New listings across major capital cities dropped, but a more significant decline in sales meant unsold inventory continued to climb.

New property listings slid to 24,930 over the previous month—down 18.8% from the levels seen a year ago, according to CoreLogic.

Sydney and Melbourne’s new listings fell by 25.3% and 24.2%, respectively, from 2018.

Despite the recorded declines, though, the number of properties on the market continued to track upwards – up 118,969 across the capitals over the past four weeks. Year over year, the current figures are higher by 9.1%.

This suggests that while the supply of listings is now starting to dip, properties are still being sent to the market faster than they are selling, according to a report by Business Insider Australia.  

The insight was backed by Westpac’s data showing that despite a 5.7% decline in new listings across the major capital cities in the early parts of 2018, a more substantial drop-off in sales resulted in a fast-paced increase in unsold inventory.                          

The bank also found that national housing turnover plummeted in the December quarter, with only 3.6% of dwelling stock sold —the lowest proportion since 1987.

The drop echoed the consequences of declining home prices. It not only discouraged owners from listing, but also made potential buyers believe that prices will continue to fall.

“After initially being driven by tighter lending standards and reduced demand from local and offshore investors, housing credit growth has slowed noticeably in recent months, largely reflecting a drop in demand for housing finance, particularly among investors,” said Business Insider Australia.