Property market is still looking shaky

Numerous pieces of research and new studies relating to the Australian property sector have been published in recent weeks, but it is still very difficult to assess where the industry stands at the moment.

A national survey of capital city house prices released this week indicated that home loan customers can snap up a new pad for around 3.1 per cent cheaper than they could this time last year, the Australian Associated Press reports.

That said, the average value of an urban property was still 1.4 per cent higher in the June 2012 quarter when compared to the previous three months.

On the face of it, this suggests that although the market has a long way to go before it reaches the highs seen in the past decade, things do appear to be moving in the right direction.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank executive Dennis Bice told the news provider that the property sector is starting to gather momentum.

"People have been putting the big decisions, such as upsizing or downsizing their housing preferences on hold for some time now but there is evidence to suggest that activity in the property market is beginning to build again," he was quoted as saying.

However, this sense of optimism is dampened by recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which showed that mortgage approvals fell by one per cent in July.

This followed on from an encouraging performance in the June quarter, when there was a 1.3 per cent increase in the uptake of home loans. This just goes to show how unpredictable the industry has become of late.

Many experts feel the government needs to do more to encourage a greater number of Aussies to buy a new home.

The Housing Industry Association has consistently called for reduced interest rates in the past few months and it believes this will stimulate more widespread house building.

Leaders at the body recently praised the authorities for increasing the amount of money issued to property hunters through first home construction grants.

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