It appears the June quarter numbers may have been an aberration, and not a sign of a market recovery, Kelly said.
Melbourne’s median lot price rose by 1 per cent to a record of $389,000 in the quarter, with the median lot sizes falling 1.3 per cent to 354 square metres. Just 1538 lots were released in the period, down 17 per cent on the previous quarter.
Western growth corridor sales fell by 6 per cent to 765 lots – a 33 per cent drop from the same quarter last year.
The south-east was the best performer, with sales increasing 1 per cent to 457 lots, mostly in Casey. The median lot price – the most expensive of all the corridors – fell by 1 per cent to $435,000, with first-home buyers accounting for just over half of all buyers.
Still, Kelly says there remain buyers in the market. “Buyers still in a financial position to do so are capitalising on incentives,” he said. “Some may not settle on their lot for 12 to 18 months, when the interest-rate cycle may have turned”, he said.
On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank pushed up the official cash rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a 12-year high of 4.35 per cent, as it continues to battle stubbornly high inflation.
If you have a $600,000 mortgage, the monthly repayments will have climbed by more than $1500 – or $18,000 a year.
The latest move brought borrowing costs to their highest level since January 2011, marking the 13th rate rise since May 2022, as inflation proves more persistent than expected a few months ago.
The bank has lifted its forecasts, predicting inflation – now at 5.4 per cent – would still be at 4.5 per cent by year’s end, and at 3.5 per cent by the end of 2024.
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