For the past year attention has largely been focused on the owner occupier segment of the Australian property market - particularly on first time buyers who have proved particularly enthusiastic about entering the market.
Property vacancy rates continue to fall in the majority of Australian capital cities, causing rents to edge upwards as tenants compete for a limited supply of housing.The latest figures from Archistar reveal that house vacancy rates are lowest in Canberra at 0.4%, followed by Adelaide (0.6%), Darwin (0.8%), Perth (0.9%) and Hobart (0.9%). Brisbane also posted low numbers at just above the 1% mark.The number of unoccupied units has also been steadily dropping, putting further upward pressure on rents. However, things have been tracking in the opposite direction in Melbourne and Sydney, where inner-city apartment vacancies have reached record highs.Archistar chief economist Andrew Wilson said landlords face an uphill battle in Melbourne, where “interstate migration shifts and a CBD apartment glut are providing relief for local tenants.”"Similarly, Sydney’s inner city apartment market also reflecting the impacts of border restrictions is providing more choices and lower rents for tenants - with no relief for landlords in sight."Capital city vacancy rates
Ultra-cheap fixed rates have fuelled a rush to the property market and sent home values soaring, but a number of banks have begun increasing long-term fixed offerings, suggesting a market slowdown might be just around the corner. With the RBA’s term funding facility due to end in the second half of the year, longer term fixed rates will likely drift upwards, meaning the current interest rate environment might look a lot different in just a few months’ time.So far, the Commonwealth Bank has been the only major bank to reverse course. It lifted 4-year rates for its Fixed Rate Wealth Package by 20 basis points to 2.19% p.a. (3.73% p.a. comparison rate*), citing increased funding costs.Bank of Queensland also raised 4- and 5-year rates by 20 basis points at the same time it cut its 2-year offering. 4-year rates now sit at 2.29% p.a. (3.00% p.a. comparison rate*).Meanwhile, Teachers Mutual Bank increased 4-year rates by 19 basis points and 5-year rates by 34 basis points across its associated brands. More banks and lenders are expected to follow.Typically, only around 15% of mortgages are fixed, but the combination of rock-bottom rates and predictable payments have attracted plenty of borrowers in the past year, Right now, fixed rates account for more than one-third of new mortgages.At the time of writing, the lowest fixed rate offers among lenders we track are:
It’s been just over a year since the Reserve Bank announced its emergency interest rate cut on March 19, 2020, a move which, in addition to other measures taken by the RBA, helped catalyse the steep decline in fixed home loan interest rates we’ve witnessed since.
With the middle of autumn just around the corner, the property market is gearing up for its second busiest season of the year. The housing market, which was already bustling thanks to record low home loan rates, has gained even more momentum in the period leading up to Easter. In the past week, the volume of capital city homes going to auction reached a three-year high, but average clearance rates didn’t falter at all, hitting 84% according to property research group CoreLogic. In case you missed the headline numbers, Sydney led the way, with 1,392 auctions returning clearance rates of 89%. Melbourne also performed strongly with 84% out of 1,899 auctions reported to be successful so far. Mozo’s property expert, Steve Jovcevski says the pre-Easter weekend was a test to see if the property market would hold up amid increased supply, and it has “passed with flying colours.” Jovcevski says this trend will persist, if not grow even stronger over autumn up until Anzac Day on the 25th of April. “I expect that we’ll see continued high listings during autumn, but in saying that, I don’t think we’re going to see any reduction in clearance rates,” he says.“We’re in the middle of a property price boom so any increase in supply will likely be met with plenty of buyers to cover off the excess.”
Residential auction markets enjoyed their busiest week in three years, with 3,791 capital city homes going under the hammer in the pre-Easter period, according to property research firm CoreLogic. So far, 84 per cent have recorded a successful result. This time last year, the average weighted clearance rate was just 37 per cent on lower volumes, after more than half of all auctions were withdrawn following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.The recent surge in activity reflects a renewed confidence in the market, as many vendors who had sidelined their plans to sell in 2020 are finally deciding to take the plunge. Successful sales were highest in Sydney, where 1,392 auctions returned a preliminary clearance rate of 89 per cent. This is up from the previous week, when 1,025 homes were taken to auction with a final clearance rate of 85 per cent.Meanwhile, a total of 1,899 homes were auctioned in Melbourne, with 84 per cent reported successful so far. The prior week saw 1,322 auctions held across the city, with the final clearance rate coming in at 79 per cent.RELATED: Auctions move fast but buying a first home takes patienceAccording to property industry platform Archistar, the best performing regions in Sydney were the Central Coast, Inner West, Northern Beaches and Upper North Shore, while the South East, Inner South and Outer East topped the list in Melbourne.Archistar chief economist, Andrew Wilson also said that among houses sold at auction over the weekend, the median price was $1,573,000 in Sydney and $1,015,000 in Melbourne.The rush to the property market is expected to support further price growth across Australia, with ANZ forecasting an increase of 19 per cent in this year alone.But the major bank expects momentum to slow towards the second half of the year, as intervention by regulatory bodies to cool down an overheated property market becomes more likely.For more information about property trends, visit our home loan statistics page, where you’ll find a historical overview of the home loan market in Australia. And if you’re looking to buy or refinance, browse our home loans comparison page for a look at what’s available.
Finding the right home loan could mean the difference between tens of thousands of dollars in interest saved over the life of a loan, but Aussie borrowers can be forgiven for finding it hard to pick the best option given the mountain of different lenders and rates available.
Hot off the press: Big-name lenders UBank, Bank of Queensland, Athena and Loans.com.au have just dropped brand new refinance deals - each of which offers killer variable and fixed rates in return for a generous deposit or equity on your property.