Low mortgage rates encourage greater sales volumes

by 13 Dec 2013
Low interest rates throughout 2013 resulted in significant increases in house and unit transactions over the year.

RP Data today research analyst Cameron Kusher says sales volumes are now higher than a year ago across each city, although when compared to data from five years ago only Darwin, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Sydney are higher.

 “The ongoing weak performance in Brisbane and Perth over the past five years means the rise in transactions has come from a very low base. Nevertheless it is encouraging to see that low mortgage rates are encouraging a higher level of sales activity.”

“With transaction volumes picking up over the year and the expectation that official interest rates will remain below 3 per cent until at least May 2015, it will be interesting to track just how much higher transaction volumes will increase, particularly for Sydney, Melbourne and Perth where there has been a significant increase in home values. Although values are higher and mortgage rates are low, it is unlikely to stop affordability constraints entering these markets.

“On the other hand, markets such as Brisbane and Adelaide which have already seen an increase in sales but no significant value growth may be well placed for value growth and a further lift in transaction over the coming year given homes are significantly more affordable than those across the other major capital cities,” Mr Kusher said.

Over the three months to September 2013, 85,704 houses and 32,597 units sold across the country.
Compared to the same three months last year, house sales were 12.4 per cent higher and unit sales were 12.6 per cent higher in 2013.
Transaction volumes are now 5.5 per cent higher than five year average levels and reached a most recent low over the three months to February 2011 (88,836) and are now 33.2 per cent higher.
Across Australia’s combined capital cities, which accounts for more than 65 per cent of the nation’s residents, the pick-up in transactions has been even greater. Over the three months to September 2013, there were 53,728 capital city house sales and 24,585 unit sales.