Melbourne home values look set to rise for the first time since November 2017, indicating the downturn that’s plagued the market has bottomed out.
Experts are advising househunters to buy now if they can, or potentially risk paying more in spring.
Preliminary CoreLogic figures show house and unit values increased 0.1 per cent in the first 26 days of June.
Despite the jump being by the smallest of margins, CoreLogic head of research Cameron Kusher said the Melbourne market has been gradually improving for months now.
“The rate of decline has been slowing,” Mr Kusher said.
“If we do see that positive result at the end of June, that indicates the market’s probably bottomed out.
“The largest falls are definitely behind us.”
Victoria’s capital had experienced 18 straight months of decline by the end of May, with January’s 1.6 per cent drop the largest of them.
The falls have eased every month since then, with May recording a slight 0.3 per cent dip to a $619,804 median, and are now expected to sneak into the positives in June.
The four other capitals monitored by CoreLogic — Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide — all experienced home value declines of less than 1 per cent in June’s first 26 days.
Further CoreLogic data shows Melbourne also notched its strongest clearance rate since March 2018 this month: 69 per cent from 635 auctions.
Mr Kusher attributed the market turnaround to the federal election being decided, the Reserve Bank cutting interest rates to a historic low 1.25 per cent, and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority indicating it would loosen lending requirements.
“There’s very little new stock coming to the market as well. I’m not saying it’s a seller’s market, but there’s certainly less for buyers to choose from,” he said.
Mr Kusher said the number of new properties hitting the Melbourne market was almost 30 per cent lower than a year ago.
He predicted a solid spring selling season that would be “better than what we’ve seen for most of this year”, but still far from a boom time.
National Property Buyers director Antony Bucello said there’d been a boost in buyers turning up at open-for-inspections and bidding at auction since “we got the banking royal commission and federal election out of the way”. But there weren’t enough homes on the market to meet the renewed demand.
He still cautioned buyers against waiting until spring, as while “there’ll be more stock in spring, there’ll be even more competition”.
“There’s a risk they’re going to be paying more than they are now if the market continues with the same sort of upward trend,” Mr Bucello said.