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Tough conditions for buyers across Queensland, South Australia and Victoria

Property buyers in parts of Queensland, South Australia and Victoria are facing the toughest buying conditions in the country, according to an expert.

According to Suburbtrends, the popular Brisbane Inner-North area was the toughest location for buyers.

Suburbtrends Founder, Kent Lardner said listings had fallen dramatically across Brisbane Inner-North over the past three months, leaving buyers with limited options and making competition fierce.

He said South Australia had also proved difficult for buyers, with areas like Prospect-Walkerville, Marion, and Salisbury experiencing tough conditions, along with Victoria’s Keilor and Brimbank.

Queensland dominated the list of hard-to-buy locations in regional Australia led by Rockhampton, the Gold Coast, Mackay, Gladstone, Southport and Townsville.

He said Rockhampton, with an 8 per cent annual increase in median house prices and a 12 per cent quarterly decline in listings, underscored the escalating challenge for regional buyers.

Along with Lake Macquarie-East and Barossa, which is in the grips of a sellers’ market.

Mr Lardner said Queensland dominated the list, particularly with areas like Gold Coast-North and Mackay where, despite modest annual price changes, listings remained tight.

“In Gold Coast-North, listings have plummeted by 26 per cent in the last quarter, amplifying the competition among buyers,” he said.

“Moreover, Whitsunday stands out with a robust 12 per cent annual price increase and a 10 per cent increase in listings, yet the area remains challenging for buyers, holding a Buyer Index of 4. 

“The data underscores the unique challenges each of these markets presents, making them notably difficult landscapes for potential homebuyers.”

For unit buyers, Queensland also tops the list of hardest locations to buy, led by Sherwood – Indooroopilly.

Other locations included Tullamarine – Broadmeadows in Victoria, and Strathpine in Queensland.

Western Australia also features prominently, with areas like Armadale, Mundaring, and Gosnells, all showing negative quarterly changes in listings, despite positive annual changes in median prices. 

“South Australia’s West Torrens and Victoria’s Tullamarine-Broadmeadows also make the list, reinforcing the notion that these markets are not just challenging but are also likely to become more so in the short to medium term,” Mr Lardner said.

It wasn’t all bad news for home buyers, with some locations recording increased stock levels, making conditions easier to purchase property.

The Northern Territory topped the list, led by Palmerston, Litchfield and Darwin City.

“Despite negative 12-month changes in median house prices, these areas have seen a surge in listings, particularly Litchfield with a 48 per cent increase,” Mr Lardner said.

“NSW areas like Liverpool and Hawkesbury also make the list.” 

He said quarterly listings had increased 69 per cent in Liverpool, while Hawkesbury’s 111 per cent rise had made life easier for buyers.

South Australia’s Gawler – Two Wells and Queensland’s Caboolture also featured, driven by an extraordinary increase in listings and modest or positive 12-month price changes. 

For regional buyers, Western Australia’s Gascoyne and Kimberley regions stand out, with quarterly listing increases of 90 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, despite contrasting 12-month median price changes. 

NSW dominated the list with areas like Inverell-Tenterfield, Upper Murray excluding Albury, and Tamworth-Gunnedah, all showing significant quarterly listing spikes ranging from 32 per cent to 42 per cent.

Along with Queensland’s Far North, Port Douglas-Daintree, and Innisfail-Cassowary Coast.

For unit buyers, Queensland’s The Hills District has seen a 193 per cent surge in listings over the past quarter, despite an 11 per cent annual increase in median prices. 

Similarly, ACT’s Molonglo and several areas in NSW, including Liverpool and Ryde – Hunters Hill, have witnessed listing increases ranging from 20 per cent to 44 per cent. 

Victoria’s Melbourne City and Northern Territory’s Darwin City also make the list with modest increases in listings of 16 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively. 

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Rowan Crosby

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