If you’re looking to bag a bargain in the current market, you could be looking for a very long time.

With buyers snapping up properties as soon as they hit the market, sellers are in an enviable position to get a premium price for their property. Especially so as the number of properties up for grabs are much lower than a year ago.

RP Data’s Cameron Kusher said that, although there has been a surge in the number of new properties listed for sale, the total properties advertised for sale are -3.8% lower than they were a year ago.

“Although new listings are way up on a year ago, the rate of sale is much faster and total listings are falling. To put it simply, properties are being absorbed by the market faster than they are being listed for sale.”

In his view, buyer demand has escalated and quality properties are not staying on the market for a long period of time.

The latest report from the Housing Industry Association showing an increase of 4.6% in seasonally adjusted new home sales is a further evidence of intense buying activity.

HIA chief economist Harley Dale said that both sales and building approvals for detached housing signalled faster momentum ahead for this sector of the construction market.

“This suggests more balanced growth ahead in the composition of new home building. It adds a further positive dimension to the recovery for many of Australia's manufacturers and suppliers.”

While this recovery was previously dominated by New South Wales and Western Australia, over February Queensland dominated new home sales with an increase of 17.5%.

Dale said this indicated that the house building recovery was spreading more widely across the country.  

But not only are the number of new build home sales on the up, so are the number of new sales generally.

 “This is highlighted by the fact that total listings, both at a national and capital city level, are lower than they were a year ago.”

So what does this all mean for investors?

Essentially, it means that competition for desirable properties is currently heated – which is good for sellers, if not buyers.