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Sydney listings hit slowest pace since 2004

Sydney

SYDNEY houses are hitting the market at the slowest pace since 2004 and Melbourne is also seeing a dramatic slide in sellers, adding to concerns that Australia's housing slump will sap economic growth and force the central bank to cut interest rates.

New advertisements for Sydney homes dropped 21.5 per cent in the three months to April from a year earlier on the Domain real-estate website, according to a report on the site.

Melbourne listings tumbled 23.3 per cent and the number of new homes for sale there is at the lowest in almost a decade, Domain data showed.

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Domain data show the overall stock of houses listed in Australia's two largest cities has risen over the past year as the time taken to sell homes increases.

While the RBA held borrowing costs this month, some of the country's largest banks have been reducing the rates charged for a variety of mortgages.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group lowered some of its fixed-rate mortgage levels, cutting the three-year by 30 basis points and the five-year by 20 basis points for principal and interest loans.

The two-year rate on interest-only credits was reduced by 20 basis points.

The Australian Financial Review reported that Macquarie Group reduced rates on fixed- and variable-rate mortgages. Macquarie confirmed the rate changes in a statement. BLOOMBERG