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Property listings down as prices rise

National residential property listings dropped by 6.3 per cent in May, while asking prices continued to climb.

There were 245,953 property listings in May, according to a new report from SQM Research, down from 262,617 in April.

The listings had dropped by 6.3 per cent month-on-month. And for the year to May, the total had declined by 19.2 per cent.

Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research, commented that the fall in property listings had been due to “strong market conditions”.

“We have also seen a big fall in old listings during the month, indicating that old stock is getting moved everywhere,” Mr Christopher said.


“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.”

Old listings (more than 180 days old) dropped by almost a tenth in May (9.2 per cent), and had plunged by 44 per cent over the 12 months to date.

New listings (less than 30 days old) also slowed from the month before, falling by 2.4 per cent, as 79,673 properties were added to the market. But new listings were up by 54.1 per cent over the year to May.

The largest monthly falls in total listings occurred across Canberra (9.7 per cent), Melbourne (7.4 per cent), Brisbane (7.1 per cent) and Adelaide (7.1 per cent).

Sydney and Perth also saw drops, but of a small scale, down 3.5 per cent and 1.7 per cent, respectively, while Darwin managed to increase its listings by 2.9 per cent.


New listings had also more than doubled in Darwin, surging by 131.9 per cent over March.

The changes in listings are contributing to “strong growth” in asking prices, particularly in regional and coastal areas such as the NSW Mid North Coast and on the Gold Coast, Mr Christopher added. He has also observed the trend in inland areas, such as the Murray region.

Over the month to 1 June, national asking prices rose by 1.7 per cent for houses, but fell 0.2 per cent for units.

In capital cities, the effect was more muted, with asking house prices slightly increasing by 0.4 per cent over the month of May, while unit prices slipped by 0.4 per cent.

For the year to date, national asking house prices had grown by 14.2 per cent, led by gains in Hobart and Sydney. Unit prices rose by 6.6 per cent over the year, pushed up by rises in the smaller capital cities and regional locations, but offset by an oversupply of units in Sydney and minimal growth in Melbourne.

In capital cities, house prices rose by 5.3 per cent over the year, while units fell by 2.1 per cent – reflecting oversupply of units in Sydney dragging prices by 5.1 per cent.

“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,” Mr Christopher said.

[Related: Building approvals down by 8.6%]

Property listings down as prices rise
Property listings down as prices rise

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Sarah Simpkins

Sarah Simpkins is the news editor across Mortgage Business and The Adviser. 

Previously, she reported on banking, financial services and wealth for InvestorDaily and ifa.

You can contact her on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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