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Share of homes for sale below $600,000 hits record low

Two years of surging property prices across Australia has seen the portion of homes under $600,000 hit a record low level.

According to PropTrack, the share of new properties listed for sale on realestate.com.au for less than $600,000 fell to just 35.8 per cent in October 2022.

In March 2020, more than half (52.5 per cent) of all new listings were under $600,000, highlighting the challenge many homeowners are now facing when trying to find an affordable home.

PropTrack Director Economic Research Cameron Kusher said the decline in lower-priced new listings comes despite the falls in national home prices over recent months.

“The rising cost of housing since the onset of the pandemic has significantly reduced the supply of new listings coming to market under $600,000,” Mr Kusher said.

“Prices have now fallen over each month since March 2022, however, the share of new listings under $600,000 has continued to decline.”

The share of sub-$600,000 fell in every state and capital city since March 2020, with Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide and the ACT seeing the sharpest declines according to Mr Kusher.

“The share of new house listings under $600,000 has more than halved since the start of the pandemic in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and regional NSW,” he said.

“In Sydney, only 1.8 per cent of houses listed for sale are under $600,000, while Canberra has the smallest share in the country at only 1.4 per cent.”

Mr Kusher said the drop in the share of new listings under $600,000 since the onset of the pandemic has been much greater in regional areas (71.2 per cent to 45.6 per cent) than it has been across capital cities (42.5 per cent to 30.6 per cent).

There has also been a divergence between houses and units, with the number of new listings for houses under $600,000 shifting from 50.3 per cent in March 2020 to 33.5 per cent in October 2022.

For units, the change has been marginal, declining from 59.2 per cent of new listings to 52.3 per cent.

Mr Kusher said despite property prices falling across the country, we’re unlikely to return to the high number of properties under $600,000 seen in 2020.

“​​As prices continue to fall, we may see more properties coming on to the market at lower price points,” he said.

“However, it seems unlikely that we’ll see a significant uplift in the share of new listings under $600,000, which highlights ongoing affordability challenges.”

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Rowan Crosby

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