Tightening of stock driving listings down and priming Perth for rise in buyer competition

Tightening of stock driving listings down and priming Perth for rise in buyer competition
Joel RobinsonDecember 7, 2020

There's set to be a rise in buyer competition in Perth as listings become more and more scarce.

That's the view of Emma Everett, buyer's agent at WA-based property investment consultancy Momentum Wealth, who says the absorption of existing supply and higher sales transactions are triggering a return to a balanced market in some sectors.    

“Over the past 12 months, we have seen significant absorption of the oversupply left over from the mining and construction boom which, when combined with a rise in sales transactions, is causing stock on market to tighten, with the market now approaching equilibrium at just over 14,000 properties listed for sale,” Everett said.

Stock for sale in Perth nears 14,000 in December as sales activity has been trending higher in the second half of 2019. Back in March there were 17,251 properties for sale in Perth.

Sales in May were averaging around 479 a week compared to 650 a week in November.

Everett said some of the rise in activity is likely due to renewed certainty following the conclusion of the Federal Election.

“Activity was visibly subdued in the first half of 2019, with buyers likely taking a more cautious approach due to uncertainty surrounding potential changes to negative gearing and their impact on the property market.”

“The fact sales activity has trended higher in the latter half of 2019 suggests this certainty has now been somewhat restored”, she said.

Perth had the lowest new sales listings in November, according to CoreLogic. It was the lowest figure since CoreLogic began recording the statistic in 2007.

Everett attributes this to a more positive outlook amongst existing property owners in Perth.

“We are seeing an uplift in sentiment amongst many of the owners we are speaking to on the ground, with those who have previously considered selling due to softer market conditions now reluctant to do so having recognised the market is turning a corner.”

“These owners are prepared to hold onto their properties to achieve a better result, and with record low interest rates and improving rental conditions, they aren’t facing the same cash flow pressures they may have been a year ago,” she said. 

Everett stated that with the supply fundamentals in place, it’s now a case of demand.

“Average days on market in Perth is still relatively high at 84 days for the September quarter suggesting we aren’t yet seeing that sense of urgency we would expect to accompany an increase in demand from buyers.” 

“However, with much of the oversupply in a number of areas now absorbed and low levels of supply coming on stream from new construction, stock levels are poised to tighten even further into 2020 which will drive higher levels of buyer competition, in turn placing upwards pressure on prices in some locations,” she said.

CoreLogic figures released earlier this month showed that Perth dwelling values recorded an annual increase of 0.4% in November, marking the first month-on-month increase since early 2018. 

Everett said that suburbs with strong demand fundamentals in place are already seeing higher levels of competition from buyers.

“While market improvements are now starting to translate into headline growth figures, we have seen higher competition in certain segments of the market for some timeparticularly in the upper price segment of the market where owner-occupiers have been taking advantage of softer conditions to trade-up into their suburb of choice, and we expect this to spread further into the market in 2020” she said.


Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and the economics and finance behind buying and selling real estate.

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