New home listings were down this year, bucking the traditional trend of surge during the weeks nine to 11 of the year.

Property sellers are not as enthusiastic as they traditionally were during the current season, with new listings still tracking significantly lower from last year and from previous five-year average.

CoreLogic research director for Asia Pacific Tim Lawless said there is usually a surge in listing activity during the period covering the week 9 to 11 of the year — this, however, was not the case this year.

“This year sellers have erred on the side of caution before listing and the trend is moving lower again with the flow of new listings consistently below average since spring last year,” Mr Lawless said.

According to CoreLogic data, only 8,721 new listings were added to the market in week 11, 27.3% lower than last year and 21.3% below the previous five-year average.

Over the year so far, new listings across Australia have been tracking 18% below 2022 levels.

Mr Lawless said the lower-than-average flow of fresh stock added to the market is likely to be a factor supporting housing values.

In fact, home prices seemed to have slightly increased in February, driven by capital cities.

For the past month, CoreLogic Daily Home Value Index (HVI) showed that Sydney’s housing values were up 9% as new listings fall 40% year-on-year.

The same can be said for Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane where housing values are edging slightly higher.  

New listings unlikely to get another surge

Mr Lawless said there is a high possibility that the flow of new listings has already moved through a seasonal peak.

“Activity across CoreLogic’s RP Data platform, where real estate agents generate reports to prepare properties for sale, has consistently tracked below levels of the past two years and is once again trending down, indicating fewer properties are being prepared for sale,” he said.

“The year-to-date has seen 14.9% fewer real estate agent reports generated relative to the same time last year.”

The ebb and flow of new listings will be a key factor in the performance of the housing markets this year.

“Arguably there has been an accrual of pent-up supply since September 2022 as prospective vendors delay their selling decisions, possibly frustrating buyers with a shortage of options,” Mr Lawless said.

“However, any sign of a rebound in new stock on the market could trigger renewed downwards pressure on housing values, unless the increase was absorbed by a commensurate uplift in buying activity.”

Largest capitals report steepest decline in new listings

While the decline in new listings varies from region to region, most areas of Australia are recording a lower-than-normal number of fresh listings, especially the largest capitals.

Brisbane, for instance, recorded a 17.8% decline in new listings versus the five-year average.

Sydney and Melbourne also posted declines of 13.2% and 12.3%, respectively, compared to the previous five-year average.

“It seems prospective vendors in these cities are doing their best to wait out the downturn, preferring to hold off on their selling decisions until conditions improve and some certainty returns to their decision making,” Mr Lawless said.

However, there are exceptions — Hobart, Darwin, and the ACT bucked the trend of lower listings through the first 11 weeks of the year.

Advertised supply in Hobart, for instance, are rising from a low benchmark, with new listings up 6.2% from the five-year average.

New listings are also 7.5% higher in Darwin and 2% higher in the ACT compared to the average.


Photo by Jens Neumann on Pixabay.