New home listings soared by 41 per cent in Sydney and 82 per cent in Melbourne last month as vendors rushed back into the market after lockdowns ended and before the higher mortgage buffer came into effect, the latest SQM Research data shows.
Total listings jumped by 25.5 per cent in Sydney during October to 29,183 – the largest monthly percentage increase on record, while lifting by 25.1 per cent to 41,265 in Melbourne.
SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said October was traditionally a strong month for listings, but vendors could also be looking to get ahead of any further slowdown in the market.
“This could be an indicator that sellers are looking to get out of the market before further macro-prudential tightening kicks in, and before we get an interest rate rise,” he said.
“I think buyer demand is still relatively strong, but perhaps it’s starting to come off a little, so if we were to see November recording a similar level of listings then I would be a little bit concerned.”
There are already signs that forward listings are gathering momentum. SQM Research has recorded 1366 homes listed for auction in Sydney in the coming week, and about 1600 homes to be auctioned in Melbourne.
Last week, there were 1144 homes taken to auction in Sydney and 1739 in Melbourne, according to CoreLogic.
Mr Christopher said with increasing chatter about future interest rate rises and macro-prudential intervention by APRA, a growing number of vendors may be thinking now was a good time to sell.
“If we see similar strong listing activity in November, it will test the absorption rates and may point to a peak in the housing market,” he said.
Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the proportion of homes their agents were authorised to sell but have not yet hit the market has also risen.
“Listing authorities have been higher in the past four weeks compared to the previous four weeks, so that would suggest that we are going to see a further uptick in the volume of properties for sale,” she said.
“As vendors continue to sign up with our agents, these strong listings will continue to be higher in November.
“I think this is good news for buyers as it could calm price growth as there are more options.”
So far, thousands of new listings have hit some of Sydney’s most sought-after markets. In the inner west, 698 new properties were added during the month – a 52.5 per cent lift on existing listings, while the eastern suburbs recorded 681 new homes for sale.
In the Hills district, 725 homes were listed, adding 24 per cent to the old stock, while the upper north shore attracted 792 new listings – a 30 per cent increase over the month.
Vendors in Melbourne’s inner east listed 1698 homes for sale – adding 39.5 per cent to the existing stock, while new listings lifted by 40 per cent in the Bayside region.
Nationally, new listings rose 27.6 per cent for the month to 94,149 properties on the market – the third largest count of new stock added to the national market for any month.
Ms Conisbee said the reopening of international travels for vaccinated Australians could shift buyer demand in the months ahead.
“We know that the high savings rate was one of the reasons that has driven the rapid price growth,” she said.
“Now that people can travel, I think it will lead to less savings and this will impact the amount people can spend to buy a home and potentially impact demand.”