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Properties selling at warp speed

Australian properties are selling at their fastest rate in five years with weekly sales volumes also reaching their highest level this year, fresh data reveals.

The REA Group’s latest PropTrack Housing Market Indicators Report showed that in October buyers snapped properties up quickly, with the median amount of time a property was listed on realestate.com.au before selling dropping to just 31 days.

PropTrack Economist Angus Moore said much of the national decline was driven by Victoria, where properties were selling in a median time of just 27 days in October, down from 42 days in September. 

“The median number of days on site – the amount of time a property is listed on realestate.com.au before selling – has reached its fastest level in five years,” Mr Moore said.

“In October, the median time a property was listed was just 31 days, a full week faster than in September.”

Mr Moore said buyer demand was strong across the country, with historic high views per listing in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and almost all regional areas.

Nationally, views per listing surged 9.4 per cent in October month-on-month, which is 46.4 per cent higher than at the same time last year. 

Search volumes on realestate.com.au also reached record highs in mid-October, up 1.9 per cent during the month, compared to September.

In Victoria and the ACT search activity was particularly strong, rising 8.6 per cent month-on-month and 2.7 per cent month-on-month respectively.

That demand also translated through to sales, with national weekly sales volumes hitting their highest point this year at the end of October with a 14 per cent hike month-on month.

Mr Moore said buyers were incredibly motivated, especially now that the country was opening up after long lockdowns.

“Easing restrictions and the spring selling season supported strong activity in the property market in October,” he said. 

“Indicators of buyer demand show property seekers are extremely motivated, with search volumes reaching record-highs in mid-October.

“High demand, combined with a lack of stock available for sale due to the impact of extended lockdowns, has created strong competition.

“Buyers are having to move quickly when they find a property they like.”

The report also showed sales volumes were materially higher in 2021 than in the previous two years, up 45 per cent on the same time last year.

Rising property prices have also meant buyers are searching for properties in higher price brackets.

In the combined capital cities, 46.6 per cent of searches were for properties priced at more than $1 million.

A year ago that share was 37.8 per cent.

In Sydney, 15 per cent of searches are for properties listed above $3 million, which is up from 10 per cent in 2020.

But Mr Moore tipped the market would level off in 2022.

“The surge in prices we’ve seen over the past year will likely start to ease given the benefits of lower mortgage rates are likely already baked into prices,” he said.

“We’re also facing into some emerging, though distant, headwinds. 

“The banking regulator APRA has tightened how banks conduct serviceability, which will reduce the maximum amount some buyers can borrow, and the RBA has flagged that interest rate rises – while still a way off – may come a little sooner than previously expected. 

“That said, these changes are likely to have only a small impact for now, and we’d expect to see strong selling conditions continue through to the end of the year and into 2022.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Deputy Editor at Elite Agent.