Real estate listings creep up in May

Adam Smith 7 June 2017 NEWS

New home sales are slow for February HIAResidential real estate listings have seen a modest rise, which one researcher has said shows strength for the property market.

Figures from SQM Research show listings creeping up 0.5% in May. Sydney saw the strongest increase at 5.9%. Brisbane and Darwin also saw significant rises, at 3.2% and 3.0%, respectively.

But the property market is still showing signs of cooling, with listings down year-on-year in every capital city except Canberra and Sydney. Hobart and Melbourne both saw steep annual declines, with listings in Hobart falling 18.9% and Melbourne listings dropping 19.5%.

In spite of the annual decline, SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said the results showed continued strength for the housing market. However, he warned that a slowdown could be on the horizon.

“The listings data suggests the national market was still relatively strong over the course of May. Normally, May listings increase over April due to the multiple holiday periods in that month. So a 0.5% list for May is actually quite modest. The Sydney rise of 5.9% is a little on the weaker side and I also note the monthly decline in asking prices of 1% for that city. While it is still too early to call a slowdown in Sydney at this stage, we are watching this market closely as there has been increasing evidence of a possible slowdown,” he said.

But Christopher said conditions in Melbourne remained “robust”.

“To record a 1.2% decline in listings plus a near 6% surge in asking prices for houses is about as strong as it gets,” he said.

The data seems at odds with figures from CoreLogic, showing consecutive months of price declines across capital cities. The latest figures from the researcher showed a 1.3% decline in home values for Sydney in May, and a 1.7% decline for Melbourne.

Image: Shutterstock

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