Are we swinging back to a sellers’ market?

Are we swinging back to a sellers’ market?

Posted on Wednesday, July 10 2013 at 11:04 AM

Figures released yesterday reveal residential property ‘for sale’ listings have dropped dramatically, signalling a swing back towards a sellers’ market.

SQM Research has released data showing available stock in June this year
was down 5.4 per cent nationally compared to the same time 12 months ago.

Sydney has had the most dramatic drop with listings down 23.1 per cent
compared to June 2012, including a prominent drop of 14.6 per cent since May
this year.

All capital cities recorded falls with Darwin showing the lowest annual
drop at 0.8 per cent, and Melbourne coming second highest with 8.7 per cent.

SQM’s report notes there have been strong falls for June
across all capitals and although this could be an anomaly, Sydney has exceeded

“Whilst the majority of capital city monthly decreases
can be attributed to seasonal influences and the fact that we came through five
weekends in May to four weekends during June, Sydney’s monthly decline of negative
14.6 per cent in stock appears to have gone beyond these attributes, as we
begin to witness stock levels for this capital city that match those seen in
2009,” the report says.

The Sydney market is approaching a point of shortage in
listings, it adds.

Jacque Parker, a director at buyers’ agency House
Search Australia, says the lack of stock is being felt at the market’s ground

“It does vary from suburb to suburb, but in the areas where there’s most
demand at the moment I would say it’s probably lower than those figures.

“I was talking to a Castle Hill agent the other day and she was saying
they have 61 listings of houses whereas this time last year it was close to the
400 mark.”

Parker believes demand is outstripping supply in Sydney.

“We’re finding consumer sentiment is much more positive than it was last
year, interest rates obviously contribute to that because they’re a lot lower,
there’s a lot of overseas buying too,

“Also there’s affordability ceilings – once they’re reached in certain
suburbs, I think people search areas further out and that’s affecting supply as

Parker sights Baulkham Hills and its surrounds having limited housing in
the $500,000 to $800,000 price bracket, as well as Sydney’s North Shore.

“Up to the $650,000 to $700,000 mark, good quality stock is scarce. Even
Blacktown which is a huge local government area, is struggling with stock for houses
under $450,000.”

Parker says price growth is already taking hold but published numbers
are yet to reflect the true state of the market.

“The stats that we’re looking at now aren’t reliable. There will be
positive growth in most of the suburbs that we work in (in Sydney) in figures
that should be released in the next two quarters. It will be playing catch up.”

Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research,
says Sydney is in front of other property markets.

“I believe that overall, the national housing market
still remains well supplied with current listings, however Sydney is turning
out to be a clear exception.

“When you consider the long-term chart,
Sydney is approaching the 2009 lows and this fits with other measurements
indicating a strengthening housing market for that capital city.”

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