The latest monthly report released by RP Data shows a slight decline in home values over the month of April. Home values nationally fell by 0.5 per cent following a 2.8 per cent increase over the March quarter.

State-by-state across the majors, the numbers went like this: Sydney down 0.4 per cent; Melbourne down 0.5 per cent; Brisbane down 0.7 per cent; Perth down 2.5 per cent and Canberra down 0.6 per cent.

The fact is, this is just a blip. There’s two things to consider here. Firstly, the seasonal influence.  Easter and school holidays always have an impact on the market. Secondly, recoveries do not occur in a straight line.  I’ve been in this business for over 30 years, I’ve been through several recoveries and blips like this happen every time. In fact they are healthy for market stabilisation.

It’s important to look at the big picture, as there’s loads of evidence that we are at the start of a new cycle of growth. Here’s 10 points to consider:

  1. Clearance rates have improved significantly. In Sydney, the clearance rate has been above 70 per cent for 10 out of the 13 auction weekends we’ve had so far. This time last year, Sydney had a clearance rate of around 50 per cent (Australian Property Monitors)
  2. The number of mortgages processed in April by Australia’s largest broker, AFG, was 40 per cent higher than in April 2012. This shakes out to be about $1 billion more in new loans. This is the company’s largest ever volume since their Mortgage Index began in 2004
  3. The Reserve Bank has reduced interest rates again to the lowest level in our history. The latest 0.25 per cent cut was immediately passed on by many of the major banks and smaller institutions
  4. Consumer confidence is rising, properties are selling in a shorter timeframe and buyers and sellers are increasingly finding common ground re pricing
  5. Sales volumes are higher as more and more buyers re-enter the market
  6. The proportion of investors in the market is very high, indicating a strong sense of opportunity. In NSW, AFG data shows close to 1 in 2 new loans are for investors
  7. Rents continue to rise, with RP Data reporting capital city house rents up 1.4 per cent for the three months ending April and apartment rents up 1.3 per cent
  8. The stock market continues to gain strength and is sitting above the 5,200 mark. Portfolios that were seriously damaged during the GFC years are being replenished now, giving investors new options
  9. The number of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) in Australia is increasing and more people are choosing to purchase property with their money
  10. The recent sale of Altona, Sydney’s renowned harbourfront mansion in Point Piper for a reported $54M to a Chinese-born executive from Melbourne is further evidence of a recovering prestige sector. The prestige market has been soft for many years but it’s slowly turning around now. Chinese buyers are going to be a major factor in this recovery. The first application under the ‘significant investor visa’ was approved this month. The visa enables wealthy foreigners to invest at least $5M in approved assets in order to gain fast-tracked permanent residency. More than 200 applications have been lodged since the visa was introduced in November last year

Right now, there is so much opportunity in real estate for buyers and sellers alike.  Be proactive, look at your finances and work out how you can best take advantage of everything today’s market offers.