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Lockdowns lead to lower seller confidence but buyers remain keen for more

The latest REA Insights Listings Report highlighted cities in lockdown in July saw sharp declines in listings.

Sydney (27.3 per cent), Melbourne (14.2 per cent) and Adelaide (26.9 per cent) copped the brunt of this decline.

New listings fell 10.4 per cent nationally in July. Brisbane, Perth and Darwin saw listing volumes decline month-on-month as well, falling 6.6 per cent, 3.5 per cent and 20.5 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, Canberra was not in lockdown last month and saw new listings jump 23.3 per cent.

REA Director of Economic Research Cameron Kusher suggested homeowners opted to delay listing their properties for sale amid ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns. However, buyer demand remains high with search activity on realestate.com.au up 19 per cent year-on-year last week. 

“This lopsided market dynamic is creating an opportunity for vendors who choose to sell to be able to do so both quickly and at top-end prices. While this is good news for sellers, unfortunately for buyers, there is limited choice and fierce competition,” Mr Kusher said.  

Mr Kusher explained REA had anticipated the latest wave of lockdowns having an immediate impact on vendor confidence, but he also expects things to improve once restrictions are loosened.

new listings
Source: REA

“What we saw in Melbourne last year, was once restrictions lifted, new listings rebounded rapidly, rising to be 46.2 per cent higher in October 2020 than they were pre-lockdown,” he said.

“The fact that one-on-one real estate inspections can still occur in New South Wales seems to be making a meaningful difference.

While Sydney new listings were down in July, if we compare the drop to Melbourne in August 2020, where new listings declined 75.3 per cent over the month, we can see that the Sydney market is still moving albeit at a slower pace.” 

Nationally, total listings are now 23.7 per cent lower year-on-year, having recorded their largest year-on-year drop since 2016. 

“Properties for sale that were sitting on the market for an extended period of time are now being bought as new supply fails to meet market demand and buyers start to reconsider properties they perhaps once passed over,” Mr Kusher said

“This trend is especially true in regional markets where there are now fewer properties for sale than in capital cities and supply is at historic low levels.

“Demand for properties remains near record-high levels, underpinned by low interest rates and healthy bank liquidity, and continues to dramatically outstrip the supply of stock available for sale.

“Based on the market behaviour following previous lockdowns, we would expect once current lockdowns end, there should be a fairly rapid rebound in the volume of new listings coming to market, seeking to cater to this strong demand.”

New listings trends capital cities vs state
Source: CoreLogic via REA

Change in new listings

Sydney

Total metro listings in July were the lowest they had been since January.

The suburb that saw the biggest increase in new listings was Freshwater at 63 per cent year-on-year (YoY). Wamberal, The Entrance, Sans Souci and Cronulla also saw significant increases.

Thirlmere saw the largest decrease in new listings, falling by 68 per cent. Following closely behind was West Ryde and Northmead, both falling 64 per cent.

Melbourne

Melbourne’s July lockdowns had an adverse effect on new listings in both retro and regional markets.

New listings fell by 14.2 per cent in the city and 12.6 in regional Victoria.

However, some suburbs saw significant increases year-on-year. Glenroy saw a 137 per cent rise, while Roxburg Park rose by 123 per cent and Broadmeadows by 118 pre cent.

The biggest declines in Melbourne suburbs could be seen in Mount Martha (67 per cent) and Wollert (59 per cent).

Keilor East, West Melbourne and Thornhill Park each fell by 52 per cent.

Brisbane

Brisbane saw a 6.6 per cent decline in new listings last month, but regional Queensland only fell by 0.5 per cent.

REA reported vendor confidence fell in Moreton Bay in particular, which created an opportunity for selling within the region.

Petrie saw a YoY increase of 127 per cent. Bellbird Park, Redbank Plains and Calamvale also saw significant increases. The inner-city suburb of Fortitude Valley also saw a 95 per cent increase.

The suburbs with the biggest decreases were Oxley and Tarragindi, both falling 54 per cent.

Notably, Fortitude Valley’s neighbouring suburb New Farm fell by 49 per cent.

Adelaide

The July lockdown saw new metro listings fall 26.9 per cent over the month, while regional South Australia saw a drop of 14.4 per cent.

REA noted it was a good time to go to market for sellers, with total listings across Adelaide and regional South Australia reaching historic lows.

Munno Para West rose 80 per cent in July, a significant jump from the next highest increase in Klemzig at 30 per cent.

Ingle Farm saw the largest decline, falling 57 per cent.

Perth

Sellers in Perth’s South West were encouraged to jump on the market, as it recorded its largest decline in new listings, down 8.9 per cent YoY.

Meanwhile, Aubin Grove fell 80 per cent and Beeliar fell 68 per cent. Two Rocks fell 56 per cent, while Quinns Rocks and Willetton fell 52 per cent.

Tuart Hill rose by 150 per cent and Victoria Park by 142 per cent.

Hobart

Hobart was one of the few capital cities in which new listings increased in July (0.3 per cent) while regional Tasmania recorded a substantial 12.5 per cent rise.

Claremont rose by 7 per cent while Kingston saw no changes. Sandy Bay saw the most significant decline at 55 per cent.

Darwin

In July, 78.6 per cnet of new listings across the Northern Territory were in Darwin, however, its share of total listings is a lower 62.9 per cent, suggesting that vendors are responding to the favourable selling conditions.

Darwin city saw a 250 per cent YoY increase.

Canberra

Canberra also recorded the largest monthly rise in new listings of any capital city market.

Total listings in Canberra rose by 3.4 per cent over the month but were still lower than volumes in May.

Belconnen saw the biggest increase at 94 per cent, while Kingston dropped by 50 per cent.

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