Residential listings rise 5.6% in September, downward pressure on prices to remain
Residential property listings increased by 5.6% in September as the spring selling season finally kicked off, with Melbourne and Sydney recording the highest increases as buyers continue to be inundated with more choice.
The new figures from SQM Research show listings rose by 20,494 since August, to a total of 383,287 across the country – 24.2% higher than at the same point a year ago.
All capital cities excluding Darwin recorded increases, with Adelaide up 5.3%, Brisbane up 4.1%, Canberra 7.1%, Hobart 1.8%, Melbourne 11.4%, Sydney 12.9%, and Perth 1.6%. Darwin stock fell by 3.3%.
Melbourne still remains the city with the highest increase in stock over the past year, with the number of listings up by a staggering 65% since September 2010. Perth has recorded the weakest growth rate over the past year, up by just 5.5%.
SQM managing director Louis Christopher says the increase is about right for the first month of the spring selling season.
"I think we'll probably get another lift in October, so it hasn't underwhelmed me. Especially when you see that Melbourne and Sydney recorded such large increases," he says.
"However, there were a few cities that had some more modest growth. I was expecting a bit more out of Brisbane."
The higher stock levels come as residential property prices continue to fall, as buyers remain out of the market. Experts believe the current economic environment with stable interest rates, and with fixed-rate loans continuing to become more competitive, should push more people into the market, but Christopher says it's still by far a buyer's market.
"There is just more choice out there right now. It's a buyer's market, and throughout the rest of the spring I think it's going to remain that way."
"There's still a lot of caution out there from both buyers and sellers. Sellers are aware of the conditions out there globally, and may be wanting to sell a little bit more quickly so they can get out of the marketplaces. And buyers are watching the global economy and being a lot more cautious."
The comments come as auction clearance rates have continued to remain steady over the past month, despite the higher stock levels, indicating that downward pressure on prices is set to remain in the short-term.