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TIP: auction rates wobble, immediate return to boom times unlikely, construction jobs on the skids

Auction clearance rates hit the plateau as recovery reaches its limit

So says CoreLogic, which saw preliminary national auction clearance rates dip back down to 75.7 per cent over the weekend, from last week's 77 per cent prelim figure.

Melbourne is looking strong; it's seen auction rates stay above 70 per cent for two straight months, and a marked improvement on this time last year.

In Sydney, currently the strongest auction market in Australia at the moment, the preliminary figure dropped to 80.3 from last week's 83.1 per cent.

This could be just a blip, or as CoreLogic says, a plateauing from the rapid rise over the past two months. Whatever the case, we know there was a 5.1 per cent jump in mortgage commitments in July, and there is expected to be an increase in new stock hitting the market over the coming weeks.

Speaking of Melbourne, the Victorian government's new underquoting laws come into effect today. These measures require agents to provide buyers with three recent comparable sales based on land size, floor size, construction materials, home design and layout. These laws will make it harder to mislead potential property buyers, in a move supported by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.

Property prices across Sydney and Melbourne have increased by 2 per cent since the May election

Again, so says CoreLogic. We know there's talk at the moment about this signalling a fresh housing price bubble - but according to BIS Oxford Economics, that's unlikely. It says we're not likely to get back to double-digit growth any time soon, particularly given what's going on with apartment defects and cladding issues at the moment.

Their advice to first home buyers? You don't have to rush.

Speaking of apartments, we've seen another story on the slowing of the construction sector on ABC Online today, and how this will be a big factor in any rise in the unemployment rate. It says about 50,000 construction jobs have vanished in the past 12 months, as apartment starts dwindle and new infrastructure projects dawdle.

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