Sydney listings look like they're on the wane

Sydney listings look like they're on the wane
Sydney listings look like they're on the wane

Sydney buyers are certainly spoilt for choice, but there are emerging signs the listings surge of the past year is waning.

There are 27,000 properties currently for sale by private treaty across the Sydney market.

That's a lot on offer, indeed around 25% more than last May, according to CoreLogic.

Interestingly the 7,000 fresh listings in the past month sits 10% down on the same time last year.

That suggests the last ditch rush to sell is slowing after Sydney's cooling conditions have grabbed the headlines and ebbed into realistic conversations. 

There ought be an increased realisation among prospective vendors that the chance to cash in at peak prices has likely passed.

Vendor expectations are increasingly not being met, except for premium listings across the suburbs. A-grade stock is still selling well, through private treaty and at or before auction.  

Many of the 27,000 current private treaty offerings will not be sold this time around because their vendor missed the market peak that they hoped to capitalise on.

They might linger on websites and in estate agent windows, but pointlessly if they aren't repriced to sell in the current and emerging market.

These listings will hang around making up the estate agent's expansive inventory as we head into the winter hibernation.

Stale listings are much harder to sell since the keenest knowledgable buyers have typically moved on after their initial marketing. 

These stale listings ideally need to be withdrawn to try another time.

Meanwhile the number of sales has eased according to official NSW Office of State Revenue data. 

In March there were 16,950 property transfers, the quietest for four years as buyers become pickier, taking their time without the fear of missing out.

Last March, which didn't have the Easter interruption until mid-April, had 19,500 transfers. The March stamp duty revenue for the state government was $642 million compared to $701 million.

There were 49,000 sales in the first three months of 2018, compared to 52,000 early last year, with the soon to be advised April tally to help the state government shape its upcoming budget.

If these early readings become a marked trend, there won't be anywhere near as much revenue available for the government to spend.

The discussion about the listings and sales in the market is premised that there is choice for all participants.

Certainly arrears and mortgagee sales are at low levels.

The elephant in the room is bank lending which has increasingly restrained buyer capacity.

Just this week the Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Guy Debelle indicated there was a "risk" of even further tightening in lending standards ahead.

"This may have its largest effect on the amount of funds an individual household can borrow, more than the effect on the number of households that are eligible for a loan," he noted while adding that has implications for house prices."

This article first appeared in The Daily Telegraph. 

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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