So much is written about housing prices these days that it makes my head spin.
And it’s so easy to get distracted by the distortion.
After 30 years of doing this stuff I can tell you that it is somewhat easy to understand what is happening when it comes to housing prices.
Whilst housing prices are influenced by many variables – including interest rates; liquidity; employment; wages; confidence and government policy etc. – what matters the most is simply the interplay between demand and supply.
Here I am talking about sale volumes versus the number of housing listed for sale.
It really shouldn't be any more complicated than that.
This missive I have included three tables.
1. The first table outlines sale volumes over the last two years. You can see that sale volumes are falling.
2. The second table shows that listings are rising.
3. And the third table shows that supply in months (for most locations) has increased.
Housing listed for sale
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|Capital city||Listed for sale|
Supply in months
|Capital city||Supply in months|
All I do here is count the amount of stock currently for sale compared against the number of sales made over the last twelve months.
I express this as the ‘supply in months’.
In short, an area with, say, 100 properties listed for sale, but only achieving 20 sales per annum, is in a slump.
If we exchange the numbers, then it’s thriving.
As one would expect, when supply is tight (and tightening), dwelling prices lift.
The rate of price escalation can be rapid if sales are increasing whilst stock for sale is in decline.
The opposite applies, almost always, when supply is high (and rising) in relation to demand.
More so when demand (sale volumes) are declining.
This helps explain why housing values, on average, across most capitals are now showing less growth; are actually falling in some locations and still rising in others.