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Clearance rates in Melbourne up 18% from 2008

MELBOURNE: The Melbourne property market is displaying the same confidence levels seen in 2007, a sign which some industry experts say indicates the market is recovering.

Clearance rates in the city are up 18% to 81% with more than 18,000 properties sold in more than 22,500 auctions from last year’s 63% with nearly 17,000 properties sold in more than 26,500 auctions, says the Real Estate Institute Victoria (REIV).

Overall clearance rates were just 1% behind that of 2007 and matching the number of auctions in that year, staying above the 80% in the past six months. REIV spokesperson Robert Larocca told a local Australian daily Herald Sun that the statistics showed an upswing in the property industry during the past year that no industry experts had predicted.

"It is remarkable because if 12 months ago someone had said there would be clearance rates for eight months over 80 per cent, we wouldn't have believed it," he said, attributing the success of the country’s economy performing better than expected in 2009.

He added that in a poll of 109 real estate agents, a “clear majority” believed the industry would continue to grow as well or stronger into 2010. However, he called for an increased rate in the construction of housing to curb rising costs that failed to match the population growth of 1,700 people a week.
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