11 Mar 2022

Australia’s property markets open early to a rush of sellers – but are there enough buyers in 2022?

Property markets across Australia have opened at full throttle this year, supercharged by sellers motivated to capitalise on last year’s record price rises.

For the second year in a row, buyers and sellers have jumped back into the market earlier than usual – and the number of homeowners listing their properties for sale is even higher than it was this time last year, according to the latest data from Domain.

More sellers listed their property for sale last week in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide compared to the same time last year – a remarkable feat considering 2021’s record numbers, said Domain’s head of research and economics Nicola Powell.

“This could be because sellers are being strategic with their market timing; listing homes for sale while selling conditions remain strong and prices are at, or close to, a peak,” she said.

“Some may also be timing a sale before interest rates rise or further macro-prudential measures are put in place.”

An increase in new listings is good news for hopeful property buyers. More property for sale means more choice for buyers and, crucially, less competition.

“Overall, buying conditions improve as listings rise,” Dr Powell said.

While the supply of new property listings in Sydney has increased substantially – by 24 per cent – demand has not kept up.

Overall in Sydney, the number of views per listing – which shows areas of rising buyer competition – fell by 21 per cent at the same time new listings increased.

“There are some clear dynamics playing out across Sydney, with the premium areas showing greater drops in views per listing,” Dr Powell said.

“This aligns to an overall slowdown in the market currently unravelling, which is being led by the upper end.”

The areas with the largest falls in views per listing included Warringah, Eastern Suburbs-South, and Blacktown-North.

Sydney’s more affordable areas are where buyers are still out in force for their dream home.

Domain data showed the top areas with the largest increases in views per listing, including Dural-Wisemans Ferry, Penrith and Bringelly-Green Valley, have increased by a massive 70 per cent year-on-year.

Even with a flood of new listings, Sydney buyers have begun the year determined to buy. Last weekend’s preliminary clearance rate hit 77 per cent, which Dr Powell described as a “strong result”.

“This is a normal seasonal pattern, though, as clearances tend to bounce early in the year due to buyers who missed out last year and fewer auctions supporting results,” she said.

“Auction volumes will ramp up in the coming weeks, which will give a better indication of how the market is tracking.”

Sydney areas with the biggest annual lift in new listings:

  1. Botany
  2. Blacktown – North
  3. Auburn
  4. Sydney Inner City
  5. Mount Druitt

Melbourne

Overall, supply is outstripping demand in Melbourne. The number of new listings is 21 per cent higher than it was at the same time last year, while views per listing have fallen by 5 per cent.

Similar to Sydney, it is the premium areas of Melbourne where the number of views per listing has fallen the most: Darebin-South, Brunswick-Coburg and Glen Eira saw the largest decreases.

“This aligns to an overall slowdown in the market currently unravelling, which is being led by the upper end,” Dr Powell said.

Also much like Sydney, it’s Melbourne’s more affordable areas where buyers are searching most intensely.

Cardinia, Wyndham and Whittlesea-Wallan all recorded the highest number of views per listing.

Melbourne’s preliminary auction clearance rate hit 70 per cent last Saturday. An auction clearance rate of 70 per cent usually correlates with price growth of about 10 per cent.

“Auction volumes for this time of year remain high and the preliminary auction clearances are in the 70s, illustrating that buyers and sellers are keen to transact,” Dr Powell said.

Melbourne areas with the biggest annual lift in new listings:

  1. Port Phillip
  2. Moreland – North
  3. Boroondara
  4. Glen Eira
  5. Darebin – South

Brisbane

Greater Brisbane’s house prices rose at their fastest pace in almost 18 years last year and the 2022 market is showing no signs of slowing down.

Last Saturday’s preliminary clearance rate hit 86 per cent, one of Brisbane’s highest Saturday clearance rates on record and the highest of any capital city across Australia that day.

Overall, the volume of new property listings for sale has risen by 3 per cent compared to the same time last year but that small lift in supply is not nearly enough to fill buyer demand – views per listing in Greater Brisbane have skyrocketed by 43 per cent.

“What we’re seeing is that, ultimately, conditions are becoming more heated,” Dr Powell said. “We’ve got high levels of views per listing but the number of new listings isn’t appeasing the demand. We’re seeing that play out in auctions; it’s frantic, people are bidding furiously and properties are selling for well over reserve.

“It’s reminiscent of Sydney auctions.”

Dr Powell said interest in Brisbane property had accelerated with the addition of interstate buyers to the mix, particularly investors who were showing strong interest in units.

“All of the statistics are pointing to the one thing: Brisbane is running hot.”

Brisbane areas with the biggest annual lift in new listings:

  1. Forest Lake – Oxley 
  2. Nathan 
  3. Springfield – Redbank 
  4. Beaudesert 
  5. North Lakes

Adelaide

Much like Brisbane, Adelaide’s property market is charging out of the blocks in 2022 and fast shedding its reputation for being a slow and steady mover.

The supply of new property listings in Greater Adelaide is lower than it was this time last year, down 1 per cent, while views per listing have increased by a whopping 58 per cent.

That’s a big discrepancy between supply and demand, Dr Powell said.

“When we’ve got two key stats that speak around supply and demand moving in opposite directions, that points to greater competition between buyers,” she said.

“Adelaide has always been the quiet achiever but with stats like these … well, it’s smashed it out of the blocks.”

Adelaide also recorded the second-strongest preliminary auction clearance rate in the country last Saturday, hitting 79 per cent.

Dr Powell said activity was strong, with sellers likely being enticed to list by the strong selling conditions and record prices being achieved.

“Unley and Burnside are the most expensive SA3 areas in Greater Adelaide; this reflects the upsize buyer who has been the driving force of this price upswing. Tea Tree Gully offers the other side of the price spectrum – one of the more affordable locations.”

Adelaide areas with the biggest annual increase in new listings:

  1. Unley
  2. Burnside
  3. Tea Tree Gully
  4. Adelaide City
  5. Holdfast Bay

Perth

Perth is presenting a more balanced market than other cities, however buyer interest is still rising faster than the supply of new listings to the market.

The Western Australian capital has seen a 9 per cent increase in the supply of new listings compared to the same time last year and a 6 per cent increase in views per listing overall.

“What that means is the supply of listings still isn’t easing demand,” Dr Powell said.

There are areas where buyers are focusing their attention the most: Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Kwinana and Cockburn all recorded the highest annual increase in views per listing.

“These are outer-city locations that offer buyers affordable, family heartlands where that quarter-acre dream is more achievable,” Dr Powell said.

She said Perth’s property market was in full swing but likely not operating at its full potential.

“Extended state border closures will be hampering an element of housing demand, disrupting the flow of new residents into the state,” she said.

“Once borders reopen, this could provide another wave of new demand, freely allowing an easier relocation from overseas and interstate. This could also mean a boost in new properties for sale.”

Outside of Perth, the areas with the biggest lift have been in resource-related areas. The Kimberley has experienced an 18 per cent annual increase in its house price, showcasing the resurgence of these regions.

Perth areas with the biggest annual lift in new listings:

  1. Swan
  2. Wanneroo
  3. Kwinana
  4. Belmont-Victoria
  5. Perth City

SOURCE: https://www.domain.com.au/news/australias-property-markets-open-early-to-a-rush-of-sellers-but-are-there-enough-buyers-in-2022-1118490/

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