The volume of housing stock listed for sale is currently higher, for this time of year, than it has been in many years. While total stock is elevated, newly listed stock remains at fairly similar levels to recent years which suggests that it isn’t a dumping of stock onto the market which is leading to a lift in total listings, rather the fact there are fewer buyers and sales are taking longer to achieve.
At a national level, the rolling 28 day count of unique new listings shows an increase of 0.8% compared to a year ago with 51,246 new listings. By comparison, the 245,692 unique properties listed for sale over the past four weeks is 5.1% higher than a year ago. Although new listings are higher than they were a year ago they are at fairly similar levels to recent years while total listings are higher than they were over each of the past two years.
While national data is interesting, the individual capital cities are where the different market dynamics become much clearer.
Over the past four weeks, Sydney has had 7,743 unique new property listings and 31,859 unique total listings. New listings are actually -9.3% lower than they were a year ago and lower than they’ve been at this time any year from 2011. While new listings are at very low levels suggesting potential new vendors are reluctant to sell currently, total listings are higher than they were any year since 2011. This indicates that although fewer new listings are hitting the market, the stock that is currently listed is taking much longer to sell and overall listings are mounting as a result.
In Melbourne the number of newly listed properties sits at 9,714 which is -5.6% lower than it was a year ago. Like Sydney, Melbourne new listings are not substantially different to what has been recorded over recent years. The big difference for Melbourne is that the 38,730 total listings is 19.3% higher than a year ago and haven’t been as high since 2012. Fewer new listings highlights vendor caution about listing properties while total listings highlights the difficulty in achieving sales currently.
There were 4,939 new property listings over the past four weeks and 22,528 total listings across Brisbane. New listings are 1.3% higher than they were a year ago but are lower than they were in 2014 and 2016. By comparison, total listings are 6.3% higher than they were a year ago and haven’t been as high as they are currently since 2012 (although they were much higher at that time). Again, there hasn’t been a surge in new listings but the slower rate of sale is leading to total listings continuing to mount.
The number of newly listed properties in Adelaide is climbing quite rapidly and at 2,628 is at its highest level since early 2011 and is 4.2% higher than a year ago. Total listings are marginally higher than a year ago (0.9%) with 9,140 properties for sale. Although total listings are only marginally higher than last year, they haven’t been as high as they are currently since 2013. The trend in new listings will be important to watch over the coming weeks with new listings increasing rapidly and total listings mounting it could highlight a further weakening of overall housing conditions.
In Perth, over the past 28 days there were 4,491 new properties advertised for sale and 22,056 total properties listed for sale. New listings are 3.6% higher than they were a year ago but at fairly similar levels to recent years. Total listings are currently 4.2% higher than they were a year ago and are now higher than they were any year since 2011 except for 2016. Total listings are climbing off-the-back of increasing days on market and values declining across the city.
New listings in Hobart are trending higher and now sit 11.4% higher than they were a year ago as well as being higher than they were in 2015 and 2016. For the first time in a number of years the volume of properties listed for sale is increasing. Total listings are now 6.5% higher than they were a year ago however, as the above chart shows, compared to recent years, very few properties remain available for sale which continues to create upwards pressure on dwelling values.
Over the past 28 days there were 206 newly listed properties for sale in Darwin and 1,486 total property listings. New listings were 38.3% higher than they were a year ago as well as being much higher than in 2016 however, they are lower than most other recent years. Total listings remain reasonably elevated however, they are -4.7% lower than last year as well as being lower than at the same time in 2015 and 2016.
There were 968 newly advertised properties for sale in Canberra over the past 28 days and 2,667 total properties listed for sale. Compared to a year ago, new listings are up 3.4% and they are the highest they’ve been at this this time of year, any year since 2011. The volume of total properties for sale has also continued to mount, up 8.2% on a year ago and the only year since 2011 in which total listings were higher than they are currently at this time of year was 2013.
Overall as the housing market weakens and properties take longer to sell, the total volume of stock listed for sale is increasing. Encouragingly in terms of mortgage stress and potential arrears we are not seeing a significant dumping of new stock onto the market. If anything, in Sydney and Melbourne vendors are realising that it is an inopportune time to sell and fewer vendors are now listing. Of course, this is not to say things can’t change and it is expected that total listings will continue to climb and selling homes will take longer.
The market typically sees a reset in the New Year with many properties removed for sale around Christmas time. It will be interesting to watch what happens in terms of new and total listing volumes and the impact that may have on an already weak housing market.