Promising Australian Housing Results for August Released By RP Data and Rismark International

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It's a slow month for the Aussie city housing market as RP Data and Rismark International reveal a half percent rise in dwelling values for August, but real estate experts welcome the result as a sign of a sustainable market development.

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The half percent rise in August means that the rolling three-month change in capital city dwelling values is now at 4 percent β€” the highest capital gain rate since the three months ending April 2010.

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A half percent increase in Australia's capital city dwelling values for August has been announced by the latest RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index Release, a report put together by property information, analytics and risk management services provider RP Data and funds management and advisory business Rismark International.

The August market conditions are attributed to the lower rate of growth in the housing markets of two key cities - Sydney and Melbourne house prices rose by 0.6 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. A significant drop in values was also recorded for several cities, the most notable of which are Hobart (with the largest decline of 1.2 percent) and Perth (slipping by 0.2 percent).

Compared to the capital gains recorded in previous months (1.6 percent over July and 1.9 percent over June), the increase in property prices in August appears to be slowing down, but RP Data's real estate specialists are quick to point out the good news that this result offers to the Australian housing scene. The half percent rise in August means that the rolling three-month change in capital city dwelling values is now at 4 percent β€” the highest capital gain rate since the three months ending April 2010. And according to the firm's research director Tim Lawless, the slower month-on-month result is a favourable sign in light of recent debates regarding the sustainability of Australian property values.

"The half a per cent gain over the month of August is a much more sustainable rate of growth and will be a welcome turn of events for policy makers," says Lawless. "While the recent surge in dwelling values has caused some renewed debate about an Australian housing bubble, it is important to remember that the average annual capital gain over the past decade has been just 4.3 percent across the combined capital cities."

"In Sydney, the annual rate of growth has seen a much lower decline of 2.4 percent which is well below current inflation."

Lawless predicts that the coming spring season in Australia will usher in stronger housing market conditions and will be something he describes as a "near-perfect season," due primarily to the lower number of homes currently available for sale β€” around 15 percent lower than the previous year.

"In Sydney, listing numbers are about 28 percent lower than a year ago. The lower effective supply levels are a result of fewer new listings being added to the market and a higher rate of absorption, with a 30 percent increase in sales activity compared with a year ago. We are already seeing a substantial increase in real estate agent activity across the RP Data platforms which indicate a surge in pre-listings activity," Lawless said.

Ben Skilbeck, CEO of Rismark International, also adds, "While the owner-occupier segment of the market is more than twice the size of the investor segment, there continues to be a number of indicators suggesting that this spring investors will be punching above their weight. With year-on-year gross total returns being 10 percent across the combined capital cities (11.7 percent in Sydney), and borrowing costs close to half of this, it’s likely investors will continue to be attracted into the market. The rate of growth in lending commitments for the purchase of existing dwellings continues to be material higher for the investor segment than the owner-occupier segment."

To obtain an accurate property report and to access detailed analytics on Australian real estate, visit RP Data's website today.

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Tim Lawless
RP Data
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