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Australia’s housing market showing signs of recovery

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MELBOURNE Australia's housing market has shown further signs of recovery, with the real estate industry experiencing improved auction demand at weekend auctions, although the number of properties listed for sale remains low.

Preliminary data released by property consultant firm CoreLogic showed an average clearance rate of 71.21 per cent for the 1,115 properties listed for auction in state capital cities during the last week of July.

Those numbers are slightly up from last week's figures and well above a clearance rate closer to 50 per cent from 12 months ago.

Clearance rates show the percentage of properties sold at auctions and are an indicator of the health of the property market.

Melbourne, Australia's second most populous city, recorded the largest number of properties listed for auction, with 546 of them recording a clearance rate of 74.02 per cent.

In the biggest city of Sydney, preliminary clearance rates reached 78.48 per cent for the 391 properties auctioned.

Estate agent Charles Bailey said: "In the inner west, the market has definitely bottomed out, and I do sense a confidence coming back from buyers. But the biggest concern now is our stock levels are still very low."

Ms Angie Zigomanis, head of BIS Oxford Economics' Australian Residential Research Unit, said while the improved clearance rates were a positive sign, the low number of total auctions should be noted.

"We are still talking about lower activity that is taking place overall so that doesn't necessarily mean there is a huge number of extra buyers out there," she said. - REUTERS