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Bumper settlement volumes recorded in December

Property sale settlements hit a two-year high across the country in December 2020 and surged in Victoria, driven by the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, according to PEXA.

Figures from Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) have shown that a total of 79,187 settlements took place nationally in December last year, including 1,711 settlements on Christmas Eve.

According to the online property settlement platform’s senior research manager, Mike Gill, there was a 22 per cent increase in settlements nationally in December, compared with December 2019.

Mr Gill added that December is often a busy month for property settlements in Australia, with the Friday before Christmas historically the busiest day on the property sector calendar.

“We saw property settlement numbers begin to recover following the easing of restrictions nationally in the second half of the year,” he said.

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“However, the rebound in Victoria was delayed due to the second lockdown.”

There was a 43 per cent month-on-month increase in property sale settlements in Victoria for the month of December, and the state recorded the second-highest number of property sale settlements in December 2020 with nearly 21,000.

NSW generated the highest number of settlements during this period with more than 24,500, while Queensland recorded just under 20,000.

Settlements rose substantially in Western Australia and South Australia in December 2020 compared with December 2019. However, the numbers remained consistent throughout 2020, with both states seeing moderate increases across the second half of the year.

There were over 8,500 sale settlements in Western Australia in December 2020, which is a 58 per cent increase from December 2019, while South Australia saw almost 5,500 settlements, a 22 per cent increase on December 2019.

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The release of the figures by PEXA followed those released by Australian Finance Group (AFG), which revealed that its brokers lodged $19.9 billion of mortgages across the Q2FY21, exceeding the record set in the prior quarter.

AFG brokers wrote 36,583 home loans in the three months to December 2020, which the aggregator said was a record number.

Meanwhile, the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Lending Indicators data for November 2020 revealed that mortgage commitments for owner-occupiers spiked in Victoria, up 19.6 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms, amid a surge in housing market activity as COVID-19 restrictions were eased after months of lockdown.

[Related: Melbourne boosts quarterly auction volumes]

Bumper settlement volumes recorded in December
Bumper settlement volumes recorded in December
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.

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