Slower start to spring for new listings but what’s to blame?

The extra public holidays in late September have contributed to a slow start to spring for sellers, with new listings 7.5 per lower nationally than the prior month.

According to the latest PropTech Listings Report September 2022, the National Day of Mourning and the AFL Grand Final delayed some selling activity, which led to new listings being down 9.2 per cent compared to the same time last year.

PropTrack Economist and report author Angus Moore said after a busy first half of the year, and busier-than-typical winter, property markets had a slightly slower start to spring. 

“The National Day of Mourning and the AFL Grand Final public holiday likely delayed some vendors’ selling campaigns in September, with property market activity unseasonably slower than in August,” Mr Moore said.

“While disruptions due to the public holidays likely played a part, selling conditions have tempered from their very strong levels earlier in the year.”

Despite lower new listings on a national level in September, Canberra (0.5 per cent) and Darwin (2 per cent) recorded small increases.

While Sydney (-13 per cent), Melbourne (-6.8 per cent), Brisbane (-13.3 per cent), Adelaide (-10.7 per cent), Perth (-5.1 per cent) and Hobart (-0.7 per cent), all experienced monthly falls in new listings.

Regional areas also saw activity slow in September, with 4.7 per cent fewer new listings than in August, and new listings down 5.5 per cent compared to the same time in 2021.

Mr Moore said the overall trend in new listings is still unclear. 

“The slower month for new listings could be an indication that we are starting to see activity slow after a very busy first half of the year in property markets,” he said.

“However, with only one month’s worth of data, and a public holiday affected month at that, it is too soon to be able to draw firm conclusions.”

Despite fewer new listings coming to market, the total number of properties listed for sale around the country was flat in the month as properties took longer to sell.

Compared to last year, the total stock levels are up 10.8 per cent, helping to give buyers more choice. 

While regionally, the total number of properties listed for sale was up one per cent month-on-month in September, the fifth consecutive monthly increase.

According to Mr Moore, property values across the country continue to decline.

“Home prices have continued to decline in most cities after growth hit multi-decade highs in 2021 and are now down 3.4 per cent nationally from the peak in March,” he said.

“The Reserve Bank of Australia has continued to raise interest rates at a brisk pace, with a sixth consecutive interest rate rise in October, which has brought the cash rate up 2.5 percentage points since May.

“The RBA is likely to continue raising rates over the course of 2022, which will reduce borrowing capacities for prospective buyers and place greater downward pressure on prices in the near term. 

“Looking further ahead, the fundamental drivers of demand remain strong, with unemployment very low, wages growth expected to pick up over this year, and international migration increasing.”

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Rowan Crosby

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