The first three months of 2022 was the busiest quarter since 2014 in terms of property listings  - capital city new listings grew by 16.2% in March.

According to PropTrack, all capital cities reported double-digit monthly gains in new listings, with Melbourne and Sydney hitting the highest gains.

On a national level, new listings also remained elevated, up 15.5% over the month.

PropTrack economist Angus Moore said homeowners are taking advantage of the high demand for houses despite a surge in prices.

“Measures of buyer demand look to be easing from the record levels seen in late 2021 but at the same time, the strong levels of new supply coming to market over the past six months have helped give buyers more choice and ease competition in the market,” he said. 

“As we continue through the typically busy autumn selling season, selling conditions are likely to remain strong.”

However, sellers might have to face several headwinds in the coming months, particularly the likely rate increases that could soften buyer enthusiasm.

“These factors mean that, while selling conditions look set to remain strong in the near-term, we are likely to see some tempering from the dominant levels experienced in late 2021 and early 2022,” Mr Moore said.

Strong quarter for sales

Figures from the Housing Industry Association (HIA) showed a 3.9% growth in new home sales in March.

HIA economist Tim Devitt said while this leaves new home sales over the first three months of the year 2.8% lower than the preceding quarter, the start of 2022 was still “exceptionally strong” for sellers.

“Despite a difficult start to the year, with staff absences associated with the Omicron outbreak and extended holiday leave, new home sales continue to sustain levels usually associated with government stimulus,” he said.

In fact, the first three months of the year was the second strongest quarter since 2016.

“Demand for new homes continues to be driven by a shortage of homes and an acutely tight rental market that has resulted in rapid house price and rental price growth.”

All states posted gains in new home sales, but New South Wales rose as the top performer with a 78.5% gain over the quarter.

Only South Australia reported a decline in new home sales over the period, albeit only slightly at 4.6%.

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