‘Double-dip downturn’ risk remains as listings rise

Residential property listings in the country’s capitals have continued to rise in June, with stock levels in most cities back in the positive territory.

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SQM Research data shows there were 230,274 listings in the previous month, up 1.8 per cent from May’s 226,262 properties.

Darwin recorded the biggest jump in listings over the month, rising by 6.4 per cent from 1,590 to 1,691.

Brisbane came in second with a 4.8 per cent increase from 17,985 to 18,852, followed by Sydney, with a 4.1 per cent increase from 26,276 to 27,351.

Adelaide also clocked into the positive territory with a 3 per cent increase from 9,483 to 9,769.

Meanwhile, Melbourne, Hobart and Perth recorded declines during the period. The Victorian capital saw listings fall by 0.2 per cent from 33,077 to 33,017, while the Western Australian capital saw a fall of 0.4 per cent from 18,300 to 18,219.

Notably, the Tasmanian capital was the biggest decliner, as listings in the city fell 1.3 per cent from 2,596 to 2,563 during the month. Canberra saw no movement in listings in June.

For the past 12 months, listings grew nationally by 3.9 per cent, with Sydney recording a 9.4 per cent surge, followed by Brisbane with 15.8 per cent, and Darwin with 23 per cent.

Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research, noted the Sydney and Brisbane results were driven by a solid rise in new listings.

Listings on the market for less than 30 days across Australia rose 1.6 per cent in June, with Sydney (up 9.4 per cent), Brisbane (15.8 per cent), and Darwin (up 23 per cent) leading the gains on a monthly basis.

Meanwhile, old listings—those on the market longer than 180 days—increased 2.4 per cent for the month of June, with Adelaide (up 9.4 per cent), Darwin (0.6 per cent), and Hobart (1.7 per cent) as the only capitals posting growth during the period.

“[The] rise in older listings was driven by a surge in stale stock in Adelaide plus ongoing rises in accumulated properties not selling in the regions,” Mr Christopher stated.

He said the latest monthly figures showed it was “clear the housing downturn continues from last year.”

“Our overall view remains, the market is at significant risk of a double-dip downturn in our capital cities for the second half of 2023 given the additional tightening in monetary policy over the months of May and June.

“Our view is the large fixed rate mortgage resets have not yet materially impacted the market,” Mr Christopher said.

SQM data also revealed the number of distressed listings in June dropped to 5,335—a 4.3 per cent decrease from the 5,572 recorded in May.

On a monthly basis, the ACT saw a 32 per cent decline in distressed listings—the sharpest decline in the figures among capital cities. However, Tasmania’s distressed listings are now up 54.4 per cent over the year.

Distressed property activity continues to remain relatively benign notwithstanding some large year-on-year rises in Tasmania,” Mr Christopher said.

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