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What to expect ahead of the spring property season

·Personal Finance Editor
·2-min read
Aerial shot of Sydney property in Spring with jacarandas blooming.
Spring is the busiest time of year for the property market. (Source: Getty)

Spring is traditionally the time of year that brings an influx of new property listings and rising buyer activity.

After two years of rising property prices and supply not keeping up with demand, Aussies are looking ahead to find out what’s in store now that prices have finally started to pull back.

Domain’s latest Buyer Demand Indicator (BDI) Report found buyers in most capital cities and regional Australia would be operating in a less competitive spring market than recent years.

After a peak in 2021, buyer demand across the combined capitals and regional Australia has eased and is lower than the three-year winter average.

When broken down by capital city, Adelaide (houses and units), Perth (units) and Darwin (units) are the only cities to end winter 2022 higher than the three-year average.

“Next week is the start of spring and marks the busiest time for the property market,” Domain chief of research and economics Nicola Powell said.

“It will be the first spring in three years unhampered by COVID lockdowns.

“The transition from winter to spring will see a lift in new listings and an emergence of more buyers.”

Powell said this would be the first real test of the property market since interest rates started to rise.

“What this means for buyers and sellers this year is buyers will have more time to make the right property decision as homes are spending longer on the market and overall choice has increased,” Powell said.

“For sellers, market conditions have become more challenging but those pricing homes to meet buyer expectations are still achieving quick sales.”

Demand for units growing

The Domain report found that demand for houses hit a peak in January this year after surging during the pandemic.

But financial limitations and unaffordability are starting to weigh heavier on houses, with the demand gap consistently narrowing throughout 2022.

“Looking at buyer interest by property type in each city reveals some interesting skews,” the report said.

“The Domain BDI is higher for units in Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart and Perth.

“While this is the opposite in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, the gap between houses and units is narrowing as affordability has become a key restraint for buyers, shifting the demand dial.”

The steer towards units is also playing out in pricing as they outperformed house prices for the first time in almost three years across the combined capitals.

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