What is Australia’s most active property market?

With the downturn in Australia’s property market seeing vendors more tentative to sell and buyers equally unsure whether or not to wait for prices to fall further before buying, it can help to have an understanding of how the downturn is playing out in the rate of activity within individual markets.

Our data on market activity confirms an extension of the time properties are remaining on the market before being sold, while at the same time across many markets the number of new listings entering the market is slowing down compared to previous periods.

There have been 9,796 new units listed on the market in the past 6 months according to realestateview.com.au data. This is a 24 per cent decrease from the previous six months.

Total active units for sale in Sydney over the past 6 months sits at 15,150 – a 6 per cent increase from the previous period.

Houses in Sydney follow the same pattern, with 19,395 new listings over the past 6 months, which is 7 per cent lower than the previous 6 months. Active house listings for the past 6 months sits at 29,226 – 35 per cent higher than the previous period.

The significantly larger decrease in new units listed on the market in the past 6 months than new houses (24 per cent compared with 7 per cent) does indicate some level of abatement to the surplus of apartments that has been suggested by the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales to have pushed vacancy rates up in the early part of 2019 to nearly 4 per cent.

Despite this decrease in new units entering the market, the time properties (both units and houses) are remaining on the market before being sold is lengthening, which is worth considering if you are selling and trying to decide between selling first before buying or moving ahead with a purchase in anticipation of the sale of your property.

Melbourne has followed a similar pattern to Sydney, but with larger falls in new listings numbers.

There have been 9,275 new units listed on the market in the past 6 months, which is down 31.5 per cent from the previous period.

Like Sydney, the number of active units for sale in Melbourne over the past 6 months has not fallen as much as new listings, decreasing 8 per cent from the previous 6 months to 14, 276 active units for sale.

For houses on the market: there have been 23,882 new listings in six months, down 18 per cent from the previous 6 months, while longer periods on the market is again suggested by active listings for the past 6 months increasing 26 per cent from the previous period to 35, 734. This increase in active listings in Melbourne may indicate factors beyond prolonged time spent on the market, including a desire for vendors to beat any perceived future falls in property values and make the most of the consistent capital gains growth seen since 2013.

So, which is the most active market in Australia? Well, there are no surprises here:

It may be a small market, but Hobart is continuing to prove itself as bucking national trends.

Across the country, there have either been minor increases in the number of new house listings over the past six months compared with the previous period or even decreases. Brisbane has seen a 14 decrease in new house listings to 15,495. Adelaide has seen just a 2 per cent increase to 8,652 new house listings. Perth has seen an increase, but again a small one, at .8 per cent to 14,996 new house listings. The ACT has seen the largest increase amongst these markets, growing 9 per cent in the past 6 months to 2,426 new house listings.

Thanks to its rich history, Hobart comes up with some incredibly idiosyncratic old homes for sale, like this one in Dynnyrne which is currently on the market.

Thanks to its rich history, Hobart comes up with some incredibly idiosyncratic old homes for sale, like this one at 25 Proctors Road Dynnyrne which is currently on the market.

Back down across Bass Strait, Hobart has seen 1, 884 new house listings over the past 6 months, which, while just under 8 per cent of the size of the market in Melbourne for new houses, still bucks the declining trends of Melbourne and Sydney as a 16 per cent increase in activity from the previous 6 months. The same cannot be said for any of the markets in the country as far as new units for sale are concerned, which all saw a decrease of some measure in the past 6 months compared with the previous period.

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