By Cameron Kusher

Chart 1

RP Data tracks the number of unique residential properties listed for sale each week across the nation, individual states, individual capital cities and combined capital cities. The data is captured for residential houses and units as well as vacant residential land. The count of listings is undertaken on a rolling 28 day basis and separates the data by new property listings (those not seen for six months), re-listed properties (those seen within the last six months) and total listings (new and re-listings).

Over the 28 days to 25 May 2014, there were 248,905 unique properties listed for sale across the country. Of this 248,905, 44,848 were new listings over the previous 4 weeks with the remaining 204,057 being re-listed properties. The number of new listings was at its highest level since the week ending 13 April 2014 with new listings having trended higher over the past four weeks. Re-listed properties were at their highest level since the four weeks ending 12 January 2014. Re-listings have also trended higher over the past four weeks. As a result, total property listings are at their highest level since the four weeks ending 16 March 2014. Compared to the same time a year ago, the number of newly advertised properties are much higher (+12.4%) while total listings were virtually unchanged.

Chart 2

Looking at the new stock which has been listed for sale over the past four weeks, 31,925 new listings were for houses, 10,232 new units were listed and 2,691 new vacant land listings entered the market. Over the past four weeks, 71.2% of new listings were for houses, 22.8% were units and 6.0% were for vacant land. Re-listed stock also shows a high proportion of houses compared to units and vacant land. Over the most recent four weeks there were 134,461 re-listed houses (65.9%), 37,679 re-listed units (18.5%) and 31,917 re-listed vacant land lots (15.6%).

Chart 3

On a state-by-state basis we can see some significant variations in listing performance. The number of new property listings is higher than a year ago in each state except for Queensland (-1.3%) and the Australian Capital Territory (-14.7%). Total listings are higher than a year ago in New South Wales, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory but lower elsewhere. New South Wales and Victoria are the most populous states however, Queensland has the highest number of property listings with 4,693 more properties for sale than across New South Wales.

Chart 4

Looking at the combined capital city market, there were 28,085 new properties listed for sale over the four weeks to 25 May and new listings were 17.5% higher than a year ago. Capital city new property listings accounted for 62.6% of all new listings nationally. Over the same period, there were 104,705 total capital city property listings which was -4.1% lower than the previous year. Total capital city property listings accounted for just 42.1% of all listings nationally. This reflects the much tighter supply of stock available for sale across capital city markets compared to regional areas of the country and at least partially explains why generally home values are rising at a faster pace in capital cities than in regional marketplaces.

Chart 5

Throughout the individual capital cities new property listings are generally higher than a year ago with Canberra the only exception. Sydney in particular is seeing a significant rise in new listings which are 37.5% higher than they were a year ago. Although the amount of new stock coming to the market is generally higher than a year ago, total stock levels are generally lower with Perth, Hobart and Darwin the exceptions. The fact that new listings are much higher than last year but total listings are generally lower indicates a greater level of absorption and the fact that properties are selling quicker than they were a year ago. Although total listings in Melbourne are -7.0% lower than they were a year ago, it is quite interesting to note that Melbourne currently has 31,867 properties for sale compared to 22,124 in Sydney, a difference of 9,743 properties.

As we head into a seasonally quieter period for housing market activity it will be interesting to see whether new and total listings continue to rise. In recent weeks we have noted that auction clearance rates have trended lower despite the fact that volumes remain high, particularly high for this time of year. We would expect new listing activity will slow over the coming months and ramp back up in spring. It will be interesting to watch because sales volumes are still trending higher as are housing finance commitments and if new listings fall we may see even greater demand for the available stock in certain markets throughout the coming months.

Source: RPD

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