SQM reveals growing stock glut

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Housing stock on the market has hit a two-year high, a property research firm has found.

According to SQM Research, February saw residential listings rise by 16,926, representing a 5.3% increase on January's result. The findings have also indicated a 46.1% rise in the amount of stock compared to February last year. SQM managing director of research Louis Christopher said the result showed a severe downturn in the market, which he claimed has been developing for some time. Christopher said the increase of stock in February could be explained by seasonal property cycles, but the increase of stock since last year represented a more serious trend.

"The increase in February's listings across the country is a result of the reopening of the property season. However, the year-on-year increase cannot be explained by seasonal influences. Rather it has been influenced by the downturn in the market, which has existed since January 2010," he commented.

The result has vindicated RP Data's January Market Activity Index, which measures pre-listing activity by real estate professionals. The index suggested that heavy pre-listing activity in January indicated a coming flood of stock to the market. RP Data research analyst Cameron Kusher told Australian BrokerNews in February that sluggish market activity would mean more stock left sitting on the market.

“Currently there aren’t enough active first home buyers and upgraders in the market to encourage prices high enough for vendors to sell. As a result, we are seeing a lot of stock for sale and low sales volumes,” Kusher said.

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