Australia is in a “two-speed property market” with continuing strong demand in Melbourne and Sydney but uncertainty elsewhere, according to real estate group Ray White.
Ray White Joint Chairman Brian White said the group’s results for July reflected “uneven forces at work” in Australian real estate markets with sales down three per cent on the corresponding period in 2009.
Mr White said fears were high that the election would result in malaise in the market but the result of just a three per cent slip was “somewhat of a delight”.
“Nevertheless, there are big swings across our markets,” he said.
Victoria was the strongest performing state for Ray White, with sales more than 30 per cent up on last year’s total, while New South Wales was steady with a four per cent increase.
“The continuing attraction for property in Melbourne and Sydney now defines what 2010 has been all about,” Mr White said.
“Demand in those cities just doesn’t seem to falter, even though the top end properties are quieter and there is evidence of tighter bank lending requirements.”
Mr White said in contrast to NSW and Victoria, the major mining states of Western Australia and Queensland experienced a big drop off in sales.
“It may be due to a return to core traditional areas where confidence in job security and opportunities are perceived to be better,” he said.
“Whatever, there are uneven forces at work in Australia which we will continue to monitor.”
Mr White said the increased determination by many of the banks to clear problem loans was resulting in some good buying opportunities, with investors leading the way.
“It is estimated that investors now comprise somewhere between 35-40 per cent of all residential sales,” he said.