Financial writer and ABC News commentator Alan Kohler says there’s “a decent chance” that the housing market has bottomed already. “If not already, then soon,” he says.

Writing in The Australian, Kohler says: “That’s because auction clearance rates have been rising strongly for a few weeks and housing finance bounced in February. With affordability having improved, first-home buyers are back. And supply is tightening as well.”

Referring to prices in Sydney and Melbourne, Kohler says the depth of the cycle is “about normal so far” and says a turnaround about now would also be normal.

Kohler there may be reasons for thinking this is not a normal cycle, namely the level of household debt. “But even that won’t, on its own, lead to a price crash unless a recession reduces incomes and forces fire-selling,” he says.

Kohler says “the managed decline in house prices over the past couple of years” will be seen as a triumph for APRA and its regulation of major lenders.