Geelong home price fall is easing, CoreLogic finds

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Auctioneer Nathan Ashton calling an auction in York St, Geelong. The townhouse sold after the auction. Picture: Glenn Ferguson

THE rate of decline in Geelong home values slowed in April as new research from a leading property data firm pointed to a short correction in the local housing market.

Geelong dwelling values, accounting for both houses and units, fell 0.5 per cent in April to hit a $539,706 median price.

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Eight months of declines has seen Geelong property values slip just 3.7 per cent from the peak last September, nothing like the 10.9 per cent drop experienced in Melbourne over 17 months.

But the rate of annual decline eased in April to just 0.3 per cent.

Auctioneer Ben Riddle had competition from two buyers before selling a McKillop St, East Geelong property last weekend. Picture: Glenn Ferguson

CoreLogic’s head of research Tim Lawless said while prices were still broadly falling, the pave of decline had moderated.

The pace of decline was 1.3 per cent March.

“We are seeing further evidence that the worst of the housing market conditions are now behind us,” he said.

“We’re seeing the most improvement in Sydney and Melbourne and there are some tentative signs credit flows have improved.

“Considering tighter credit conditions were one of the primary catalysts for the housing market downturn, any sign of credit availability is improving would be welcome,” he said.

Other regional cities recorded annual price rises, led by Ballarat (5.9 per cent), Latrobe-Gippsland (4.9 per cent), Shepparton (3.9 per cent) and Bendigo (2 per cent).

Auctioneer Will Ainsworth congratulates the buyers after an auction at McDonald St, East Geelong last month. Picture: Stephen Harman

Mr Lawless said another sign of a small improvement can be seen in auction clearance rates, that are now holding in the low to mid 50 per cent range in Geelong, though with less activity.

He said a mid 50 per cent clearance rate implies a closer fit between buyer and seller price expectations.

New REIV shows a 1.4 per cent quarterly increase in median house prices to $565,000, though the data includes only houses that have sold.

However, the data shows prices declined in key suburbs like Belmont, Geelong West and Newtown.

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