The spring selling season is taking off in WA, with one group on average selling a property every 2.9 hours.
However, national opinion is divided according to the latest Real Estate Business straw poll, with 23.2 per cent of respondents claiming this season is the same as last year's, while 39.7 per cent claimed it was better. Just over 37 per cent of respondents said spring 2012 is worse than 2011.
ACTON Real Estate in Western Australia is reporting huge sales growth compared to last year.
“The spring sales surge continues,” said managing director of ACTON, Graeme Baxter, last week. “October's sales results are the highest for the year. We started to see sales numbers improve around this time last year, with October 2011 recording the highest results for 2011.
“That was a strong result, but this month's sales are 34 per cent higher than last year's figures.”
Mr Baxter claims that ACTON sold, on average, 8.29 properties per day, or one property every 2.89 hours.
“One of the most satisfying aspects of the sales surge is the increase is being felt across the group and is a result of the hard work of all members of the ACTON family.”
Nicholas Armstrong-Smith, director at CENTURY 21 Bondi Junction in Sydney, said his sales results were similar to last year's. “We have a lot of interest around August and September and usually see that interest convert into listings around springtime, so we push our marketing out around June or July to build up that initial interest.
“We’re seeing slightly more listings this year than last year, but nothing too different,” he concluded.
Michael Smith, principal at Raine & Horne Marrickville, in inner Sydney, told Real Estate Business that listing numbers are down this year.
“We’re having a lot less listings, however we’re lucky to have some big numbers in our sales so our commissions aren’t being affected," he said. “I feel the market lost momentum in April this year and just hasn’t picked up to the same pace as it usually does.”
Yet this may be set to change, with stagnant residential stock levels reported earlier this month - a possible sign that buyers are returning to the property market. Moreover, auction clearance rates in both Sydney and Melbourne have consistently surpassed the 60 per cent mark this spring, up from the 50 per cent levels recorded at the same time last year.
SQM Research reported earlier this month that residential property listings around the nation remained relatively unchanged in October, although big falls were recorded on an on-year basis in Sydney, Perth and Darwin.
“Most notable of the capital city decreases is Darwin, which has recorded a 26.3 per cent decline in stock since the corresponding period of the previous year,” SQM Research said.
On a month-on-month basis, national listing numbers remained relatively steady at 374,445, up just 0.3 per cent when compared to September.
"What is surprising ... is that stock levels have not swollen dramatically during spring as is usually seasonally expected," the company said. “This is perhaps a potential indicator that the market has begun to recover – albeit modestly.”