2011′s first weekend of Auctions generates clearance rates of 51%

reivThe 2011 auction season officially began last weekend, with about 80 auctions across Melbourne generating a clearance rate of 51 per cent. While it is too early to draw any conclusions, the same amounts of auctions were held this time last year, although the clearance was significantly higher at 80 per cent.

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria’s (REIV) first auction results list for the year includes all the auctions held since December 20 last year. As a result, there are a total of 126 auctions reported, with a 55 per cent clearance, as well as 1669 private sales.

Vendors currently running auction campaigns will no doubt be hoping for a repeat of the enthusiasm in the first half of 2010, when clearance rates were hovering around 80 per cent and competition at auctions was fierce.

Foreign buyers locked out in sales crackdown

foreign buyersA FEDERAL crackdown on overseas buyers who have sought to purchase homes contrary to foreign investment rules has stopped 15 transactions since it was announced nine months ago.

Three were in Sydney, with other sales thwarted in the Byron Bay district, the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth.

The most expensive was a $6.4 million house on Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill. The proposed purchase by Jun Qiu was blocked on January 5 by the compliance and real estate screening unit of the Treasury’s foreign investment division.

The planned purchase of a $2.3 million house at South Golden Beach, near Byron Bay, by an English couple, David and Angela Wright, was also not given approval earlier this month.

On the Gold Coast, the sale of a vacant block at Paradise Point, which remains listed for sale at $4.4 million, was stopped.

Less expensive sales of a $550,000 house at Seven Hills and a unit at Sefton were also halted.

The Bellevue Hill house was listed for sale in May with $7 million expected, having last traded in 2003 for $3.95 million.

The Department of Treasury said a further 73 proposed residential real estate purchases had been withdrawn voluntarily after laws on Australian property ownership were tightened last April.

Under the new rules, temporary residents have to seek approval to buy real estate in Australia. Overseas-based investors are encouraged to buy newly built real estate, and must start construction on vacant land within two years. The laws stem from a government desire to restrict rapid house price increases.

None of the 15 blocked property transfers resulted from public calls to a 1800 hotline aimed at trying to stop people buying real estate outside the foreign investment laws.

The hotline has received 131 calls since the former assistant treasurer Nick Sherry announced it and other measures aimed at cooling fears that foreign buyers were driving prices up.

He also announced a monitoring system, piloted in Sydney and Melbourne, to match records from the Foreign Investment Review Board with state land title offices and visas from the Department of Immigration to track who was buying what.

All 15 of the real estate transactions were picked up in routine screening since November. The orders, made on behalf of the Treasurer, do not give an explanation of how the sales would be contrary to the national interest.

Tags: buyers, investment, overseas, property, real estate

Sales for new homes fall a notch

new homesHome owners are starting to feel the squeeze of successive interest rate rises, and new home development is cooling.

Figures released by the Housing Industry Association yesterday show that new home sales fell by 0.2 per cent in November.

It deepened a 2 per cent drop over the three months to November, and sales were down 11 per cent compared with the same period in 2009.

The association said demand was hurt when the Reserve Bank raised interest rates by 100 basis points last year, some banks added another 20 basis points to home loans, and the first home buyers’ grant shrank.

The association’s chief economist, Harley Dale, predicted the housing sector would weaken further this year. But the strengthening dollar could give mortgage holders some short-term relief. Economists believe the dollar will not fall against the US dollar until the end of March, keeping inflation in check and delaying any interest rate rises.

”Obviously a period of interest rate stability is going to be beneficial to the housing sector and might hopefully prevent a weak 2011 from becoming even weaker,” Dr Dale said.

”But I suspect we will probably see some renewed weakness in housing indicators over the next three to six months as we see the lag impact of the November rate hikes, and as we also continue to struggle with an environment where finance is very hard to obtain.”

The Reserve Bank raised its benchmark cash interest rate to 4.75 per cent at its November meeting. In the same month detached new house sales increased by 6.2 per cent in NSW and 1.5 per cent in Western Australia. But sales fell 0.2 per cent in Victoria, 10.4 per cent in Queensland and 0.8 per cent in South Australia.

Dr Dale said the federal government tripling the first home buyers’ grant to $21,000 for new houses had increased building activity in late 2008 and 2009, but sales had halted last year when the grant reverted to $7000.

”We didn’t really see a ramping-up of second-, third- and fourth-home buying activity to fill the void, and so the net outcome was the deterioration in home building conditions.”

Story by Jared Lynch, www.domain.com.au

Tags: investment, marketing, news, property, real estate, research

Western Australia property sales dips 30 percent

Prices for property in Western Australia have dipped by 30 percent based on information released by the Real Estate Institute of WA.

Now is the best time to buy property in the area. In Perth alone, there is a 40 percent oversupply of property, forcing sellers to either agree to a lower price or wait when prices have gone up. The Real Estate Institute deputy president David Airey said in Perth:”There’s around 17,500 residential properties on the market which is somewhere like 5,000 properties more than our normal long term average.”

“It’s a fabulous time to buy, certainly not a good time to be selling if you don’t have a reason to sell.”

Perth suburb, Peppermint Grove, is now the most expensive area in the region with average prices rising by as much as 95 percent according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics data compiled from 2008 to 2009 and compared to 2004 to 2005 figures. Currently, an average house in Peppermint Grove is priced close to US$4.5 million.

The data is affected by the presence of a number of high-priced sales. “With sales as there have been in that area for $9/10/11 million in the last year or 18 months it’s thrown this huge curve up,” Airey added. Following Perth, Mosman Park suburb has the highest average property value which increased to 210 percent to US$1.5 million. The suburb is situated along Stirling Highway with Perth 14 kilometers away.

Source: http://au.ibtimes.com

Tags: investing, news, property, real estate, research

Posted in News, Research

Victorian Weekly Auction & Sales Results, Market Overview

soldThe inclement weather Saturday did not affect demand at this weekends auctions with a clearance rate of 67 per cent recorded.

This is a good result in light of the fact that this weekend has a higher number of auctions than the comparable weekends in the past 5 years.

There was a total of 343 auctions reported of which 229 sold and 114 were passed in, 68 of those on a vendors bid.

This weekend last year saw 338 auctions reported and a clearance rate of 83 per cent.

Stock levels continue to be high with 2600 auctions expected in the next three weeks.

Enzo Raimondo
CEO REIV

TOTAL AUCTIONS

This week: 343
Last Weekend: 1051
This weekend last year: 333

S Sold at Auction: 196
SB Sold before Auction: 31
SA Sold after Auction: 2

Passed in: 114
Passed in on vendor’s bid: 68

Clearance rate: 67%

Postponed: 3
Withdrawn: 0
Auctions with no result: 90

PS Private Sales: 634

Total Volume (Auctions): $156.13mil
Total Volume (Private Sales): $316.97mil

Total Auctions Houses: 225
Clearance Rate: 68%
Median Price: $633,500
Total Value: $103,396,500

Total Auctions Flats/Apartments: 108
Clearance Rate: 68%
Median Price: $552,500
Total Value: $51,034,000

Total Auctions Vacant Land: 10
Clearance Rate: 30%
Median Price: $848,500
Total Value: $1,697,000

Tags: auction, buying, economy, news, property, real estate, research, selling

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