Melbourne is acting like two cities for property, with flat prices and discounting for $1M + houses, and while apartments/units below $1M , and especially below the “first home owner discount line” of $750K, competition is hot.

Domain has reported that auction clearance rates have drastically fallen across scores of Melbourne suburbs, a sign the city’s formerly feverish property market is cooling.

In some suburbs such as Balwyn, Berwick, Chadstone, Mont Albert, and Springvale, zones where Strategic Buyers Agents is active, more than half of all properties failed to sell under the hammer.

For dozens of other suburbs, the clearance rate hovered just above 50 per cent. Meanwhile, the citywide weekly clearance rates have fluctuated between 64 and 70 per cent so far this year. Experts say the housing market is becoming more balanced after years of frenzied auction activity that favoured sellers.

The tightening in investor lending, although now reversing, plus state and federal government crackdowns on overseas buyers had contributed to more properties passing in.

Domain reported that in the first three months of the year, Camberwell recorded a clearance rate of 54.7 per cent, falling from 79.4 per cent during the same period last year. In Dingley Village in the city’s south east, the clearance rate fell from 95.5 per cent last year to just 50 per cent this year.

However, they also say auctioneers and property experts have reported entry-level, affordable properties were still attracting strong competition from first-home buyers. This reflects our experience at the coal-face. For properties below $1M, competition is still strong, and below $750K , where there are stamp duty concession for First Home Buyers, competition is fierce and emotional buyers are often over-paying.

Million-dollar plus properties are a buyer’s opportunity, and we would encourage wannabe investors in this price bracket that 2018 is their time to buy.