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It’s a fast start to 2024

By Luke O'Kelly

Nerida Conisbee
Ray White Group
Chief Economist

There was no rate cut last week but with markets now pricing in two cuts this year, it seems to be enough to drive demand for property. Property inspections are high, listing authorities are showing that more people are coming to market and weekly pricing is showing that Australian house prices are rising quickly as a result.

Open home attendance wasn’t a great measure during COVID-19 given restrictions but is now providing a good measure of interest. Ray White tracks on average the number of visitors to 40,000 open homes per month. January was a strong month with 16.5 visitors per home, above the three year average of 15.6.

Significantly, the markets experiencing the most visitation were South Australia and Queensland, both of which are currently seeing strong price growth. South Australia hit 25.3 visitors per open home, the highest on record. Queensland reached 18.6 visitors, the highest number in two years.

Is this fast start leading more people to sell their properties? Ray White listing authorities give us some insight as to what the pipeline of properties is looking like. Listing authorities track the point at which a Ray White agent is signed to sell a property but is yet to be advertised. The year has started a lot stronger than both 2022 and 2023, suggesting that an uplift in buyer demand is leading to more sellers coming to market.

Last year, house prices increased by just under 10 per cent, despite increasing interest rates. In the first five weeks of the year, Australian house prices have increased by one per cent. If this rate of growth continues, house price growth in 2024 will exceed 2023 levels to hit 10.5 per cent. If rates are cut, there is the potential for this to be even higher.
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