Property sales up as prices fall

THE Ipswich property market is continuing to bounce back from last year's floods but is still below its 2010 level.

A report for the Ipswich market by PRDnationwide Ipswich, shows the market is well up on the 2011 results, with the agency's sales volumes up 24% compared to the first quarter in 2011

PRDnationwide Ipswich principal Peter Mendoza said compared to 2011, this was shaping up to be a better year for real estate.

"It's patchy and buyers are not from one particular segment but we've certainly sold more properties between January and March, than by this time last year," he said.

However, research from PRDnationwide shows the housing market was still suffering in the second half of 2011.

PRDnationwide research analyst Robert Matta said figures showed in the six months from July to December 2011 - settled house transactions were down 18% compared to the corresponding period in 2010.

The median house price was down 3% to $290,000.

Mr Matta said the market was yet to recover from the 2011 flood that significantly hurt the market.

"Over the December 2011 half year period, 11% of purchases were transacting in the sub $200,000 price range which reiterates the market's appetite for a bargain.'

"Perhaps they, like many prospective buyers in today's market, are conscience of the possibility that capital values may continue to soften."

According to the report sales prices are being pushed down due to an oversupply of affordable housing.

The report called the drop in sales number "staggering" and said house prices would have to drop to sell.

"The staggering fall in sales volumes combined with the gradual shift in activity to the lower price brackets suggests that vendors have to price their property in line with the market in order to sell," the report said.

"This is evidenced by the gradual decrease in the median price and sales volumes since the stimulus driven 2009 market"

Despite the poor current market the research paper expects it to gradually turn around.

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