The winter period is usually quiet for the property market, PropTrack economist Angus Moore said, so it was unusual to see new listings up 8.5 per cent year-on-year for June.
However, activity was starting to taper off as the weather turned cold, with listings dropping off from the levels seen in May.
Moore said there were a couple of reasons listings were higher than normal for this time of year, including the possibility of people taking action before the market fell even further.
“It’s certainly possible that we're seeing some people listing now to try and get ahead of more interest rate rises from the RBA and before prices decline further,” he said.
“And we're expecting that we'll see prices continue to decline through the rest of this year, and probably into next year, depending on how quickly the RBA raises interest rates.”
While selling conditions had broadly begun to temper after a strong spring 2021 and early 2022, he said strong demand was likely to remain.
“Fundamental drivers of demand remain strong, with unemployment low, wages
growth expected to pick up over this year, and international migration now returning,” Moore said.
He also said it had been a busy start to the year for listing activity, and that was still playing out.
“We’ve had a lot of listings, a lot of sales for the first half of the year and we’re seeing that momentum carried through into the typically quieter winter period,” Moore said.
Relief for buyers in the major cities
He said this was good news for buyers, who now had a bit more to choose from compared to the past two years when there was lower-than-normal stock available.
“Part of that was very strong demand, meaning things were selling very quickly,” he said.
“And part of it was, for some of the pandemic, we had a smaller volume of listings coming to market.”
He said stock levels were now restoring to normal levels seen pre-pandemic, especially in Melbourne and Sydney.
St Leonards in Sydney’s lower northern shore saw the biggest spike in listings year-on-year, while in Melbourne, it was Donnybrook in the city’s north.
He said some markets that were still in high demand, such as Brisbane and Adelaide, were still seeing listings down well below pre-pandemic levels.
“And those are markets where buyers still have fewer choices and still face some competition in the market,” Moore said.
The regions are still seeing few new listings on the market, with the total stock available for sale regionally down around 40 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.
Listing in the regions did increase a little, month-on-month, creeping up by 2.5 per cent from May to June.