Online ads turn the tide in July
The REA Group’s PropTrack Listings report for July 2022 showed that compared to the same period last year, the total supply of properties for sale increased by 4.9%, representing the largest increase in year after year since 2010.
The data company, however, acknowledged that the low number of listings from 2021 was likely due to lockdowns which impacted major markets in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as other parts of the country.
The drastic increases in some Australian locations certainly reflect this reality. Sydney recorded its largest year-on-year increase in total stock on hand, up 30.7% this year from levels affected by the lockdown in July 2021. Hobart, which has struggled due from the lack of free travel across the country, also recorded a record increase over last year, with total stock 70% higher in July 2022 than it was in July 2021.
This year alone, online listings also bucked the usual trends. The total supply of properties available for sale increased, up 0.6% month-on-month in July. This may be a slight increase, but given that the month typically swings downward due to a regular seasonal lull, the slight uptick was somewhat surprising.
Angus Moore, economist at PropTrack and author of the report, called this year’s growth an “unusually busy winter period.”
He noted that this is one of the many small ways the market moves in favor of buyers.
“The flurry of new offerings hitting the market in the first half of the year, particularly in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, has increased the stock available on the market and has helped to make conditions a little less competitive,” commented Mr. Moore.
“Sales conditions have started to moderate from their very high levels at the start of the year. Measures of buyer demand have fallen from their high levels, homes are taking longer to sell and auction clearance rates have fallen.
While noting that rising interest rates were working against those looking to participate in the market, he said the industry should expect the number of buyers to remain somewhat stable.
“Furthermore, fundamental demand drivers remain strong, with low unemployment, wage growth expected to accelerate this year and a return of international migration. As we look to the spring selling season, activity in real estate markets across the country is expected to pick up over the next few months, consistent with the typical seasonal spike in activity,” he said.