A new selection of 23 properties were listed for sale in August, taking the total for the past 4 months to 47 and in so doing helping to raise the available inventory of properties on the market at the end of the month to 42, a significant improvement from just 33 on offer at the end of July. This clearly heralds the start of the Spring property market in a fashion very similar to this time last year.
At the same time property sales across Devonport remain steady with 45 properties sold in the past 3 months to August, up 4% as compared to the same time last year.
Whilst sales number remain steady, the median sale price based on the past 3 months of sales seems to be in free-fall. The reality though is that when measuring a small data set as is often the case in Devonport, changes in the composition of the sales can have a significant effect on the median price. By that I mean if in one period the composition of sales of houses is stronger in smaller 3 bedroom villas selling around the $1.5m mark and sales of 4+ bedroom houses is weaker then the median is pulled down, but such a "fall" in median price is not a true indicator of a decline in property prices or values. This is the case in the recent data. Prices have stopped rising and are flat.
For this reason I have decided that when it comes to median price data I'm going to rely more heavily on a 12 month moving data set rather than a 3 month moving data set as I have been doing up until now. The only downside of this change is that price movements that are a reflection of underlying changes in value resulting from demand changes in the market will be slower to be seen on the upside as well as the downside. Making this adjustment results in a revised table for August property summary as seen below.
In terms of the trends in volume sales and median price a revised chart below shows the 12 month moving total for all property types. What is most noticeable from the chart is the resilience of sales volumes, as median prices have weakened over the past 6 months. In the 12 months to August volume sales have seen a 4% rise whist median prices at $1,545,000 are down just 2%.
This segment of the market remains the driving force of the market recording an 18% rise year-on-year with 35 sales in the past 3 months, very close to the level of new listings which totalled 37; continuing to show the tightness of this market which continues to see well presented and well-priced property selling with speed and efficiency, as long as they are well-marketed.
As the trend chart below shows volume sales of houses are strong but prices are flat with a median sales price of $1,760,000 up just 1% compared to the same time last year.
There is not a lot of change to be seen in the market for investment and owner-occupied units across Devonport. Sales volume whilst still weak appears not to be falling further, however there is no ignoring how far it has fallen from the situation a few years ago. A total of just 6 units were sold in the past 3 months down 51% compared to this time last year.
As for the median sale price, given the quieter level of activity prices continue to remain on a plateau which is trending slowly downward recording a 3% year-on-year decline.
At the same time median sales prices continue to edge down albeit slowly at 3% decline vs the same time last year with a median price of $761,250.