Larry Schlesinger | 3 February 2013

Sydney property listings fall by 'surprising' 6% in January to lowest level since April 2010: SQM

The number of Sydney residential properties listed for sale in January fell by 6% following a 21.7% fall in December and are now at their lowest level since April 2010, according to figures compiled by SQM Research. 

In total there are 23,467 Sydney properties listed for sale compared with 31,863 two months ago with listings down 13.1% over the past 12 months. 

SQM Research director Louis Christopher says seasonality has an impact on January figures – he expects a rise in listings in February as the market gets into full swing – but says year-on-year figures show the market is still down. 

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Notwithstanding the impact of seasonality, Christopher says the fall in Sydney listings in January is both noteworthy and surprising; SQM had been expecting a bounce in listings in the first month of the year. 

“We are saying the market bottomed out in the December quarter,” Christopher tells Property Observer.

SQM recorded a 1.9% fall nationally over January with 335,429 properties listed for sale compared with 341,784 in December. Listing are down 2.9% on a year ago when there were 345,296 listings.

All capital city residential listings declined over January with Melbourne listings down 2.5%. 

However, Melbourne is the only market where stock on market is up compared to a year ago. 

There are 40,807 properties listed for sale in Melbourne compared with 40,076 a year ago. 

Christopher says people should not read too much into the Melbourne decline in January. 

“There is still an elevated amount of stock on market. Signs are more promising, but a lot of stock needs to be absorbed, for there to be price pressure,” says Christopher.

Year-on-year, Darwin residential listings have fallen by 15% to just over 1,000 properties for sale, with strong annual declines also recorded for Adelaide (7.1%) 

Both Hobart and Adelaide recorded 4.2% falls over January, but Christopher says he is not expecting any major recovery in these markets. 

“There is elevated stock on market that must be absorbed in Hobart and Adelaide,” says Christopher. 

“The bottom may be coming in but overall they are depressed,”

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