Property listings back in line with expectations

Property listings back in line with expectations

The Australian property market has seen some pretty turbulent times lately, but many indicators now suggest it could finally be turning a corner.

After all, it was announced on November 4 that the official cash rate would stay at its all-time low of 2.5 per cent for a while longer, which should mean mortgage interest rates are kept down as well.

This isn't the only piece of good news for borrowers this week, as SQM Research revealed that property stock listings had increased across each of the country's capitals.

Why do stock levels matter?

You might be asking yourself why levels of property stock are so important to the market. Well, they often point to strength, as more listings generally mean there is greater activity among sellers.

There does, of course, have to be sufficient demand from buyers to make sure the market doesn't become stagnant. However, as more real estate becomes available, there's every chance people will be willing to snap it up.

If a situation arises where few properties are going up for sale, it's likely buyers will turn their attention elsewhere, making it difficult for an area to get back on track.

Which capitals have the most listings?

As you would expect, some capitals performed better than others in October. SQM Research found Darwin had the greatest yearly change in listings, up 31.9 per cent over the past 12 months.

This was closely followed by Perth, where an 18.9 per cent increase was registered.

Although these figures might seem impressive, the sudden surge in listings could point to a downturn in these key markets - something investors will need to factor into their decision.

Greater stability has been witnessed in other parts of the country, with Sydney seeing its listings increase 4.6 per cent on a yearly basis and by 21.9 per cent month-on-month.

If Melbourne investment property has caught your eye, you can expect to see 2.6 per cent more listings in the Victorian capital than in September.

There's also plenty of potential for buying real estate in Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra, where stock levels have risen 13.8 per cent, 9.7 per cent and 13.6 per cent, respectively. Hobart ended the month with an increase of 5.6 per cent.

Where are stock levels heading?

These latest results may seem impressive, but they come after disappointing figures emerged in September. SQM Research described the data as "abnormal", particularly as the start of spring often marks the start of a surge in listings.

Nationally, listings were down 2.4 per cent month-on-month and 1.1 per cent for the 12 months to September. Sydney witnessed the greatest decline in monthly listings at 10.2 per cent.

Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research, didn't seem too concerned that this could mark the start of a wider trend.

He commented: "The falls recorded in September are abnormal as listings normally rise at the start of spring. It implies the market remains strong, particularly on the East Coast of Australia with buyers swooping on stock, often before the properties are formally listed for sale."

In response to the October results, Mr Christopher said it would be interesting to see what the coming months have in store before drawing any wider conclusions.

One of the greatest challenges facing the property market at the moment is supply being able to keep up with demand - so pressure is mounting on the construction industry to keep pace.

The latest HIA-RP Data Residential Land Report suggested more real estate is being developed, but it'll be essential to make sure this level of activity is maintained. During the June quarter, residential land sales increased 8.4 per cent across the six states.

Image credit: cobrasoft

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