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New residential property listings are ramping-up quickly in 2016

Posted on 8 March 2016

Source: CoreLogic RP Data

Across the country there were 47,483 unique new property listing over the 28 days ended 7 February 2016.  The number of new property listings is 11.0% higher than at the same time last year.  If we look back over recent years it is the highest number of new property listings at this time of year since 2010.  If we look at the combined capital cities we have also seen a large ramp-up in new listings with 27,430 new listings which is 5.4% higher than at the same time last year.  Again it is the highest number of new property listings over the corresponding period since 2010.  If history is any guide new listings are likely to continue to rise until the middle of March.

The most recent data also indicates that total listings are actually starting to decline.  Across the country there are 239,398 total unique property listings which is -1.6% lower over the week but 0.2% higher relative to the same period in 2015.  For the combined capital cities there are 99,137 total unique property listings which is 2.6% higher year-on-year.  Much like new listings, total listings typically continue to rise up until the middle of March each year.  Given this it will be interesting to see if the fall in total listings over the most recent week will be short lived or whether there are some different factors at play.

Individual capital city listings numbers, 28 days to 07/02/2016

Capital City No of new listings 12 mth change (%) No of total listings 12 mth change (%)
Sydney 6,352 -4.8% 19,292 11.1%
Melbourne 7,943 9.4% 26,797 -3.2%
Brisbane 4,680 7.0% 17,998 -3.2%
Adelaide 2,308 13.6% 7,862 -0.8%
Perth 4,806 10.7% 20,954 12.3%
Hobart 448 9.0% 2,582 -11.0%
Darwin 212 -15.2% 1,536 11.5%
Canberra 677 0.9% 2,109 -2.1%
Combined capitals 27,430 5.4% 99,137 2.6%

 

If we look at the number of listings across the individual capital cities there are some rather interesting differences across the cities.  While new listing overall are higher than a year ago they are lower in Sydney and Darwin.  In fact new listings in both Sydney and Darwin are at their lowest level for this time of year since 2012.  Elsewhere new listings in Melbourne and Brisbane are at their highest level on record (since 2007) for this time of year.  In Adelaide and Perth new listings are at their highest levels for this time of year since 2010 and in Hobart and Canberra they are at their highest levels at this time of year since 2014.  Whether the surge in new listings in most capital cities is in response to a belief that housing demand is improving or trying to beat a potential slowdown remains to be seen.  The rise in Perth new listings in particular is counterintuitive considering it has been the weakest capital city housing market over the past twelve months and you would expect given those conditions fewer people would be looking to sell.

 

Turning to total listings, although they are 2.6% higher year-on-year across the combined capital cities, Sydney, Perth and Darwin are the only cities in which total listings are higher than a year ago.  This seems more in-line with market conditions with concerns the Sydney market is slowing and values falling in Perth and Darwin it appears that total listings reflect the slowdown in sales activity in these markets.  If we look at the other capital cities relative to the same time of year previously, Melbourne listings are at their lowest level since 2011, Brisbane its lowest since 2008, Adelaide and Hobart listings are at their lowest levels since 2010 and Canberra listings are at their lowest level since 2014.  The relatively low level of stock across these cities has the potential to spark competition for the available stock and lead to increasing values.  Of course this would only occur if buyer demand is also rising and it is a little too early in the year to tell if that is occurring.

The listings data and Listings Index will be interesting to track over the coming weeks.  The capital city housing markets were showing softer value growth conditions over the second half of 2015 however, early indicators for 2016 have showed a bit of a rebound in the CoreLogic Home Value Index and improved auction clearance rates.  It is important to note that the indicators early in the year are based on a thinner number of sales so it will be important to track the trends as they are updated week to week.  What we do know is that the amount of properties listed for sale both in terms of new listings and total listings is high and it will be interesting to see how well these properties are absorbed by the market over the coming weeks and months.  Particularly as auction volumes and buyer activity typically starts to pick-up between now and Easter.

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