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Sydney Homes for Sale Plunge to 3-Year Low as Demand Recovers

Sydney home sale listings plunged 13 percent in January from a year earlier to the lowest level in three years as interest rate cuts spur property purchases, according to SQM Research Pty.

Homes offered for sale online dropped to 23,467 in Sydney, the lowest level of January listings since 2010, the research group said in an e-mailed statement. Across Australia, property listings declined 2.9 percent from a year earlier to 335,429, the Sydney-based company said.

“There are a number of signals now that the market is gaining some traction,” SQM Managing Director Louis Christopher said in the statement. “The interest rate cuts are now working and that a housing recovery is now occurring.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia, which has lowered its benchmark rate by 1.75 percentage points since Nov. 1, 2011, will keep the rate at 3 percent tomorrow, 24 out of 28 economists in a Bloomberg News survey forecast. Home prices across Australia’s eight state and territory capitals rose 1.8 percent in January from a year earlier, the RP Data-Rismark home value index showed last week.

Prices in Sydney jumped 3.4 percent in January from a year earlier to a median of A$576,500 ($600,944) as homes sell faster and with less discounting, Brisbane-based RP Data said. Sales of newly built homes rose 6.2 percent in December in their third monthly gain, a Jan. 31 private report showed.

Darwin had the biggest decline in listings in January, dropping by 15 percent from a year earlier, and Melbourne had the biggest increase, rising 1.8 percent, SQM said.

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