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4 indications of a solid property market in Canberra

By Ben Faulks

There's good news for buyers and investors looking to snap up their next property in Canberra – the market is solid, and it doesn't appear that things will change during 2017.

We don't see the same level of exponential growth in Australia's capital as we do in Sydney or Melbourne, but Canberra is certainly a consistent performer. While the growth in these larger cities races along, Canberra's property market continues to grow steadily. With both higher than average incomes and quality of life, as well as low unemployment and a strong economy, the ACT's capital offers solid returns for your investment.

1. High auction clearance rates

Auction clearance rates for the third weekend in March remained relatively high, according to Domain, with 83 auctions listed and a clearance rate of 68.5 per cent. The Belconnen area recorded 19 sales and had the highest regional clearance rate over this weekend, at 76 per cent. 

Domain's stats for the first weekend in March indicated that auction numbers were the second highest on record for a March Saturday. We're optimistic that these brilliant results will continue over the coming months. 

2. Increase in residential property values

Growth in residential property prices hasn't been quite as dramatic in Canberra as it has been in Sydney or Melbourne, where growth was over 10 per cent in the 12 months between December 2015 and December 2016, according to ABS stats.

However, though the Australian capital's growth remains modest in comparison to other area, it still remains at a consistent 5.5 per cent. With the exception of Hobart, this beats out all other Australian capitals. Again, Canberra appears the steady, reliable younger brother to its bigger siblings. 

3. Affordable housing 

The ACT government has committed itself to making housing affordable for everyone living in the capital. It has dealt with the demand for housing and brought a hive of economic activity to the city through the Affordable Housing Action Plan that was announced in 2007. This plan made it a requirement that affordable housing be included in a minimum of 20 per cent of new estates and has also dealt with issues affecting homelessness and the supply of social housing in Canberra.

Initiatives such as this give Canberra property seekers of all budgets the security of knowing that they will be able to enter the property market. And it's working, as we have mentioned previously, because Canberra, despite solid growth, remains one of Australia's most affordable capital cities.

4. Strong rental demand and yields

Canberra's rental market is notoriously tough to crack for tenants, though the lower vacancies are good news for investors, showing that demand for rental properties remains high. Of course, the first few months of the year are busier than most, due to the beginning of the university semester and the influx of new students to the city.

"Being a renter in the ACT, it is a good environment to get a reasonable property for a reasonable price. We're not seeing huge increases in the cost of renting so that's good news for those that rent but … we still see a strong reasonable yield for those that are the landlords of those properties," said Residential Development Council executive director Nick Proud, speaking to The Canberra Times on January 16. 

Another sign of consistency is that rental yields remain solid, too, something that has characterised Canberra's rental market for several years.

"The ACT will usually have a reasonable yield based on the strong public service support of the housing sector," said Mr Proud.

"That demand from the public service is quite unique compared to other capitals in Australia so you'll always see that vibrant residential rental market and that in turn will bring those that are landlords into the market to invest."

Talk to the team at Ray White Belconnen to find out how we can help you find your ideal property in a capital city that's showing all the signs of continuing steady and consistent growth. 

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