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Distressed listings continue recent uptick over July: SQM Research

The number of Australian properties sold under distressed conditions increased again over July, marking the second consecutive month of growth.

According to SQM Research’s latest figures, there were 6,257 distressed listings across the country, marking a 4 per cent lift from June’s figure of 6,014.

This uptick was observed largely across the country, with only the ACT (-20 per cent) and Western Australia (-40 bps) reporting a decline in distressed listings over July. 

The Northern Territory experienced the largest monthly percentage increase at 12.9 per cent, boosting from 85 to 96 over July. 


This was followed by Tasmania at 12.3 per cent, with the figure bumping 57 to 64 over the same period. 

However, it was Queensland (2,478), NSW (1,064) and Victoria (717) that presented the bulk of Australia’s distressed listings, with each state reporting monthly growth of 6.4 per cent, 5.8 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively. 

Speaking of the results, SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher commented that the research outfit is “expecting further rises in the coming months”. 

Mr Christopher expressed a similar sentiment last month, noting that the combination of interest rate lifts and the end of COVID-19 relief for the banking sector could see a boost to distressed listings. 

However, the managing director also noted that this recent momentum upwards follows “an extraordinary low base” of distressed listings across the country. 

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According to SQM Research’s figures, July’s results remained distinctively down to what was reported during July 2021 (7,247), reflecting an annual decrease of 13.7 per cent. 

This yearly distinction was observed almost entirely across the country, with only Tasmania (52.4 per cent), NSW (20 per cent) and Victoria (9.3 per cent) reporting 12-month lifts in distressed property listings. 

“Just prior to COVID-19, there were some 15,000 properties selling under distressed conditions,” Mr Christopher added.

SQM Research’s figure also noted that, over July, there was a 7.1 per cent increase in the number of property listings, boosting to a national figure of 237,336 over the month. 

This change was observed nationally, with every state and territory capital reporting an increase, the highest being Brisbane at 11.1 per cent, and the lowest at Darwin at 3.8 per cent. 

Annually, this latest figure is only 60 bps lower than what was reported during July 2021. 

New listings, or those up for less than 30 days, increased nationally by 1.8 per cent during July, while those older than 180 days also boosted by 60 bps over the same period. 

“Vendors were largely unsuccessful in their selling efforts over July,” Mr Christopher said of these new figures. 

“There is now a clear trend across all cities of rising listings which is being driven by lower buyer interest and is ultimately symptomatic of the national housing downturn.”

Mr Christopher added that he predicts that the immediate future will unlikely see any improvement to this figure. 

“I think the spring selling season is going to be a very tough one for property sellers and their respective agents. While asking prices have been adjusting downwards since February, there will need to be further compromise if property vendors do want to sell this spring,” Mr Christopher said.

Separate data released last week by Domain reported that clearance rates across Australia have reached their lowest since mid-2020

[Related: Housing price downswing ‘comparable’ with GFC onset: CoreLogic]

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