Australia’s  housing market is responding to a number of factors creating further growth in home values.  Home loan interest rates have never been lower and this  has encouraged borrowers with housing debt now at  record-high levels.  While the housing stock  availability is similar to last year, new listing have fallen significantly in Sydney and Melbourne feeding  panic buying  in these cities.

Tightened regulations have done little to diminish domestic demand in Sydney and Melbourne however overseas borrowers are having serious difficulty obtaining finance and this may threaten a number of off-the-plan settlements and could lead to a fire sale situation for apartments coming to completion.

The recent auction clearance rate was 81.0 per cent over the most recent week according to CoreLogic, is a fall from last week’s recent record for the year 84.3 per cent,   North Sydney and Hornsby continue to be auction hot spots with  127 auctions held with a clearance rate of 87.6 per cent.

It would appear that the recent out of cycle interest rate increases and tightening of investor loan options is making some impact on the Sydney property market with auction clearances now below 56% – down from 90% only a few months ago, the Sydney property market is still strong but slowing.  New listings for November are down by over  16%  and values have come off by 1.20%.

While auction clearance rates are holding up well in the inner suburbs and northern beaches – areas such as the hills district are are down below 40% with the central coast and Parramatta not much better at only 43%.

Housing affordability for home buyers combined with relatively poor rental yields ( when compared to Brisbane) suggest that the trend will continue.

According to CoreLogic residential property accounts for more than half of all household wealth – not surprising when you consider Sydney alone has had 16.2 year on year growth in values with a median dwelling price now over $770,000 – this includes units.

Low interest rates account for most of the stimulus while investors for the first time on record now surpass home buyers. There is some concern that Chinese investors looking for alternatives to their local share market may flood the Australian property market.

National figures show that detached housing are clearly outperforming apartments over the financial year. Over the financial year, house values were 10.4 per cent higher across the combined capitals index while unit values increased by a much lower 5.6 per cent.

The outlook is for continued growth in the Sydney market.