Aussie property market suddenly full of choice

Why wouldn't you want to live here. No, not in this particular structure, but in Tassie. After all it has treasures like Leeawulenna/Lake St Clair. Picture: Getty Images
Why wouldn’t you want to live here. No, not in this particular structure, but in Tassie. After all it has treasures like Leeawulenna/Lake St Clair. Picture: Getty Images

Australia’s apparent cul-de-sac of a property market looks like it’s having a bit of a winter renaissance, with new data showing a handy surge in auctions and listings, as more homes stay on the market, longer.

With glamour cities like Hobart hitting record listing volumes (the Tassie capital is up 70% on last year) it’s a lot more of a buyers’ game out there, with CoreLogic seeing auction activity on the rise across Australia’s combined capitals.

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And according to PropTrack economist Angus Moore, the total stock of properties listed for is almost up 5% compared to July last year.

“While winter is typically seasonally quieter, (this) is the largest year-on-year increase since 2010,” he said.

The number of properties listed for sale looks healthy. Source: PropTrack
The number of properties listed for sale looks healthy. Source: PropTrack

While Moore reckons that’s in part due to the boom in available stock for sale – and properties taking longer to sell – it’s also partly driven by last year’s capital city lockdowns.

“Sydney recorded its largest year-on-year increase in total stock available on record, with total listings up 30.7% this year compared to the lockdown-affected levels in July 2021.”

The stock of properties listed for sale in Sydney and Canberra is around 5% above the prior decade average, and around 2% below in Melbourne, according to PropTrack.

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“Selling conditions have begun to temper from their very strong levels earlier in the year, while the measurements of buyer demand have declined off their high levels, it is taking longer to sell homes.

“The wave of new supply coming to market over the first half of the year, particularly in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra, has lifted the stock available on market and helped make conditions a bit less competitive for buyers,” Moore added.


More houses, less cost

Aussie home prices are falling now across most cities after the mad pandemic growth topped multi-decade highs in 2021.

With the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raising interest rates like a loon over the course of 2022, borrowing capacity for prospective buyers is being swiftly curtailed, which is in turn putting downward pressure on prices in the near-term.

Auction this:

  • After dropping sharply the previous week, capital cities are expecting a mini-auction boom with 1,646 capital city homes scheduled to go under the hammer, CoreLogic predicts.
  • While auction volumes are up 11.9% compared to the previous week (1,471), this week’s auction numbers are still -14.0% below the recent high recorded two weeks prior (1,913) and -9.7% below the number of auctions held this time last year (1,822).

“Further out, fundamental drivers of demand remain strong, with unemployment low, wages growth expected to pick up over this year, and international migration returning,” Moore says.

“As we look towards the spring selling season, activity in property markets around the country is expected to pick up over the next few months in line with the typical seasonal peak in activity.”

Check it out, Christian’s bullies

  • Melbourne (+10% YoY), Perth (+4.6% YoY), Darwin (+14.4% YoY) and Canberra (+24.8%YoY) also experienced increases in the total number of properties listed for sale in July.
  • Options remain more limited in Brisbane and Adelaide, where total stock is more than a quarter and a third below pre-pandemic levels, respectively.
  • New listings nationally were down 12.2% month-on-month in July, though it was a busier month than the same time last year, with new listings up 6.5% year-on-year.
  • All capital cities saw new listings down in July compared to June, which is typical for the winter period.
  • New listings in regional areas were also quieter in July, down 11.4% month-on-month. Even so, it was busier than is typical for the middle of winter, with new listings up 3.2% year-on-year regionally.

Focus on Hobart

This week we’re also doing a special on everyone’s favourite capital city, Hobart.

The capital of the Apple Island state of Tasmania sits nestled and comfy on the River Derwent, and on the new listings front, Hobart was down around 13.5% for July, as the property market went about its business through the usually quiet winter period.

That said, from fashionable Salamanca Place, and its old sandstone warehouses hosting galleries and cafes to nearby Battery Point, with its historic narrow lanes and colonial-era cottages, conditions are way, way busier than last year.

Actually they’re hot, with new listings up 25.1% year-on-year.

With 1,270m-high kunanyi/Mt Wellington, with sweeping views, plus hiking and cycling trails its backdrop, the stronger-than-typical winter so far has given buyers more to choose from in Hobart than has been the case for much of the past couple of years.

Hobart buzzing like Toronto. Picture: Getty Images
Hobart buzzing like Toronto. Picture: Getty Images

The total stock of properties available for sale in Hobart increased 0.8% month-on-month and was 70% higher than at the same time last year – the largest ever year-on-year increase on record in any city. Boom.

Regional Tassie was up slightly too in the month (2.4% month-on-month), carrying it 5.3% higher year-on-year.

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