Sydney has experienced the biggest surge in new listings since 2009, with vendors rushing to the market as spring selling season kicks off.
According to SQM Research, Sydney saw new listings rise 10.6 per cent last month, while Melbourne had an increase of 12.6 per cent – the highest level since 2016.
The influx of new listings was highest in Canberra, where properties for sale jumped 22.2 per cent, while Hobart saw a 15.8 per cent increase in new listings.
SQM Research Managing Director Louis Christopher said the capital cities were having a strong start to the spring selling season.
“To date, we know the auction market is having a strong start in September, with rising volumes and firm clearance rates holding over from winter,” Mr Christopher said.
“So, confidence has been returning at least to our capital city housing markets.”
Mr Christopher said the same cannot be said for regional Australia, which is best described for most regions as a “dead” market.
He said the overall national result, which saw new listings rise 6.9 per cent, was dragged down by a lacklustre regional housing market.
“We now have two very separate markets in Australia,” he said.
“For example, North Coast NSW (encompassing Byron Bay) has recorded a 12.5 per cent decline in new listings compared to August 2022.”
According to Mr Christopher, strong population growth rates and increasing confidence that the interest rate cycle has reached its peak were the main driving forces behind the increased capital city listings.
In contrast, regional markets are struggling, with many areas seeing population outflows and uncertainty surrounding local economies.
Overall, total listings nationally rose 2 per cent in August to 224,530 properties, up from the 220,081 recorded in July 2023.
Total listings were higher in all capital cities, with the exception of Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth, where conditions remain tight.
While total property listings nationwide decreased by 1.9 per cent, compared to this time last year.
Hobart and Canberra have seen the biggest increase in total listings in the past 12 months, up 39.7 per cent and 13.6 per cent respectively.
Perth has seen the biggest fall, dropping 20.8 per cent from this time a year ago.
Despite fears of the fixed rate mortgage cliff forcing borrowers to sell, there is no evidence of that in the latest distressed listings figures.
Distressed listings fell 1.8 per cent last month and are down 18.9 per cent compared to the same time last year.
Mr Christopher said the fears surrounding the 2023 peak in fixed mortgage resets, seem increasingly overblown.
“We have recorded yet another fall in distressed selling activity,” he said.
“Provided unemployment does not spike, it appears now very likely there will be no forced selling on mass over the coming months.”