Stats surprising, claims broker

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Five states experienced housing market growth in January, including NSW, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, according to research group Residex.

On the other hand, the Northern Territory and Western Australia – outside of Perth – were the worst regional performers for the month. Both regions recorded negative growth in their house, land and unit markets.

But long-time Bunbury mortgage broker Theo Krinos said his office’s experience has been quite the opposite. While noting that Bunbury is one of the larger cities in Western Australia and possibly more similar to Perth than other, less populated areas, he said January was a bumper month.

“We had two tremendous months in December and January … we’re seeing a lot more confidence in the first home buyer market and a few more investors.”

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Krinos was so positive about his company’s January fortunes that he estimated the month was one of his office’s ‘top five months ever’. This is after more than twenty years in business.

“I think finally people have realised that interest rates are good, the price of homes is pretty well to the bottom of the market, the confidence is growing – they’re not getting the bad vibes from Europe anymore either. I’ve noticed the clearing rates in Melbourne and Sydney last weekend were about 70% sold, so I think that reflects things across the board.”

Krinos said he expects local house prices to climb in 2013 and is interested to see how this will affect investor interest.

“I think we’ve probably bottomed. I think it will probably stabilise for a while, but they can’t drop much from where they are now – we had a big jump in Western Australia a few years ago and now I think those prices have stabilised.”

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