New listings surge in Sydney and Melbourne

A surge of sellers have listed their homes, with Sydney and Melbourne reporting the biggest jump in new listings in more than a decade.

The PropTrack Listings Report January 2024, found new listings jumped 27.7 per cent year-on-year in Sydney, marking the most active January since 2011. 

While new listings increased even more in Melbourne, up 27.8 per cent compared to the same time last year, making it the busiest January since 2008. 

The number of new listings on was up 12 per cent nationally compared to last year, reflecting this year’s heightened market conditions, coupled with the slow start in 2023. 

PropTrack Senior Economist, Angus Moore, said property market activity resumed in January after the end-of-year break. 

“Sydney and Melbourne experienced a particularly busy start to 2024 for new listings, while some other markets remain a bit more subdued,” Mr Moore said.

“More activity in property markets than we were seeing in early 2023 is being supported by strong demand, very low unemployment, population growth, tight rental market conditions, and a more stable outlook for interest rates.”

New listings were also strong in Hobart (up 4.3 per cent year-on-year) and Canberra (up 13.2 per cent year-on-year), with the busiest January for new listings on record in Canberra, and since 2014 in Hobart.

Brisbane (up 4.8 per cent) and Adelaide (up 9.9 per cent) also recorded more new listings this January than in 2023, though it was not unusually strong.

In contrast, Perth (down 0.4 per cent) recorded slightly fewer new listings this year than in January 2023.

Regional NSW (up 12.3 per cent) and regional Victoria (up 8.4 per cent) recorded solid increases in activity compared to last year, while regional Queensland (down 5.2 per cent) was quieter.

Across the combined regional areas, the total number of properties listed for sale was up 9.4 per cent year-on-year. 

Regional Queensland (down 12.6 per cent year-on-year) and regional WA (down 10.6 per cent year-on-year) defied this trend.

Source: PropTrack Listings Report January 2024

The total number of properties listed for sale across January on was up 1.2 per cent month-on-month to be 4.5 per cent higher than a year ago

For buyers, choice was at quite reasonable levels in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, and Hobart – and has been for some time.

In all four cities, the total number of properties listed for sale was above, or within 10 per cent, of the average over the past decade. 

The same is not true in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth, where the total number of properties listed for sale was down more than 40 per cent relative to the prior decade average, and all three cities recorded declines relative to a year ago.

Mr Moore said after raising interest rates in November, the RBA held steady in February – a widely anticipated decision that possibly helped boost vendor confidence.

“Inflation appears to be coming under control sooner than the RBA had initially anticipated,” he said.

“While there is a possibility of further interest rate increases if inflation turns out to be more entrenched than currently expected, financial markets are not expecting that will occur. 

“Instead, financial markets are now expecting a reasonable chance that interest rates will decline later in the year.” 

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Rowan Crosby

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