Capital city housing report

Melissa Jenkins
(Australian Associated Press)

The average price of a Sydney house sold by private treaty has surpassed the $1 million mark.

Figures from the Easter weekend show the median price in Sydney was $1.03 million, up more than 17 per cent from a year ago, property analyst CoreLogic says.

It’s the first time the private treaty median price has exceeded $1 million, according to the firm’s data that spans back to February 2013.

In Melbourne, the next most expensive city, the average price was $720,000, over 16 per cent higher than at the same time last year.

Private treaty sales represent around 85 per cent of all home sales nationally.

On the auction front, it was a quiet weekend as Australians enjoyed the Easter break, but demand was still strong as clearance rates remained high.

Just 487 homes went under the hammer during the week ending Easter Sunday, with over half of the auction action in Sydney.

The average clearance rate across the capital cities was 78.8 per cent, still well above the 67.4 per cent recorded at the same time last year, and was 82 per cent in Sydney.

The figures were released on the same day as the minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest board meeting, which showed members are mindful of the risks arising from housing credit growth continuing to outpace growth in household incomes.

Board members discussed the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s move to restrict interest-only lending to 30 per cent of new mortgages.

“However, it would take some time to assess fully the effects of the recent pricing changes and the increased supervisory attention,” the minutes said.

This comes as a new KPMG Economics report suggested some of Australia’s poorest householders are still taking on negatively geared property investments.

The analysis of data from the past two decades estimates the bottom 20 per cent of income earning households had the highest rate of growth in investment income.

Investment income from the lowest fifth of households has grown 8.5 per cent each year, compared with an average of 2.3 per cent over the past decade for other households.

The report noted this growth, along with a significant rise in the value of second mortgages paid by this segment, indicates a greater exposure to activities such as negatively geared investment properties.

KPMG Australia chief economist Brendan Rynne says people on low incomes were the worst placed to take on the financial risk associated with geared investments.

“It is clear from our analysis that if the bubble does burst it will not just be the better off who will be directly affected; the poor will be too.”

CAPITAL CITY PRIVATE TREATY MEDIAN HOUSE PRICES

Sydney – $1,031,500

Melbourne – $720,000

Canberra – $640,000

Darwin – $565,000

Brisbane – $515,000

Perth – $490,000

Adelaide – $451,000

Hobart – $385,000

UNITS

Sydney – $740,000

Melbourne – $546,000

Perth – $408,000

Brisbane – $393,750

Canberra – $382,127

Darwin – $366,000

Adelaide – $330,000

Hobart – $300,000

Source: CoreLogic Property Market Indicator Summary week ending April 16, 2017.

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