Stock levels down in December

Residential property listings across the country fell during the month of December, new figures have shown.

SQM Research has revealed that national stock levels declined by 8.5 per cent, bringing the total to 337,744. Stock was also down on a year-on-year comparison with a drop of 4.3 per cent recorded between December 2013 and December 2012.

Hobart was the only capital city to record a marginal monthly increase of 0.4 per cent, but Sydney and Canberra recorded significant declines of 26.4 per cent and 17.6 per cent.

On a yearly basis, most capital cities recorded decreases with the exception of Darwin, which revealed a large increase of 19.8 per cent. Sydney’s stock plummeted, with a drop of 19.6 per cent since December 2012.

SQM Research’s Asking Prices Index revealed that vendors in Sydney had lifted their asking prices by 14 per cent over the last 12 months, a sign of the city’s market strength.

Canberra was the only capital city to record a decline in asking prices for houses on a yearly basis, falling by 1.5 per cent since the same week 12 months earlier.

The capital city average asking price for houses was now $706,300 – a 7.2 per cent increase year on year. For units, the average asking price was $459,300, a 2.3 per cent increase year on year.

Speaking about the figures, managing director of SQM Research Louis Christopher said: “There were some rather large declines in listings over December. However, that is to be expected for this time of year given how the housing industry shuts down over Christmas and much of January.

“Though the large year-on-year decreases in some cities such as Sydney are noted once again, overall I see no evidence of any slowdown in the market itself with these numbers. And indeed, our Asking Prices Index recorded some very strong increases right throughout December. We are confident of a very strong market opening later this month.”

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