Weak result for March quarter, says researcher

by AB09 Apr 2014
The number of Australian residential property listings rose slightly during March, yet research shows vendors are struggling to lift their asking prices.
Last month, national stock on the market came to 352,369 – a monthly increase of 1.8%, yet SQM Research’s Asking Prices Index recorded flat results for the March quarter.
This figure represents a decrease of 5.2% when compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
In no surprises, Sydney recorded the highest monthly rise in listings of all capital cities, increasing by 6.8% during March to a total of 24,249.
Canberra was the only capital city to record a monthly decrease in stock levels, falling by 2.7% during March and coming to a total of 3,439.
Darwin was the capital city to record the highest yearly increase in stock levels, climbing 12.8% since the corresponding period of the previous year.
SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said it was a relatively weak result for the quarter and there are no new trends that have come out of the data this month other than Melbourne still has an elevated amount of listings in the market.
“So this has made us sceptical of recently reported large increases in dwelling prices for that city. There is also further evidence that Melbourne vendors, overall have struggled to lift their asking prices.”
Surprisingly, weakness was recorded in Sydney with asking prices for houses falling by 1.6% for the quarter and units rising by just 0.2%.
Adelaide recorded the strongest result for the quarter, with asking prices for houses rising by 0.9% and units rising by 3.5%. 
“This is all in contrast to the very bullish findings from the RP Data daily index, which among other things, reported a very sharp rise in Melbourne dwelling prices of 5% for the quarter and now has Sydney up over 15% for the year,” said Christopher.
He said SQM Research are dubious of these figures.