Here is your property investment news summary for W/C 9 April 2018.
Home values steady but auctions lift
Australia's five major capital cities have recorded no weekly change in their combined home values, despite an improvement in the auction clearance rate.
However, CoreLogic data shows home values for the capital cities were down 1.1 per cent in the year to date and up only slightly compared to a year ago.
As for auctions, the number of homes that went under the hammer in the week ending April 15 were 1,890, similar to a year ago, while the clearance rate improved by 1.7 per cent to 64.5 per cent.
Home loan approvals down 0.2% in Feb
The number of home loan approvals for owner occupiers fell 0.2 per cent in February, beating market expectations of a 0.4 per cent fall.
The value of total housing finance was up one per cent at $33.524 billion for the month, seasonally adjusted data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows.
The value of new home loan approvals for owner-occupiers was up 1.3 per cent, while the value of investor loans was up 0.5 per cent.
Higher power prices help smart solar tech
Rising power prices are considered one of Australia's biggest challenges but they aren't always bad news - particularly if you're a solar energy company.
The Smart Energy Council - which encourages people to install solar panels and battery storage in their homes along with smart computers to run them - says skyrocketing costs have encouraged more and more people to adopt greener technology.
"It's all about economics," chief executive John Grimes told AAP at the council's annual expo in Sydney on Tuesday.
"For the first time, you're like the rat that can get out of the maze. You can set up your own system and you don't need to worry about that anymore."
Mr Grimes said about 100,000 properties across the country have installed smart systems since 2010 - about 35,000 of those coming in 2017 alone.
Redback Technologies - which offers combined solar, battery and intelligent computer systems - says sales reflect increased enthusiasm for the technology.
"The uptake is increasing month by month," the company's sales director Tim Latimer told AAP.
"Energy prices are the number one concern for most people that are looking into getting into solar and having battery storage on the house - that and disenfranchisement with the network."
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