It's far from a full recovery, but the pace has picked up again in and around Adelaide property sales, leading to some optimism
The signs are pointing to South Australia's property market recovering, with activity and median prices up during the month of April.
After a brief lull, sales are buzzing again, thanks especially to the ongoing support of first homebuyers. They've been urged on by the government incentives, lower interest, all combined with the continued affordability of Adelaide - home to the cheapest median property prices of any capital city on the mainland.
It was a different story last year, however. Property prices were declining, and interest was down. Anthony Toop, director of Toop & Toop Real Estate, says that in the Spring of 2008, property transactions fell 40%.
Fast forward to 2009, and he says the market is again "white hot." An Edwardstown property had 18 offers in May and sold for 15% above the expected price, for example.
It's not just limited to first homebuyers, either. In just 18 days of May, Toop says his agency sold 9 homes for more than $1m, bring the total to 29 in the past three months. That's contrasted to last year, when Toop & Toop, the largest independent agency in the state, sold zero properties above $1m over a particular two month period.
"That shows that we're really building momentum," says Toop. "So there's no way the market is in decline."
Other agencies in the state posted similar results recently. Raine & Horne SA says it posted a 33% increase in written sales in the metropolitan Adelaide area in March.
"Independent analysts are now openly stating that the real estate market appears to be in recovery mode and housing finance figures released last week show a 0.4% rise in lending in February - both positive signs that the South Australia market is gaining ground on the reported doom and gloom," Raine & Horne SA CEO Kevin Magee says.
A report by BIS Shrapnel in May says the housing sector in South Australia "has showed only a mild downturn during the second half of 2008 and this state is leading the national recovery in 2009." The resilience can be pinned to the affordability of Adelaide, says the report.
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