Mar­ket big chill blows over

Herald Sun - Property - - FRONT PAGE - WITH NATHAN MAWBY

THERE is just one month of win­ter to go. And the tra­di­tional cold-shoul­der of the mar­ket doesn’t ap­pear to have hap­pened. Cer­tainly the num­ber of properties on the mar­ket has fallen dra­mat­i­cally — 13.2 per cent — since the same time last year. But new list­ings have been rel­a­tively sta­ble, up or down about 1 per cent on and off for the past few weeks, ac­cord­ing to RP Data statis­tics.

The num­ber of week­end auc­tions ap­peared to bot­tom out around 400 in late June and has been, for the most part, ris­ing steadily since.

Num­bers look likely to sit around a healthy 600 for the rest of the win­ter sea­son.

Clear­ance rates have strug­gled a lit­tle of late, but last week­end’s 67.7 per cent is a solid step back to­wards the 70 per cent-plus mark recorded in re­cent months.

And it is still a good clear­ance rate. Home sell­ers this year are far bet­ter off than at the same time last year when just 51.3 per cent of homes taken to auc­tion sold, ac­cord­ing to RP Data. And in fur­ther good news, RP Data sug­gests signs are point­ing to Melbourne homes gain­ing as much as 2.5 per cent in value over July.

Not that an im­prove­ment in val­ues should come as a sur­prise, ac­cord­ing to Wake­lin Prop­erty Ad­vi­sory di­rec­tor Monique Wake­lin.

‘‘It’s not un­usual to see prices firm in win­ter, be­cause of a lack of stock,’’ Ms Wake­lin said.

Add to all of this the re­cent news from the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Vic­to­ria and RP Data that Melbourne’s mar­ket could re­turn to peak prices by the end of 2013, and there’s a lot of in­ter­est in what will hap­pen as the mar­ket picks up speed go­ing into spring — and pos­si­bly even more in­ter­est in the open­ing for 2014.

‘‘I reckon this year it’s go­ing to start late and fin­ish very late and it will spill over into 2014,’’ Ms Wake­lin said.

‘‘De­pend­ing on the elec­tion mood, we could well see a con­sid­er­ably stronger mar­ket in 2014.’’

But not ev­ery­one will have to wait un­til 2014, or even spring to see im­prove­ments in re­sults.

A se­ries of im­pres­sive re­sults recorded on The Block Sky­high last week­end saw each of the lux­ury apart­ments’ re­serve prices topped by a min­i­mum of $242,000 and in the case of the pro­gram win­ners, South Aus­tralian twins Alisa and Lysan­dra, a whop­ping $295,000. The Block wasn’t the only place to see a good re­sult un­der the ham­mer. A twobed­room pe­riod house at 27 Jack­son St, Northcote (pic­tured), sold at $100,000 over its $840,000 re­serve when auc­tioned by Hock­ing Stu­art Northcote on the same day.

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