourne where prices would have come off so buyers now have a chance and are a lot happier than they were,” Mr Symond said. “Vendors are acting a lot more sensibly in accepting that prices have stopped going up and are tending to meet the market.”
He said full employment and relatively low interest rates would drive the market at a sustainable rate in Melbourne, but warned Sydney home owners could be in for some more pain with prices softening five to 10 per cent over the next 12 to 18 months. Real Estate Institute of Victoria CEO Enzo Raimondo said the the ABS data confirmed that the Melbourne property market was in a period of steady growth, negating the need for a successive interest rate rise.
Pick up Australian Times next week for Proprerty Times: An Australian property supplement for people living in the UK.