Victorian Market Has A Healthy Start To The Year

By Robert Larocca

The 2013 residential market has started off on a positive note, following on from the strong results we saw towards the end of last year.  The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) has so far recorded both an increase in clearance rates and listings, a situation that reflects the improved confidence of Victorian consumers.

More homes on the market

In terms of the volume of properties for sale, buyers are being presented with more homes to choose from than was the case over the past three years. Auction listings until Easter are 20 per cent above the 10 year average, which is a positive sign for the strength of the market.

The trend of increased volumes culminates on the 22nd and 23rd of March 2013, where we expect the 9th largest weekend ever, with 1,140 auctions expected.

Confidence is the key

We have seen an improvement in clearance rates, however not to the extent that we are likely to see unsustainable price growth. February saw the highest monthly clearance rate since May 2010, with 70 per cent of homes offered at auction selling. Last weekend saw a small reduction, but one that is both clearly better than last year and historically healthy when compared to the long term clearance rate of 66 per cent.

The key to these positive trends being maintained is confidence. As long as consumer confidence – partly driven by low interest rates and lower prices – remains better than a year ago, the auction market will remain healthy.