A Year in Review

Twenty thirteen. A change of government, a bouncy dollar and a consistently low cash rate made for a financially interesting year. Here's a home finance snapshot of the year that was.

Sydney lead in the auction clearance rates race, hovering in the seventies most of the year, with a high of 78% in September. Of the major capitals, Brisbane had the lowest clearance rates, spending most of the year in the low forties.

Housing prices in capital cities grew at their fastest rate in four years, according to the RP Data-Rismark monthly home value index. At 14.5%, Sydney had the biggest leap in property value followed by Perth at 9.9% and Melbourne at 8.5%. Interestingly, the index showed that the majority of 9.6% yearly national growth for home values was in the second half the year at 6.6% (compared to 3 per cent for the first half of the year).

All eyes remained firmly on the cash rate in 2013, starting the year at 3% and closing at a minimally different 2.5%. The dollar started very strongly against the US in 2013, and continued to perform well until it started to drop in May. Over the course of the year it topped out at 1.059 in January and had dropped to a low of 0.89 by August.

In June we ran an online survey to discover more about you. We found that 45% of people would be most likely to buy property with a parent and discovered the most important room for buyers during an inspection is the kitchen. Most Australians wouldn't consider refinancing for a saving of less than $3000.

In November, Sydney’s residential property boom delivered a record month of stamp duty receipts for the NSW government. The Office of State Revenue shared that the NSW government received $356.8 million in stamp duty from residential property for the month - the highest monthly figure since 2005-06 when records began.