Housing market activity eases in April – PropTrack

Public holidays, a federal election campaign, and interest rate rises disrupted housing market activity in April, report finds

Housing market activity eases in April – PropTrack


By Mina Martin

Demand for property showed signs of easing in April, with activity disrupted by Easter and Anzac Day long weekends, a federal election campaign, and interest rate rises.

This was according to the PropTrack Housing Market Indicators Report May 2022, a monthly report that combines eight key metrics to provide an up-to-date view of the property market and emerging trends. It analyses consumer behaviour in real time by extracting property market insights from the millions of Australians who visit realestate.com.au each month.

Demand based on views per listing dropped 8.8% month-on-month in April to sit 10.4% lower than January 2022’s record. This slowing was felt the most and the quickest in Sydney, Melbourne, and Hobart, while demand for regional properties remained strong. Nationally, views per listing were still 23.4% higher than the same period last year.

“Demand from prospective buyers continues to come back from the extreme levels witnessed in 2021, as expectations of price falls weigh on activity,” said Eleanor Creagh, PropTrack senior economist and report author. “Regional areas continue to see a constrained stock of available properties for sale, while demand per listing remains high, which is supporting price growth in these markets. Regional South Australia appears to be the stronghold, where days on site remain at a record low and views per listing have more than doubled since April last year. When it comes to the capital cities, Sydney, Melbourne, and Hobart are seeing activity cool more quickly than Adelaide and, to some degree, Brisbane. The smaller capitals are benefitting from preference shifts toward larger homes, as well as affordability advantages and workplace flexibility. Brisbane is now also seeing momentum decelerate, having been a stronghold this year.”

The PropTrack report found that while sales volumes over the first quarter of 2022 have tracked the levels seen in 2021 closely, they dropped in April. Preliminary weekly sales volumes were down 4% compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, the median number of days a property was listed on realestate.com.au in April was 35 days, up from 33 days in March.

“Last year was a seller’s market and overwhelmingly so, while this year’s continued strength in new listings has seen a lot more choice for buyers,” Creagh said. “This has brought a much more healthy balance to the market as dynamics shift in favour of buyers, with competition easing and days on site climbing as a result. Buyers have taken advantage of the extra choice available to them since last year, but there has likely been an urgency to transact ahead of rate rises and sales volumes have begun to slow in April.”

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