December sees 5.2% dip in property listings

Data on distressed sales, asking prices also revealed

December sees 5.2% dip in property listings


By Mina Martin

Residential property listings plunged 5.2% nationwide in December, with the total number dropping to 234,194 properties compared to the 247,062 recorded in November, according to the latest data from SQM Research.

The decrease is notable across all major cities, particularly in Sydney, where total listings fell by 15.2%, driven by a remarkable 47.6% decrease in new listings. Similarly, Canberra witnessed an 11.4% reduction in total listings, propelled by a significant 45% decrease in new listings.

Over the span of 12 months, residential property listings nationwide grew by 2.5%. Canberra and Hobart distinguished themselves during this period, reporting significant increases of 27.4% and 19.2%, respectively.

New and old listings

In December, new listings (less than 30 days) dropped 32.4% nationwide, introducing 54,409 fresh listings to the market. Major cities saw decreases in new listings, with Sydney and Canberra leading with substantial drops of 47.6% and 45%, followed by Melbourne and Darwin, which were down 37.7% and 37.4%, respectively.

Older listings (properties listed for over 180 days), meanwhile, decreased by 1%, but still showed a 5.9% increase over the past 12 months.

Distressed sales down

Distressed property sales in Australia declined to 5,128, a 6.2% decrease from the 5,467 distressed listings recorded in November 2023. Declines in distressed selling activity were notably observed in Queensland (8.4%) and the Northern Territory (12.8%), as well as in New South Wales and Tasmania, SQM Research data showed.

Asking prices

The national combined dwelling asking price fell by 0.2%, recording a median dwelling asking price of $806,612. Asking prices for capital cities increased by 1.6%, up 8% compared to January 2023. Canberra houses saw a notable decrease of 1%, while Hobart units showed a more cautious decline of 3.6%.

Insights from SQM Research

“It’s no surprise that listings and activity in the residential property market fell in December, with the commencement of the holiday season,” said Harry Bawa, head of property and business analytics at SQM Research.

“It is interesting to note that overall national listings were slightly higher in December 2023, than they were in December 2022, with Adelaide was the only exception – seemingly because of its relative affordability, and extremely tight rental market. Aside from January, (which we expect will follow a similar trend as previous years, subdued by the holiday season and the Australia Day long weekend), 2024 will be an interesting year.”

To read the SQM Research article, click here.

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