Busiest winter for new listings in five years

Homebuyers who are planning to make their move into the market this spring-selling season will be spoiled with more options as new listings surged over the past month.

PropTrack’s latest report showed a 9.9% monthly growth in new listings on realestate.com.au in August, capping off the busiest winter in five years.

Compared to last year, new listings over the month were 20% higher. However, the big difference was due to the lockdowns in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra in August last year.

There was a 3.9% monthly and 13.7% annual gains in the total number of listings across the country in August.

Monthly changes in residential listings – PropTrack

State

Market

New Listings (%)

Total listings (%)

New South Wales

Sydney

16.1

3.3

Regional NSW

12.7

5.9

Victoria

Melbourne

13.0

3.4

Regional Vic

6.3

4.5

Queensland

Brisbane

7.1

7.3

Regional QLD

6.7

3.2

South Australia

Adelaide

8.1

5.0

Regional SA

7.3

0.9

Western Australia

Perth

7.1

1.5

Regional WA

4.0

1.6

Tasmania

Hobart

17.2

8.6

Regional Tas

-1.3

3.2

Northern Territory

Darwin

8.1

3.1

Regional NT

45.1

1.4

ACT

Canberra

6.2

6.0

National

Capital Cities

11.3

3.9

Regional Areas

7.9

3.8

Overall

9.9

3.9

PropTrack economist Angus Moore said while this notable change in listings presents an opportunity for buyers this spring-selling season, it could also indicate a risk for sellers and investors.

“The wave of new supply coming to market over the first half of the year, coupled with longer sales times, has lifted the stock available on market and helped make conditions a bit less competitive for buyers,” he said.

“However, measures of buyer demand have moderated, it is taking longer to sell homes, and auction clearance rates have fallen.”

Mr Moore said the likelihood of further rate hikes by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) could potentially further impact buyer appetite.

“While market conditions have changed, the fundamental drivers of demand remain strong, with unemployment very low, wages growth expected to pick up over this year, and international migration increasing — with that in mind, we’d expect to see activity pick up over the next few months as we head into the typically seasonally busy spring season,” he said.

Two recent reports from CommBank and Westpac shed insights on the sentiments of potential buyers. The report seemed to indicate that homebuyers are slowly adapting the rate hikes, as buying intentions rose over the past month.

New home sales activity at its weakest

A separate report from the Housing Industry Association (HIA) showed a further decline in new home sales in August.

New home sales declined 1.6% in August, extending the 13.1% fall recorded in July.

According to the report, the new home sales level in July and August was the weakest since the lockdowns in 2021.

Victoria hit the steepest decline in new home sales at 15.2%, followed by Queensland at 1.8%. On the other hand, there were increases seen in South Australia (18.2%), New South Wales (14.2%), and Western Australia (7.5%).

HIA economist Tom Devitt said the weak showing reflects the slowing in the market due to the impact of rate rises.

“This rise in borrowing costs compounds the impact of the rise in the cost of construction,” he said.

“The full impact of recent and future rate increases will continue to flow through as an adverse impact on the sale of new homes in coming months.”

Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.