Surge in buyer demand pre-Christmas

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Property buyers seem to be taking advantage of the current housing market conditions, signalling busier weeks ahead leading up to Christmas, according to market watchers.

The competition for a limited supply of properties is likely to be "supercharged", said Real Estate Buyers Agents Association president Cate Bakos.

"For several reasons, buyers tend to come out in spring because they know the listing numbers are optimised. Buyers love the idea of Christmas in their new house, and those who are looking now to buy may also be keen to have children start at their new school in late January," she told The Courier-Mail.

The auction market, for instance, has been reflecting stable clearance rates over the past weeks despite slightly lower auction volume year-on-year, indicating keen interest from buyers.

Also read: Low rates putting money in investors' pockets?

The improving demand could be attributed as the driver of the rising home values across most state capitals, according to the latest CoreLogic Home Value Index.

"The improved housing market conditions are becoming more geographically diverse; although Sydney and Melbourne continue to lead the growth trend, based on the month-to-date reading, we are also expecting to report a subtle rise in dwelling values across Brisbane and Adelaide," said Tim Lawless, CoreLogic research director.

Lawless said the combination of the tighter labour market conditions, stronger population growth, improved access to credit, and historic-low mortgage rates are fuelling the price rebound across Australia.

A separate report from Raine and Horne said Sydney's housing market, in particular, is expected to be busy in the next few weeks until Christmas as buyers remain on the lookout for great deals.

Homebuyers and investors remained "unusually" active in the market, seemingly indicating that they are developing a sense of fear of missing out, said Raine and Horne executive chairman Angus Raine.

"Fear of missing out will drive strong activity in Sydney up to December 21, which is the last Saturday before Christmas," he said. "There are more buyers at open homes, yet our listings in NSW in September were 13% lower than the same month last year. We're now moving towards a seller's market."

Also read: More investors are coming to the market

Belle Property Neutral Bay selling agent Matthew Smythe said the competition for homes is becoming more intense, pushing prices up in some transactions.

"There's competition and buyers have to stretch themselves to not miss it. Part of it is this time of year --- buyers will move because Christmas is not far away, and if they don't act, then the next opportunity is in February," he said in a report in Domain News.

Despite the winning streak of house prices over recent months, a report by the Housing Industry Association actually showed an improvement in affordability across capital cities.

"The cuts to interest rates have more than offset the rise in home prices to ensure ongoing improvement in housing affordability," said HIA chief economist Tim Reardon said.

Top Suburbs : revesby hts , alexandria , collingwood , tweed heads south , midland

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