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More choice for buyers as listings rise

The total number of properties for sale is increasing in nearly every part of the country, finally giving more choice to buyers.

The PropTrack Listings Report October 2022, found that the total number of properties listed for sale on increased 2.4 per cent in October, taking total listings to 6.1 per cent above last year’s levels.

The increase this year has been significant in capital cities, particularly Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, where stock levels are now above the prior decade average.

PropTrack Economist and report author, Angus Moore, said the choices for buyers has improved significantly during 2022. 

“This will come as welcome news for those searching for a new home this spring,” Mr Moore said.

“Compared to a year ago, the total number of properties listed for sale was up 6.1 per cent.

“Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra are all offering greater choice compared to 2020 and 2021, and all three cities now have more properties available for sale than has been typical in the past decade.” 

Across the country, listings rose in most cities, with ​​Sydney (8.9 per cent), Brisbane (14.8 per cent), Perth (1.2 per cent), Hobart (87.1 per cent), Darwin (9.7 per cent) and Canberra (26.3 per cent) all experiencing annual increases in total listings, 

Meanwhile, Melbourne (-2.2 per cent) and Adelaide (-5.3 per cent) saw total listings down compared to the same time last year.

In regional areas, the total stock of properties listed for sale was up 2.2 per cent in October – the sixth consecutive monthly increase and 7.5 per cent higher than a year ago.

Despite total listings moving higher, Mr Moore noted the spring selling season has been more subdued than many anticipated. 

New listings were up 5.6 per cent compared to the previous month, however, this is a lower level of listings than is typical for the middle of spring.

“While total stock has improved, new listings have had a slower start this spring after a busy first half of the year and busier-than-normal winter,” Mr Moore said.

“New listings picked up in October following a public holiday-affected September. 

“However, the lift was more moderate than in recent years. It is still too early to know whether this represents a market shift after a very busy first half.”

According to Mr Moore, rising interest rates will continue to subdue demand leading to more choice for buyers.

“Home prices have been declining in most cities after growth hit multi-decade highs in 2021 and are now down 3.5 per cent nationally from the peak in March,” he said.

“The Reserve Bank has continued to raise interest rates and inflation remains high, with forecasts expecting inflation to stay elevated for at least 12 to 18 months.

 “In this environment, the RBA is likely to keep raising rates over the course of 2022 and into 2023. 

“That will further reduce borrowing capacities for prospective buyers, and we expect this to continue placing downward pressure on home prices.”

Mr Moore said that despite some headwinds, the housing market remains underpinned by positive fundamentals, including very low unemployment, expectations that wage growth will pick up over this year, and increasing international migration.

Source: PropTrack

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.