In terms of the overall property market, the latest finalised auction data from RP Data showed clearance rates marginally higher in the major auction centres, with Sydney at 48%, Melbourne 49% and Brisbane 23%. Volumes in other capital cities were too low to yield meaningful results. Compared to the Sydney market the Blackheath property market appears to be quite buoyant with Ray White Blackheath recording an 86% clearance rate at Auction for 2011.
The Reserve Bank (RBA) left the official cash rate on hold at 4.75% at its May meeting last week, with economists now divided on when, but not if, the next rate increase will come. Official retail figures released shortly after the rates decision showed retail turnover dropped .5% in March, instead of a forecasted .5% rise. The news led a Herald Sun article to conclude interest rates will likely stay on hold until August. In other positive news for borrowers, a Sydney Morning Herald article reported any further “out-of-cycle” rate rises by the banks are now being ruled out, after the big banks have bridged the funding gap over higher priced credit. Ironically March was our strongest month since 2002, followed up by a very busy April, during this time we were able to secure free editorial in many National Publications including; Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and the Daily Telegraph.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) house price index showed capital city prices fell by 1.7% in the March quarter, with Brisbane and Melbourne posting the biggest falls. The Blue Mountains area looks to be a safe port in a storm with sales up 0.9% so far for 2011, this trend is not unusual for the area with prices remaining fairly stable over the last couple of years as the Sydney market has fluctuated wildly, this makes the Blue Mountains a good place to invest, especially the Upper Mountains, as the potential capital growth in this area is still high.