Buyer frenzy eases as new property listings hit seven-year high

New listings of properties for sale across Australia have jumped to their highest level in seven years, giving buyers more options and soothing some of the property buying frenzy.

November marked the peak of the spring selling season this year, with the latest PropTrack Listings Report showing new listings on rose 12.1% to the highest level since 2014.

“Property market activity continued to soar in November as sellers made up for lost time after lockdowns,” PropTrack economist Angus Moore said.

New listings in the capital cities rose 12.5% in November to reach their highest level in a decade, while regional areas had an 11.3% rise to a five-year high.

Mr Moore said it was a strong result for November, with this year’s peak pushed back by the delayed start to the spring selling season due to COVID-19 lockdowns in Australia’s two biggest cities and Canberra.

He said the very tight competition buyers had faced should start to ease thanks to the new supply coming to the market.

“We’re seeing more options for buyers to choose from and the urgency for buyers is maybe starting to ease a little.

“We’re still seeing properties sell very quickly though.”

Mr Moore noted PropTrack measures of buyer demand remained high but eased slightly in November.

According to PropTrack economists, there are early signs the extreme seller’s market is starting to slowly shift towards more balanced conditions as an increased supply of new listings gives buyers more choice.

Raine & Horne Group executive chairman Angus Raine said the influx of listings stock has cooled the market.

“The buyer pool is still very deep, but admittedly the buyers have more choice now,” Mr Raine said.

Market conditions to remain strong in early 2022

Mr Moore said selling conditions are still strong, although property markets will be quieter during December and January as buyers and sellers pause for the Christmas and New Year break.

“However, we may see a busier December than typical as activity spills later into the year because of the lockdown-delayed start to the spring selling season,” he said.

Mr Moore expected the strong market conditions to continue early next year, with buyer demand to remain high but not at October’s record levels.

“When we were coming out of lockdown we had a lot of pent-up buyer demand facing into a really limited stock of properties for sale,” he said.

“That’s going to ease a little in the new year.

“Selling conditions are likely to stay strong but may start to soften a little from the dominant levels we’ve seen in recent months.”

Mr Raine said Raine & Horne offices were still busy listing properties now, with activity particularly strong in the leisure belt around capital cities – semi-regional locations about two to three hours from a capital.

Mr Raine expected the Christmas/New Year slowdown to be very brief this year.

“I think this is going to kick off in the first week of January again,” he said.

“There will be a higher volume of listings next year which will test the market, but the market’s so resilient and the buyer pool is significant, so it will certainly slow things down but nothing to be worried about.”

While many economists expect property price growth to slow in 2022 and dip in 2023, Mr Raine expected the boom conditions to continue for some time due to low interest rates.

“There’s definitely going to be a long tail to this boom – two to three years at least,” he said.

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