Figures released today by SQM Research reveal national residential listings increased 4.4% to 351,509 over the month of March 2017.
The data reveals Sydney and Melbourne posted the biggest monthly rises in listings, up 11.0% and 9.1%, respectively, as vendors seek to take advantage of big price gains in those two cities.
- Total online national residential listings rose to 351,509 in March 2017, up 4.4% from February, and down just 0.1% over the year.
- Sydney recorded the largest monthly rise in stock levels, up 11.0% to 28,336 to be up 11.7% from a year earlier.
- Melbourne recorded a big monthly rise in stock levels of 9.1% to 35,897, down 1.0% over the year.
- Listing rose in Darwin in March 2017 by 4.1% to 2,105, to be up 1.3% over the year.
- In Hobart, listings rose 2.9% to 3,472 in March, to be down 9.6% over the year.
- In Perth, listings also rise by 4.9% over the month, to be up 12.6% over the year.
In all other cities, listings rose over the month.
In Brisbane, listings were up a healthy 6%, and in Perth they rose 4.9%, followed by Canberra, where stock levels rose 4.8%.
Over the year, listings were up in most capital cities, led by gains of 12.6% in Perth, followed by Canberra and Sydney, where stock levels were up by almost 12% from a year earlier.
The big rise in listings in Sydney and Melbourne reflects the fact that many property owners are attempting to cash in on rapid price growth in recent times.
House asking prices are still rising quickly in the nation’s two biggest cities.
Despite new measures by Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to restrict interest-only mortgage lending, these measures are weak in the face of the strong price momentum in Sydney and Melbourne, fed by low interest rates and robust population growth..
APRA has asked banks to limit interest-only mortgage lending to 30% of all home loans written.
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As part of this, the regulator has demanded banks strictly limit the volume of interest-only lending at loan-to-value ratios (LVRs) above 80% and also ensure there is strong scrutiny and justification of any instances of interest-only lending at LVRs above 90%.
However, these measures are weak and are not going to be enough to slow down the Sydney and Melbourne housing booms, where both owner occupiers and investors are feeding demand.
SQM Research data for house asking prices over the three months to April 4 shows that asking house prices grew the most in Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart, with prices up 7.2%, 6.8% and 6.4% respectively.
In Sydney, asking house prices rose 4.5%.
That compares to a 2% rise in Adelaide, 1.1% rise in Brisbane and a fall of 2.4% in Darwin and 2.2% in Perth.
SQM Research is predicting Sydney prices will rise between 11% and 16% in 2017, while Melbourne gains will be between 10% to 15%.
While those forecasts were made in November 2016, they had taken into account a potential tightening by APRA.
APRA's move is not aggressive enough for SQM to revise its predictions.
We still expect strong price growth.