Buyers camp out to secure 'hot property' in Canberra

Prospective homebuyers have been camping out in Canberra and its suburbs in order to secure a property in the area’s thriving housing market, it has been reported.

In Forde, a new suburb 14 km north of the city, people spent up to a week queuing and camping in the hope of landing a home, the Australian reported.

According to the newspaper, the camping craze was prompted by the decision of the ACT Department of Land and Property Services to sanction a "first in, best dressed" method for approving applications.

Such fervent competition may have encouraged more property buyers to compare home loans in search of the best deals. Recent figures from RP Data-Rismark show that Canberra’s residential prices rose 3.7 per cent to a median value of $508,500 in the three months to the end of May – the biggest rise of all Australia’s capital cities.

Indeed in most other cities, house price growth cooled during the period as higher interest rates dampened demand.

Brian Nancarrow of real estate agent Century 21 Canberra said rising prices in the city had been driven by investors and the growing international student market.

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