Despite COVID-19, the Sydney property is strongly forging ahead with auction clearance rates tracking at levels similar to those of 12 months ago, according to RiskWise Property Research.
Houses achieved a 71.1 per cent preliminary clearance rate and, overall, of the total volume of 625 properties, a 69.5 per cent clearance rate.
The volume of auctions was 18 per cent higher than a year earlier according to CoreLogic, and the final auction clearance rate is expected to finish at around 64 per cent, marginally above the decade average.
Pete Wargent, co-founder of BuyersBuyers.com.au, said that some lifestyle locations have been performing solidly, while demand for houses had been consistently solid in suburban Sydney.
"Units have seen dampened demand, especially from investors as rents have come off in some areas" Mr. Wargent said.
RiskWise CEO Doron Peleg said this was another consistent result, and similar to those seen in recent weeks.
"When you have a larger volume and higher clearance rates, this means that we have a stronger market," Mr Peleg said.
"Houses, in particular, are showing strong results while units achieved only 66.3 per cent clearance rate which shows that, as expected, they have less resilience.
"Houses in Sydney also performed well last week with clearance rates recently running above those for units.
"Overall, the 69.5 clearance rate for Sydney is similar to results achieved around the same time last year when the Sydney property market was enjoying a strong recovery period following the election results, interest rate cuts and some loosening of the credit restrictions, particularly in relation to APRA's floor assessment."
This week, the top performing areas in Sydney, based on the preliminary figures, were the Northern Beaches (81.3%) and the Inner West (77.8%).
BuyersBuyers.com.au COO Pete Wargent said home buyers with long-term holding strategies were well positioned to negotiate aggressively to purchase high-quality houses that usually enjoyed very strong demand and were sold through auction campaigns at premium prices.
"The average holding period of houses in Sydney, that in 75.9 per cent of cases belong to owner-occupiers, is 12.2 years. This means owner-occupiers with secure jobs and no serviceability issues are not impacted by short-term market movements, unless they need re-finance," Mr Wargent said.
Doron Peleg of RiskWise said the Sydney property market delivered solid capital growth of 22 per cent in the past five years with popular areas enjoying even stronger results. For example, houses in Paddington experienced price increase of 56 per cent and in St. Peters houses saw capital growth of 51 per cent during that period.
This shows that although there were credit restrictions by APRA, scrutinising of loan applications as a result of the Royal Commission and material price reductions due to fears of changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax until the election result in May 2019, houses in Sydney enjoy strong demand and deliver solid capital growth.
In addition, over the medium and the long term, solid price growth is highly likely for houses, particularly due to a systematic undersupply in the inner and middle rings, and also in the more affordable outer areas with good access to the CBD, such as the western suburbs.
"What this all means is now is the time to buy if you are a first home buyer or an owner-occupier as this current slowdown in the property market is only temporary, with houses in popular areas likely to experience solid capital growth in the medium to long term.
"Once the COVID-19 issue is resolved, most likely in 2021, the traditional connection between low interest rates and increase in dwelling prices is likely to take place."
Other top performing areas included Newcastle and Port Macquarie, with a clearance rate of 80.0 per cent, clearly demonstrating that the demand for lifestyle locations is playing a key role in the property market.
Mr Peleg stressed, however, that investors buying rental apartments unsuitable for families were taking a gamble, with both equity and cash flow risk expected to materially increase. Serviceability is also a major factor for investors who rely on a stable rental income to cover the costs associated with property, particularly the mortgage.
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