As Dwelling Construction Surges Housing Turnover Falls

By pairing annual settled sales data with dwelling counts over time the data shows the proportion of total housing stock turning-over on an annual basis.  Despite a surging population and record high levels of new construction, a lower proportion of housing stock is selling.

Over the 12 months to September 2017, just 5.0% of the national housing stock transacted.  This was the lowest proportion of stock-turnover since April 2012 when it was at an historic low of 4.9% of stock transacted.  Over the nine years of data available, an average of 5.5% of the national housing stock transacts in a given year.

Across the combined capital cities, a record-low 4.7% of housing stock transacted over the past year which was well down on the 5.6% average.  Across the combined regional markets, 5.6% of housing stock transacted which was slightly higher than the 5.5% average.  In both the capital city and regional housing markets stock turn-over is slowing.

2017-10-30--proportionoftotaldwellingstocksoldannually

Of course housing turnover is impacted by supply and demand factors.  From the demand side of things the contributors are the rate of population growth, growth in household incomes, levels of investor demand and accessibility to credit.  From the supply side the factors include the level of new housing construction and how much stock is actually available for sale at any given time.  Other factors include the costs associated with buying and selling properties as well as government policies such as incentives for first home buyers. 

Looking across the states and territories there are some interesting trends

NSW

In Sydney an historic low 4.7% of housing stock transacted over the past year and in regional NSW the figure was 5.9%.  In each region turnover has slowed.

2017-10-30--NSW

Vic

An historic low 4.4% of Melbourne housing stock turned-over throughout the past year compared to 4.9% of regional Vic stock.  Both of the regions are seeing a fall in turnover.

2017-10-30--VIC

Qld 

In Qld stock turnover is well above record lows in Brisbane (5.8%) and regional Qld (5.8%).  Brisbane turnover is only slightly below average (5.9%) while regional Qld turnover is at average levels.

2017-10-30--QLD

SA 

Turnover is fairly steady in SA recorded at 5.7% in Adelaide and 5.8% in regional SA.  In each region turnover is slightly above long-term average levels.

2017-10-30--SA

WA

After a large fall over recent years, turnover has stabilised at a record low in Perth (3.6%) and has increased slightly from record lows in regional WA (4.2%).

2017-10-30--WA

Tas

In Hobart, 5.9% of housing stock sold last year compared to a long-term average of 5.4% annually and in regional Tas 6.1% of stock sold compared to a long-term average of 5.3%.

2017-10-30--TAS

NT

4.2% of housing stock transacted over the past year in Darwin and 4.7% of stock in regional NT.  There has been a significant fall in turnover across the state as dwelling values have fallen.

2017-10-30--NT

Canberra 

Over the past year, 4.8% of housing stock sold which is an historic low level.

2017-10-30--ACT

The figures are stark given just how little of the Australian housing market actually sells in any given year.  A big driver of the low level of turnover over the past year has been relatively low levels of stock for sale, particularly in our largest capital cities and the high costs associated with stamp duty when buying a property.  The impost of stamp duty discourages turnover as we have recently seen with the removal of stamp duty for first time buyers under certain price thresholds in NSW and Vic.  Once removed there has been a surge in housing finance commitments by first home buyers.  The final consideration for the low turnover is the high cost of housing in Australia, because the cost is high it is a significant consideration for households as to whether or not to purchase a property.