Sydney property listings down 13.3% over past year indicating improving housing market: SQM Research

The number of Sydney houses and units listed for sale online has fallen by 13.3% over the past year leading an overall 1.1% annual decline in capital city listings, according to new February figures from SQM Research.

There were 25,857 properties listed for sale in Sydney in February compared with 29,810 a year ago, while nationally listings have fallen from 345,543 to 341,662.

However, Melbourne listings have risen by 5.3% over the same period to 43,621 – the biggest annual rise of all capital cities - and there are now nearly 18,000 more properties listed for sale in Melbourne than in Sydney.

This suggests that talk of a recovery in the Melbourne housing market may be premature given the level of stock that still needs to be absorbed while the Sydney market appears to be strengthening.

Listings were up 1.9% over February but SQM says this was to be expected and “as the seasonal pause in the real estate world comes to a complete end and the property market begins to pick up again”.

“Most capital cities only experienced modest increases, with Canberra and Sydney being the only exceptions, climbing by 8.5% and 10.2% respectively during February,” says SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher.

“A year-on-year comparison however, reveals that stock listings have decreased since this time in 2012, falling by 1.1% on a national level and it is the opinion of SQM Research that this result is far more telling of the current direction of the property market than the month to month comparison due to seasonality.”

Year-on-year figures indicate that all capital cities apart from Melbourne and Canberra (+ 2.1%) recorded declines in the number of properties listed for sale.

Apart from Sydney, strong yearly declines in listings were also recorded in Darwin (-9.2%) with more modest declines recorded in Perth (-3.8%) and Adelaide (-3.2%) and Brisbane (-2%).

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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