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Those homebuyers active in the market right now face a big advantage, new data reveals

By Mo Zeitouneh

Australians actively looking to buy a home at the moment are enjoying a big advantage in almost all parts of the country, new data shows.

The latest PropTrack Listings Report for November shows the total number of properties listed for sale across the country has risen by 3.8% month-on-month.

And compared to this time last year, total stock at a national level is 3.4% up, meaning prospective purchasers have much more choice than last spring.

“Total listings grew month-on-month in practically all parts of the country, with only Darwin recording a very small decline of 0.1%,” PropTrack economist and report author Angus Moore said.

New listings hitting the market in November were also up 4.3% month-on-month across the capital cities, Mr Moore said.

Even regionally, where tight conditions over the past year have seen prospective purchasers left with little choice, new listings jumped 10.5% in November compared to October.

The number of homes on the market has risen in almost all parts of the country. Picture: Getty

“Buyers in most areas saw their options improve, with the total number of properties listed for sale nationally up by 3.4% month-on-month,” PropTrack economist and report author Angus Moore said.

“Looking at the full picture, the increase in choice over 2022 has been significant in nearly all capital cities. Buyers in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra have been enjoying more options than has been typical for the prior decade.

“And while conditions remain tougher for buyers searching in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, where the number of properties listed for sale remains below pre-pandemic levels, choice has improved over much of this year.”

Those in the market to buy a home have continued levels of choice. Picture: Getty

That said, new listings activity across the usually busy spring selling period was flatter than typical this year, he pointed out.

In November, new listings nationally were 21.8% lower year-on-year, and in the capitals were 26.9% lower on an annual basis, although Mr Moore said this isn’t overly surprising given the unique conditions facing markets this time last year.

“At that time, Covid restrictions were easing in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra and vendors were making up for lost time amid very strong levels of buyer activity,” he said.

“Almost all capitals saw large year-on-year declines in new listings, consistent with the very busy November we saw last year. Hobart was the only exception, continuing its busy 2022.”

While the market was quieter than usual this spring, there were still more new listings than during spring in 2019 and 2020.

“After a busy first half of the year, and busier-than-typical winter, this spring was relatively quiet, and conditions and activity appear to have slowed from the busy pace we were seeing earlier in the year,” Mr Moore said.

Rapid interest rate hikes by the Reserve Bank for the past several months is weighing on market sentiment, increasing mortgage costs, and reducing borrowing capacities.

“The RBA is expected to continue increasing rates in 2023, which will likely place greater downward pressure on home prices in the near-term,” Mr Moore said.

But while the next few months are likely to be quiet when the summer holiday slowdown settles in, as is typical, the long-term fundamentals of demand remain strong.

“Unemployment is very low and has continued to move lower in recent months. Wages growth, while running slower than inflation, has started to pick up, and international migration has returned, which is adding to housing demand.”


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