Bloomberg News

Melbourne Homes for Sale Jump 28% to 4 Times Australian Rate

July 04, 2012

Homes for sale in Melbourne surged 28 percent in June from a year ago, more than four times the increase across the country’s eight state capitals, even as prices slid 6.6 percent from a year earlier.

Dwellings offered for sale in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria state, climbed to 55,293, Sydney-based SQM Research Pty. said in an e-mailed statement. Properties listed for sale in the nation’s capital cities climbed 6.4 percent in June from a year earlier, the statement showed.

“The Melbourne result is a real concern as the supply of listings has reached a new high in that city,” SQM Managing Director Louis Christopher said in the release.

Home prices in Melbourne had the biggest decline among major Australian cities, which saw an average drop of 3.6 percent in June from a year ago, according to figures from Brisbane-based researcher RP Data. The drop comes despite a 9.7 percent jump in the city’s population in 2011 from 2006, compared with an Australia-wide increase of 2.5 percent, according to Census data.

Melbourne home prices are expected to drop about A$10,000 ($10,200) to an average of A$560,000 by the end of 2012, Paul Braddick, head of property research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ), said in a report in April.

Prices ‘Vulnerable’

“Melbourne home prices appear vulnerable given a softening Victorian economy, rising rental vacancies and a healthy supply pipeline,” Braddick said in the report. “Construction in Victoria has continued to outperform other states.”

Home listings climbed 6.1 percent in Melbourne from May, compared with a 1.7 percent increase nationally. The city had a rental vacancy rate of 3.1 percent in May, the highest among major Australian cities and an increase from 2.4 percent a year earlier, SQM said in a release last month.

Rents in Melbourne surged 50 percent and mortgage payments climbed 35 percent in the five years to 2011, according to the census.

Permits granted to build or renovate homes soared 27.3 percent in May from the prior month after the central bank cut interest rates, a government report this week showed. The number of homes approved in Victoria climbed 31.8 percent from April, the biggest increase among all states, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nichola Saminather in Sydney at nsaminather1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net


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