New trends in property

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The auction clearance rate across capital cities was 63.7% over the weekend, softening from 68.7% last week, and 68.3% this time last year.

Weekly clearance rate, combined capital cities

Auctions are becoming more popular in Sydney.

“It is interesting to note that due to an increase in the popularity of auctions, more homes have been sold in Sydney at auction this year than Melbourne. This is the first time this has occurred, ” RP Data Housing Market Specialist Robert Larocca, said.

Sydney’s clearance rate was 69% this week, markedly less than last week’s 75.6%, and 76% this time last year. Ongoing high volumes are visibly impacting on clearance rate levels.

Melbourne’s clearance rate wasn’t far behind Sydney’s this week at 63.8%, compared to 69.6% last week and 68.1% this time last year.

Capital city auction statistics (preliminary)

Apartment growth responds to demand

Property expert, John McGrath, says apartment living is the ‘in thing’ for Gen X and Y, who have been showing their preference for low maintenance living, and proximity to study, work and other social hotspots, for the past decade.

“They’re also delaying marriage and family, so their need for a bigger home comes much later in life, and by that time they’re so used to apartment living, many simply buy a bigger one instead of changing to a detached house with a backyard,” says McGrath.

And the construction industry is responding.

Research house BIS Shrapnel says two high-rise apartments are built for every five detached houses across Australia today – double the historical rate of one high-rise apartment for every five detached houses.

In Sydney, McGrath says high-density building approvals have more than doubled over the past three years, from 9,932 in FY11 to 20,354 in the year to March 2014.

“Sydney’s population will grow by 1.575 million people (36.7%) over the next 15 years, so we need to keep building at a rapid rate,” he says.

McGrath also notes unit prices are now appreciating at a faster rate, so the gap in price growth between apartments and houses, is starting to close.

Important: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. Consider the appropriateness of the information in regards to your circumstances.

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