Shrinking number of listings is driving house prices up

by Gerv Tacadena04 Jun 2021

Residential property listings across Australia dropped in May, driven by the declining number of existing properties listed in the market, according to the latest report from SQM Research.

Over the month, the total property listings dropped by 6.3% to 245,953, as older supply of homes gets absorbed by buyers. This trend indicates that buyers are outstripping sellers, further fuelling the property boom.

Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide have registered the steepest falls in listings over the month. Stock levels also trended downwards particularly in regional areas, putting more pressure on asking prices.

The number of listings over 180 days dropped by 9.2% monthly and 44% annually. Smaller capital cities reported larger declines in older listings.

"The downward trend in old listings suggests strong absorption rates, so new property listings are not completely offsetting the falls in old listings, indicating there are more buyers than sellers in the market, which is fuelling the property boom," said Louis Christopher, managing director at SQM Research.

New listings also fell, down by 2.4% monthly and 54.1% annually. Canberra and Melbourne reported the most substantial decline in new listings. Only Perth and Darwin recorded increases in new listings in the month.

Christopher said the overall drop in listings contributed significantly in boosting asking prices, particularly in regional and coastal locations. In fact, over the month to 1 June 2021, asking prices for houses grew by 1.7% monthly and 14.2% annually.

"The trend is also pronounced in the inland regions, such as the Murray Region. With low interest rates set to remain over 2021, and many households awash with cash as the jobless rate continues to fall, we expect to see sustained gains in house prices over the remainder of the year," he said.

The tables from SQM Research below show the movement in the growth of old and new listings across capital cities:

Overall property listings have dropped in May, indicating that there are more buyers than sellers in the market.