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Housing clearance rates up


auction.jpgNeither a long-weekend nor chatter about the possible restriction of negative gearing could depress housing auction clearance rates last week.

Negative gearing has been in the news as an election issue, with the government ruling out any changes after the opposition flagged a move to disallow the tax break, albeit only for future purchases of established homes.

But the kerfuffle has not dampened the spirits of buyers.

In the seven days ending Sunday, 70.0 per cent of auctions covered by CoreLogic RP Data's weekly roundup ended with a sale.

That was down from the unusually strong clearance rate of 82.3 per cent at the same time a year ago, but it was still the strongest since the week of 23-29 March.

Even so, signs of oversupply are still clearly visible in the bellwether market of Sydney.

The number of homes newly on the market - that is, listed within the past month - was up by four per cent from a year ago in Sydney.

But the number remaining of the market rose by 23 per cent.

That means demand is not keeping up with supply, with increasingly eager sellers fearing the market has peaked and increasingly cautious buyers suspecting the sellers may be right.

Elsewhere, only in Perth - where there are more homes on the market than in Sydney - and Darwin is the overhang of unsold homes up significantly from this time last year.

Those centres have borne the brunt of the demise of the resource investment boom.

There were only 604 auctions in Anzac Day weekend of 2015, when Anzac Day fell on Saturday, when most auctions are held, even though there was no long weekend.

Anzac was on Monday this year, but the long weekend still depressed the number of auctions, with 1,542 in the week to Sunday from 1,699 in the previous week.

The smaller volume of sales led to some patchy price moves across the mainland state capitals, with rises in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, but falls in Melbourne and Adelaide.

But annual prices moves remained positive in all bar Perth, with Melbourne just shading Sydney with annual growth of 8.9 per cent.

HOUSING PRICE CHANGES

Week ending April 24

Sydney: Week +0.2 pct, Year +8.8 pct

Melbourne -0.4 pct, Year +8.9 pct

Brisbane: Week +1.1 pct, Year +6.1 pct

Adelaide -1.0 pct, Year +3.0 pct

Perth: Week +0.2 pct, Year -3.0 pct

Combined 5 capitals: Week unchanged, Year +6.9 pct

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