The property market is starting to lose steam, shifting from being a seller’s market to become more balanced between buyers and sellers.
According to PropTrack, while the number of homes for sale increased in November, demand seemed to have softened as views per listings declined on realestate.com.au.
In fact, views per listing fell 9% in November, down from a historic high achieved in October.
Meanwhile, weekly searches declined by 16.2% over the last seven consecutive weeks.
Still, search volumes remained historically high and could remain stable at their current level over the coming months following the holiday slowdown.
Email enquiries to agents also declined in the month, down by 22% to the lowest volume since July.
States emerging from lockdown recorded the most substantial decline in email enquiries to agents, with Victoria striking the biggest slump at 45%, followed by New South Wales’ 21.7% dip, and the ACT’s 26.5% drop.
PropTrack director of economic research Cameron Kusher said these are telling signs that some of the heat is coming out of the market.
“We are still seeing many active buyers, but for the first time since the pandemic began, the strong ramp up in new listings has given them more choice,” he said.
“Buyers continue to outweigh sellers in the current market, but the gap is narrowing, meaning the strength of the sellers’ market is softening.”
Mr Kusher said the demand is expected to ease further given the fewer disruptions that could lead to a consistent supply of new listings.
“Encouragingly for buyers, the volume of competition for housing stock should also ease,” he said.
“Overall, we appear to be witnessing the first signs of a shift from an extreme sellers’ market to one which is slowly moving towards more balanced conditions between buyers and sellers.”
Sales activity still steady
Over the past week, sales fell by 1.7% but remained 11.6% higher than the same week last year.
Mr Kusher said the higher year-on-year sales show how much more activity there currently is in the market.
“With all states out of lockdowns, we are seeing a lift in sales,” he said.
“However, with more stock available for sale and some signs of weakening demand, the end of year ramp-up in sales this year is seemingly not as strong as it was last year, of course we could see an acceleration in sales over the final few weeks before Christmas.”
So far this year, weekly sales are 59.4% higher than over the same period in 2019 and 41.4% higher than last year.
Another important indicator is the median selling days.
Over the past month, the median number of days a property remained listed was 30 days, still at an historic low. Over the same month last year, days-on-market was at 44 days.
“While the seasonal increase in days on site is coming, with demand easing from highs and the supply of stock increasing we would expect that properties will likely start taking a little longer to sell than they are currently once the market returns in 2022,” Mr Kusher said.