January sees usual quietness in listings – SQM Research

February poised for significant surges

January sees usual quietness in listings – SQM Research


By Mina Martin

January witnessed a 5.7% decline in residential property listings nationwide, totaling 220,956 properties, according to the latest SQM Research data.

All major cities experienced the expected reduction in listings for the month. However, five capital cities showed increases compared to January 2023, contributing to a 2.7% rise in national residential property listings over 12 months. Canberra and Hobart notably stood out, reporting remarkable increases of 24.4% and 18.1%, respectively, now back to their long-term supply averages.

New, old, and distressed listings

In January, new listings (less than 30 days) saw a nationwide decrease of 17.5% to 44,883 residential dwellings. Sydney and Darwin, however, reported increases of 3.7% and 12.2%, respectively. Sydney and Melbourne stood out, with both experiencing a surge of more than 20% in new listings compared to 2023, signaling a robust start to the 2024 market.

Meanwhile, older listings (properties listed for more than 180 days) remained stable in January. Although most cities saw a slight increase in older stock during the month, substantial year-on-year declines were evident.

The number of residential properties sold under distressed conditions in Australia has risen to 5,252, reflecting a 2.4% increase. Notably, there was a significant 9% surge in NSW, also contributing to a 16.3% increase over the past 12 months. Similarly, Victoria has experienced a notable 17.8% increase during the same period.

“The country recorded a typical January hiatus in the housing market. However, forward listings suggest that February will be a very strong month for housing activity,” said Louis Christopher (pictured above), managing director of SQM Research.

Auction numbers are up by 31% compared to this time last year. However, there is also now a concerning trend emerging out of NSW and Victoria for ongoing rises in distressed listings activity. The nine percent rise in NSW for the month was very abnormal and suggests some vendors in NSW are increasingly desperate to offload their properties.”

Christopher cautioned the industry against getting too far ahead of the housing market, emphasising the mixed market conditions and the need for vendors to be mindful of potential economic slowdowns.

Asking prices

The national combined dwelling asking price rose by 1.9% to reach a median dwelling asking price of $821,710, with Perth showcasing the most confident vendors, recording a 13.4% rise in asking prices over the past 12 months.

February outlook

This week, there are 2,516 scheduled auction events across the country, marking a 31% increase compared to the same week in 2023. This suggests an abnormally strong start to the auction year, contributing to higher total listing counts for February, SQM Research data showed.

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