Property rebound surges in Australia on low rates, easy credit

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Australia's housing market recovery surged ahead in October, led by further hefty gains in the nation's two biggest cities.

Housing values in the combined capital cities jumped 1.4% last month, CoreLogic Inc. data released Friday showed. Nationwide, prices increased 1.2%, the biggest gain since May 2015.

The rapid turnaround in fortunes has taken another step up. Prices in Melbourne surged 2.3%, the biggest monthly gain in almost 10 years. Since bottoming in May, home values in Australia's second-biggest city have climbed 6%.

Sydney isn't far behind. Home values in the harbor city jumped 1.7% last month, and have rebounded 5.3% since their May low. Perennial laggard Perth was the only major city to see prices fall last month.

Three interest rate cuts that have taken mortgage rates to a record low, and easier access to credit, have helped fuel the swift upswing in prices, stoking concern the nation is heading into another debt-fueled property binge.

FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is adding fuel to the fire. The number of houses for sale is down 11% versus a year ago, and tracking at the lowest level since 2010.

"Such a small pool of available stock against rising buyer demand is creating some competitive pressure amongst buyers, which is adding to urgency in the market and supporting upward pressure on values," said CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless.

Bloomberg News