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New listings drop during a disrupted April

Listings eased off during April as vendors hit pause on sales campaigns with the Easter and Anzac Day public holidays causing interruptions, according to new data.

The PropTrack Listings Report May 2022 showed new listings on realestate.com.au dropped 20.5 per cent nationally in April when compared to the prior month and were 7.5 per cent lower than the same time last year.

With vendors sitting on the sidelines with the run of public holidays, total stock of properties listed for sale around the country also declined, dropping 2.5 per cent month-on-month.

Regional markets also felt the impact, with new listings down 17.4 per cent compared to the previous month, however, total listings were 1.5 per cent higher than a year ago.

PropTrack Economist and report author, Angus Moore said the slowdown in April came off the back of the busiest first quarter for new listings in capital cities since 2014. 

“Part of the reason for the slower April this year compared to last is that the Easter public holidays fell in the middle of April, whereas last year it was at the start of April,” Mr Moore said.

“That means the impact of the Easter weekend was likely felt almost entirely in April this year, compared to last year, when its impact was likely spread across both March and April. 

“After an extremely strong late 2021 and early 2022, selling conditions look to be tempering and we are starting to see an increasingly healthy balance between supply and demand.”

According to the report new listings declined across all capital cities, with falls in Canberra (down 33.5 per cent) Sydney (down 26.2 per cent), Melbourne (down 25.4 per cent), Adelaide (down 20.8 per cent), Darwin (down 18.4 per cent), Perth (down 18.2 per cent) and Hobart (down 7.5 per cent).

Hobart was the least affected of the capital cities, with new listings up 38.4 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Mr Moore said the increase in listings to start the year has helped even up the supply imbalance.

“Measures of buyer demand remain strong, but have continued to decline in April and are off their high levels from earlier in the year,” he said.

“At the same time, the solid levels of new supply coming to market over the past six months has helped to give buyers more choice and ease competition. 

“Conditions are likely to remain solid for the next few months, but may continue to soften as we head into the typically quieter winter season.”

Rising listings have contributed to slowing price growth across a number of capital cities according to Mr Moore.

“After hitting multi-decade highs in 2021, price growth is slowing across the country, with prices declining very slightly in Sydney and Hobart in April,” he said.

“Interest rates are already rising, which is sooner than had been expected. 

“Further rises are expected in coming months, which will continue to place downward pressure on price growth.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.