Stock steady, but beware 'dented sentiment'

by Adam Smith07 Mar 2012

Housing stock levels appear to have stabilised, but "dented sentiment" following bank rate hikes could mean a delayed recovery for the market.

SQM Research figures show stock on the market for February remained broadly stable, falling 0.1%. While the decline was not significant, it marked two consecutive monthly declines. SQM said the result showed stock levels may have peaked.

"It is more evidence that stock levels have been peaking, particularly for the cities of Perth and Brisbane which have been recording some signs of recovery on other measurements," managing director Louis Christopher said.

Stock levels recorded a year-on-year increase of 7.7%, which SQM called a "modest" result compared to previous months. The company said the result could be attributed not only to the slight decrease in stock, but to the significant increases at the same point last year.

Though levels may have peaked, Christopher urged a cautious outlook.

"Overall we are cautious, and perhaps a little more cautious than at the start of the year, given the lacklustre start to the auction season and the rise in interest rates by the major banks, which we believe has dented sentiment towards real estate," he said.

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