Property Listings Rise As Asking Prices Remain Flat – Louis Christopher

The number of properties for sale around Australian rose slightly during March, with national stock on market coming to a total of 352,369 – a monthly increase of 1.8%.

Key Points:

  • Total online residential listings increased during the month of March, recording a rise of 1.8% and coming to a total of 352,369.
  • This figure represents a decrease of -5.2% when compared to the corresponding period of the previous year (March 2013).
  • Sydney recorded the highest monthly rise in listings of all capital cities, increasing by 6.8% during March 2014 and coming to a total of 24,249.
  • Canberra was the only capital city to record a monthly decrease in stock levels, falling by 2.7% during March 2014 and coming to a total of 3,439.
  • Darwin was the capital city to record the highest yearly increase in stock levels, climbing 12.8% since the corresponding period of the previous year (March 2013).
  • Sydney has once again recorded the most substantial yearly decrease in stock levels, falling by -17.0% since the corresponding period of the previous year (March 2013).

More details:

As you can see from the chart below all capital cities except for Canberra experienced monthly increases, with the Melbourne, Perth and Sydney property markets recording the most substantial rises – 5.0%, 5.2% and 6.8% respectively.

That being said, year-on-year the nation’s stock is down by -5.2%, with Sydney still recording significant falls: -17.0% since March 2013. Contrastingly, Darwin’s stock levels have soared since this time last year, revealing a 12.8% yearly increase in sales listings.

Stock on market levels tend to have a strong seasonal influence month on month, hence why SQM Research focuses on the year on year change. In April SQM Research does expect a fall in listings due to the Easter holiday period.

There are no new trends that have come out of the data this month other than we note that Melbourne still has an elevated amount of listings in the market and so this has made us sceptical of recently reported large increases in dwelling prices for that city. There is also further evidence that Melbourne vendors, overall have struggled to lift their asking prices.

Asking Prices Flat for the March Quarter

SQM Research’s asking prices were updated on Tuesday, covering the last week of vendor activity and this now completes the first quarter of the new year.

The index for the quarter recorded asking prices for houses falling 1.6% for the capital city average, while unit asking prices were flat for the quarter.

wvsSo, it was a relatively weak result for the quarter with vendors struggling to lift their asking prices.

Surprisingly, weakness was recorded in Sydney with asking prices for houses falling by 1.6% for the quarter and Units rising by just 0.2%.

Adelaide recorded the strongest result for the quarter, with asking prices for houses rising by 0.9% and units rising by 3.5%.

This is different to what others are reporting

This is all in contrast to the very bullish findings from the RP Data daily index, which among other things, reported a very sharp rise in Melbourne dwelling prices of 5% for the Quarter and now has Sydney up over 15% for the year.

“While that index may be meeting our forecasts this year of 15-20% rises for Sydney, SQM Research continues to remain dubious of it and strongly recommends for you to follow the ABS and APM versions of house price sold data, which will be reporting early next month based on a lot more sold data for the quarter gone by.



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Louis is recognised as one of Australia’s most respected and impartial research property analyst. He has extensive knowledge and experience of property and is regularly quoted in the media on his insights and is director of SQM Research.

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