ACT News

ACT house sellers have upper hand

The ACT is the only jurisdiction in Australia to be labelled a seller's market for real estate.

New home-buyer index figures show demand outstripped the number of homes for sale in the capital in the first five months of this year.

Tasmania and Queensland were named buyers' markets, while the remaining states and territory reported balanced conditions for house buyers and sellers.

The report, which used data for May, compares the number of properties advertised for sale with the number of home loans being taken out by Commonwealth Bank customers.

A buyer's market is declared when the number of properties for sale exceeds the number of mortgages.

The market suits sellers if home loans outstrip the number of homes for sale.

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The report found there had been an improvement in selling conditions in the ACT in the past quarter after balanced conditions in February 2013.

It said there was strong demand for housing in the ACT at a time when there was a shortage of stock for sale.

Nationally, Sydney (3rd), Melbourne (5th), Adelaide (6th), Darwin (7th) and Perth (8th) also appeared in the top 10 for sellers' markets.

North-west Tasmania and south-east South Australia topped the list for the best buyers' markets.

Commonwealth Bank general manager for home loans Clive van Horen said the results showed there were bargains to be had for buyers and sellers leading into the spring peak buying season.

"It's an interesting time in the market for home buyers, as historically low interest rates sit alongside market conditions that are becoming more competitive," Mr van Horen said.

"The latest home buyers index shows us that, at a national level, the market is offering increasing competition amongst prospective home buyers, which underlines the importance of doing the due diligence before entering negotiations."

RP Data national research director Tim Lawless said the report showed the property market had moved towards a balanced market, with the number of homes for sale more aligned with buyer demand.

"Overall, these results should come as welcome news for sellers as they reach a level peg with buyers," Mr Lawless said.

"However, it is important to keep in mind, on a national level, the results indicate there is now less room to negotiate on new property sales and purchases."