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Online residential listings rise 1.5% in August to 373,510, led by Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra
Vendors appear hopeful of better fortunes this spring selling season with the total number of residential properties listed for sale online rising 1.5% over August to reach 373,510, according to figures from SQM Research.
This contrasts starkly with the same time last year, when listings fell 3.8% from 377,213 in July 2011 to 362,740 in August 2011.
Sydney and Melbourne both recorded “substantial” 5.9% increases in monthly residential properties listed for sale, to reach 31,310 and 51,194 listings respectively.Click to enlarge
SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher described market conditions as a little better than this time last year, "but it doesn't mean we are going to head into a big property boom''.
"If rates stay on hold, that will be conducive to stimulating the housing market, and we are likely to see continued market recovery, but there are many X-factors at play,'' he told news.com.au.
Christopher says rising rents (up 7% annually over the past five years) are good news for investors, but they have been offset by declining house prices.
He expects there will be further seasonal rises in stock levels as the spring selling season enters full swing.Click to enlarge
While residential stock on market in Sydney is just 0.9% higher than a year ago at 31,310, Melbourne has the highest year-on-year increase of all the mainland capital cities, with stock up 14.1% to 51,194 in August.
In August last year there were 44,859 properties listed for sale in Melbourne.
The other notable increase was Canberra, where stock on market increased by 8.8% over the month to 3,758 online listings. This is up 13.6% up on August 2011.
“Canberra’s large monthly increase may well signify a downturn for that market as federal budget spending is cut,” noted SQM research.
Bucking the monthly trend of rising stock levels was Perth, which recorded the largest monthly decline of 1.8% to 18,053. Residential listings were down 10.7% on the same time last year when there 20,207 listings.
Residential stock levels have declined in Perth, Darwin and Brisbane – which all benefit from Australia's mining boom
Darwin residential listings are down 23.3% over the 12 months to August to 1,282 while Brisbane listings are down 4.7% to 28,666.
“Increasingly the market is segmented. It is becoming difficult to discuss just one national housing market and in my opinion, that will be to base line story for the remainder of 2012,” said Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research.
While Hobart stock on market declined by 1.7% over August to 4,388 properties listed for sale, there are 24.1% more properties for sale than a year ago. At this time last year there were 3,536 listed for sale in Hobart.
The Mark at Sydney's Central Park
Now, all signs point south for this market. A year ago vacancies were near zero but today they’re approaching 5%. Price growth has stopped and, according to Australian Property Monitors’ price graph, has started to dip below the red line.