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December Real Estate Listings Dropped

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A steep decline in real estate listings, at a time of increasing demand, helps explain why prices are going up. The latest data from SQM Research shows that residential property listings were 12 percent lower in December 2019 than in December 2018. This is despite monthly increases of 2 percent in October and 6 percent in November – spring months that typically witness increased sale of investment property. But all capital cities encountered month-to-month drops in properties for sale in December, with Sydney (29 percent) and Canberra (28 percent) having the largest fall.

SQM Research Managing director Louis Christopher said, “the month of December traditionally records falls in properties listed for sale as it is the start of the festive and summer holiday period, whilst November shows a surge in listings as vendors are keen to sell before the holiday season approaches”. Listings year-on-year also show similar drops for all capital cities, with Sydney reporting a 30 percent fall.

The month of December traditionally records falling in properties listed for sale as it is the beginning of the festive and summer vacation period, while November shows a surge in listings as vendors are keen to sell before the approach of the holiday season. The disastrous bushfires, particularly in NSW and Victoria, could also lead to further declines in real estate listings, putting additional pressure on house prices.

All other capital cities recorded increases in house prices but experienced marginal declines in unit prices over the month. The largest fall in the unit market was Perth with a 1.6% decline but the city’s house price increased by 0.3%. Hobart’s unit prices had the strongest growth of 2.0%.

Overall, Melbourne recorded the strongest price growth of 4.2% for houses but had declined in the unit market of 0.6%. Melbourne’s median house asking price has now reached back to over one million dollars. The last time this occurred was in the period between April to June 2018. The median asking price of a Melbourne house now sits at $1,027,600.

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