INDUSTRY NEWSNationalReal Estate News

Demand for property still strong despite signs of easing market

The Australian housing market remains strong and demand in Melbourne and Adelaide has hit record highs, despite signs the property market is softening in capital cities.

The latest PropTrack Housing Market Indicators report found in March nationwide views per listing were 24 per cent higher than the same time last year.

Views per listing fell slightly month-on-month to be 2 per cent lower than the high of January 2022.

Melbourne (up 3.2 per cent month-on-month) and Adelaide (up 2.9 per cent month-on-month) had record levels of demand based on views per listing.

Properties continued to sell quickly, with an average of 33 days listed on realestate.com.au. This is one day less than March sales in 2021.

The report found sales volumes tracked at a similar pace to the first 14 weeks of 2021, but remain 39 per cent higher than at the same time in 2020.

Sales volumes have gathered the most pace in WA and the NT (both up 15 per cent), SA (up 7 per cent) and the ACT (up 4 per cent).

But so far in 2022, sales volumes have dropped in NSW (down 8 per cent), Tasmania (down 7 per cent) and Victoria (down 3 per cent).

An increased volume of stock is easing the intense competition that dominated the Sydney market in 2021.

Migration to regional areas since the pandemic is driving a shortage of properties for sale and price growth away from the capitals.

PropTrack senior economist and report author, Eleanor Creagh said the momentum from 2021’s record-breaking run had started to moderate.

“Last month, we observed some tempering from record-level highs across a number of metrics.

“That slowdown has become more evident in March, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne.

“Demand from prospective buyers continues to moderate from the extreme levels witnessed in 2021. Although, it’s worth noting that demand is still high.”

“Sellers are confident in listing their properties and buyers continue to take advantage of the extra choice available to them since last year. Sales volumes remain strong.”

There was an increase in auction volumes as sellers went to market on the Saturday before Easter.

Activity was expected to ease during the Easter break and Anzac Day, while the Federal election on May 21 was another hurdle for the market to navigate.

Ms Creagh said the strong market activity could be fuelled by an urgency to sell before the election and predicted interest rate rises later this year.

“There are headwinds that will continue to slow housing prices from the surge recorded over the past year, given the benefits of lower mortgage rates have already been converted into higher prices,” Ms Creagh said.

The PropTrack monthly report analyses the consumer behaviour of more than 12 million people who visit realestate.com.au each month through indicators including search activity, views per listing, and the number of days for a property to sell.

The report also found:

  • Search volumes in March 2022 across the country fell 8 per cent month-on-month from February and 11 per cent year-on-year from March 2021. On a monthly basis, search volumes fell in every state.
  • Buyers are searching for property at higher prices. Across the capital cities, half of searches in March were for properties listed at over $1 million. A year ago that share was 42.3 per cent.
  • First-home buyer inquiries in March 2022 were 8.8 per cent higher than in March last year but have fallen 36.3 per cent from the peak recorded in September 2021.

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